NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG

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Patient power improves services

Patient power improves services

Local patients have recently joined forces with doc­tors and nurses to improve health care ser­vices in Black­burn with Dar­wen and East Lan­cashire.  The team of patients and clin­i­cians jointly reviewed mus­cu­loskele­tal (mus­cle and bone prob­lems), oph­thal­mol­ogy (eye prob­lems) and der­ma­tol­ogy (skin prob­lems) ser­vices in the area.  As a result of their review patients came up with a blue­print to improve those ser­vices, and many of these improve­ments have begun to take place.

The three ser­vices all faced sim­i­lar chal­lenges.  Patients told the CCGs and the Hos­pi­tal Trust that they were dis­sat­is­fied with the ser­vices and that they would pre­fer ser­vices close to home, they wanted to receive bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion, and they wanted to have a more eas­ier way to access the ser­vices.  Patients felt that the way ser­vices were set up was com­pli­cated and con­fus­ing.  All three ser­vices faced unprece­dented demand as an increas­ing num­ber of patients need­ing the spe­cial­ist care that these ser­vices pro­vided. As a result of this, wait­ing times were high and patients weren’t being seen quick enough.

Clin­i­cians and Com­mis­sion­ers knew that they could not improve ser­vices with­out the involve­ment of patients and they set up three patient/clinician “copro­duc­tion” groups – for MSK (mus­cle and bone prob­lems), Oph­thal­mol­ogy (eye prob­lems) and der­ma­tol­ogy (skin prob­lems). The groups set out to reduce wait­ing  times, man­age demand, improve access to the ser­vices, and improve the expe­ri­ence and out­comes for patients.

Each of the ser­vices have been redesigned by patients and clin­i­cians work­ing together.  This week patients and clin­i­cians met to review progress of the improve­ments to the ser­vices and gave the improve­ments a thumbs up.   As a result of patient power, clin­i­cians and com­mis­sion­ers have ensured that ser­vices are now avail­able closer to people’s homes in their com­mu­ni­ties, a sin­gle point of access has been intro­duced to make it eas­ier to access the ser­vices, wait­ing times are begin­ning to reduce, and the ser­vices work with patients to sup­port self-care and shared deci­sion making.

Dr Mark Dziobon, Local GP and Sched­uled Care lead for East Lan­cashire CCG said: “These ses­sions are all about ensur­ing that patients and clin­i­cians have an ongo­ing dia­logue to help us shape ser­vices that are truly peo­ple cen­tred, high qual­ity and fit for pur­pose.  It is a priv­i­lege to be in a posi­tion to sup­port this impor­tant work and offer a clin­i­cal focus, whilst putting patients firmly in the dri­ving seat. Also, whilst we cel­e­brate the great suc­cess of the work to date, we are mind­ful that this is an on-going process and there is still a lot of work to be done”.

Jules Wall attended the MSK event and said: “I think the work­shop showed that all the NHS organ­i­sa­tions are lis­ten­ing to their patients and putting them at the cen­tre of the redesign of mus­cu­loskele­tal ser­vices across Pen­nine Lan­cashire.  They have made a sig­nif­i­cant change which will bring pos­i­tive out­comes for local peo­ple like myself who have long term chronic pain and inflammatory/arthritic con­di­tions.  I per­son­ally would like to thank the CCG for giv­ing me the oppor­tu­nity to be lis­tened to.”

Patient co-production of health ser­vices has proved suc­cess­ful for the CCGs, and East Lan­cashire CCG has now gone a step fur­ther to ask East Lan­cashire patients to join forces to improve other ser­vices by join­ing their Patient Part­ners scheme.  You can join by call­ing 01282 644627 or join­ing online:http://tinyurl.com/eastlancsccg-membership-form