10 Years of the Patent Public Panel
A short video which highlights the 10 year anniversary of the Patient Public Panel which helps improve our services in Forth Valley.
NHS Forth Valley Acute Patient Public Panel (PPP) was established in 2004. The aim was, and still is, to provide NHS Forth Valley with a means of ensuring that the perspective of patients and the public is at the heart of improving patient care and experience in acute services. An initial priority was to engage PPP members in the development of the new acute hospital, Forth Valley Royal, which opened in 2010.
For some time I have been involved in the Catering Surveys. The purpose of the surveys is to identify areas for improvement in the Catering Services and cover food & refreshments, i.e. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
The surveys cover the following areas:
About the Food: Appearance, Taste, Temperature, Portion Size, Choice available, and whether it suits dietary needs (if any).
- Are you given a choice of food?
- Do you receive the meals you order?
- If you missed a meal, was a replacement offered?
- Are you aware that you can choose either small or standard portion
- Do you require assistance eating or drinking?
- Are you given the opportunity to wash your hands before eating?
Snacks & Drinks:
- Are you offered snacks & drinks between meals?
- Are you satisfied with the choice available?
Food Service Staff:
- Are staff friendly and welcoming, smart and professional; are they efficient?
- Overall how satisfied are you with the Catering Service?
- Patient’s gender, Age Length of stay in hospital?
The Survey normally takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on the type of patient. The range of possible responses are Very Satisfied to Not at all Satisfied, but are usually between Very Satisfied or Fairly Satisfied. On occasion where the responses are not too favourable this is fed back to Sandra West, Business Support Manager, Serco Healthcare Enabling Services, Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
I am responsible for surveys in Wards B21, 22 and 23, and I endeavour to cover one ward per week. I find it a very rewarding exercise meeting and chatting to some very interesting people.
Being part of the Patient Panel offers members many varied and interesting opportunities. One of these is taking part in Domestic Monitoring Audits. Accompanied by a member of staff from Serco who provide facilities management for Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Patient Panel members carry out audits of domestic and housekeeping services on the wards and other clinical areas.
Amongst other things, we inspect kitchen areas, patient rooms and bathrooms, treatment rooms, floors, curtain rails and so much more. If we find any issues requiring attention these are noted, reported and, more importantly, rectified.
Visits to the wards allow the Patient Panel member to build up a rapport with staff and raise the profile of the Panel. They also allow us to speak to patients and visitors and gain their views on the standards of the services provided.
As Panel members we offer an independent approach to the monitoring process. We are, in addition, a “ fresh pair of eyes “. Hopefully we provide reassurance to patients and the public that service provision is a priority for NHS Forth Valley and that it is carried out to the highest of standards.
A Patient Public Partner Member’s story prompted 2 other members to take action, which has influenced the way the possessions of deceased patients are returned by staff to those who come to collect them.
It all started with Helen Russell, a PPP member, approaching Helen Macguire and Margo Biggs, PPP members on the Bereavement Steering Group with her story. The last memory Helen had of Stirling hospital when her mother died was being handed what looked like a plastic bin liner with her mother’s possessions.
The staff could not have been kinder or more caring to her mother during the last stages of her life, but this experience has had a lasting effect on Helen.
Helen and Margo took this story to the Bereavement Steering Group and asked if something could be done to change the way possessions of deceased patients could be handed back to relatives with more dignity and respect.
This request was sympathetically listened to by the NHSFV staff on the Bereavement Steering Group and the Chair, Sandra Campbell, Nurse Consultant for Cancer and Palliative Care said she would see what could be done. Various samples of holdalls were sourced by Sheena McCorrie who facilitates the meetings. The members were asked for their opinions before a suitable holdall was selected. Finally, it was decided to have a pack consisting of a linen holdall, a mesh bag for jewellery and a sympathy card. These were piloted before being distributed throughout the wards at Forth Valley Royal and the 4 community hospitals.
Another member of the PPP, Christina McNeill, then became involved by assisting the staff in the PPI Cancer Involvement Group to make up the packs for distribution.
At a National Bereavement Stakeholder event at the Park Hotel in December, the pack was on display and Sandra said that they would now be used in all the FV hospitals, Care Homes and Strathcarron Hospice. She added that interest had also been shown by other Health Boards in Scotland. Since then there has been really positive feedback from the ward staff saying that some families also comment and are appreciative of the bags and cards.
This work is fully supported by Professor Angela Wallace as the executive lead for Bereavement in Forth Valley.
It is one of the PPP’s roles to influence change within NHSFV and this is a prime example of how this can be achieved when working together with staff.’