"Patient Opinion: a positive event"

About: Care Opinion Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a staff member),

It was my great privilege along with Helen Forrester (ward manager) to be invited to speak at Patient Opinion’s NHS Midlands and East Stakeholder workshop. There were also a number of excellent speakers from other organisations who were at varying stages in their adopting Patient Opinion.

I was able to describe how I use Patient Opinion (PO) in three ways as a staff member of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, as a Trust governor as well as telling my story about my experience of mental ill health.

PO as a staff member: I told the delegates how I ask the people that use the service I manage on behalf of the Trust (FOCUS) to complete the back part of the PO leaflet telling their story/experience of using the FOCUS service – I do not ask for any other details other than this so as to enable the feedback to be anonymous. These stories are handed in and a volunteer enters them onto PO as they are written (the originals are kept for authenticity purposes). I respond to these stories as soon as I receive them from the PO moderators.

PO as a governor: I explained how I am using PO to feedback about the service I support as a governor and the benefits to the service and my development as a governor.

PO telling my story: I also told delegates how I have used PO to tell my story with view to helping the anti-stigma campaign.

It was clear that Nottinghamshire Healthcare has a lot to celebrate due to how it has embraced PO within the organisation and this was certainly acknowledged by PO. PO has been championed on behalf of the Trust by Jane Danforth (Trust involvement officer) who is working tirelessly in taking a lead with this important initiative.

We are not quite there yet; PO needs to be embraced by more staff members and for them to see it as a way of informing the developmental needs of their service/practice in an open and honest format. Helen Forrester (ward manager Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust) described how she feels the ward she manages is benefitting from using PO and how this has enabled her to deal with patient’s concerns about the ward environment. Helen’s ward also openly feeds-back issues raised within their ward meetings and these also appear as entries on PO, which Helen is able to respond to and feedback what has happened as a result of any issues that arose from these meetings.

I felt the day was of enormous benefit as a sharing event which is really what PO is about: sharing good practice by responding and acting upon feedback from the people that access NHS services.

On reflection two valuable things came out of the day for me; firstly the day has made me realise that people using the FOCUS service have the opportunity of feeding back by using the paper method described above but without a computer they wouldn’t be able to see the responses. I heard how other providers printed off the stories and responses so that they can be displayed in ward areas etc. As a result I am going to change my practice and print the stories off along with the responses and pin them up so that the originators can see them. Secondly on hearing about how Helen records issues that come from meetings I am going to approach the committee of service users that help run FOCUS to whether they would allow issues raised in their meetings to be published on PO.

Finally I am working with Jane Danforth in supporting the rest of the team I work with (Social Inclusion and Well Being service) to look at how team members might use PO to aid their practice/service development through engaging the people that use their services in a feedback culture. I would ask all Trust staff to look at how they could embrace using PO, why not contact Jane who I am sure will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Julie Grant, Head of Communications, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust


Thank you for attending the event and taking the time to feed back.

The whole point of Patient Opinion is to listen and learn - and change things where necessary - you are demonstrating this in a very real way as are some other exemplary members of staff.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful