Healthwatch East Sussex calls on citizens to take up leadership roles in the NHS

January 19, 2017

Making sure services in health and social care improve at pace and are patient focused is so complex that no single body or group can solve them alone, according to the consumer champion Healthwatch East Sussex. It is calling on local citizens who care about the NHS to take up crucial roles that support improving safety and care across health and social care.

In partnership with the local NHS body responsible for spreading innovation and best practice – Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) and the national Centre for Patient Leadership, Healthwatch East Sussex (HWES) is currently recruiting six Patient Leaders for a pioneering new programme that seeks to increase the adoption and spread of best practice and innovation.

The volunteer Patient Leaders will work with leaders in the local NHS system to provide a patient perspective on some of the most challenging issues and developments facing the service since its creation.

Elizabeth Mackie Project Manager at Healthwatch East Sussex said:

“Health and social care services are changing and we are delighted to be at the forefront of an important aspect of that change… the way in which services relate to people. This type of change represents an important step on a long journey towards patients and people viewed as partners and experts in their own care.”

Elizabeth added that “people who use services will of course often need the expertise of clinical staff and others, but the nature of health conditions now means that good health and wellbeing is increasingly about working in partnership with professionals.”

Pauline Smith, Senior Improvement Manager at KSS AHSN said:

“The focus of this project is to bring an external perspective to the work we do, supporting organisations across Kent Surrey and Sussex to improve care.  I am confident that these leaders will bring us a different perspective, ask questions and offer views that will steer our work and improve outcomes for patients and service improvement.”

The Patient Leaders will be working on areas such as reducing medication errors, making sure patients are safely discharged home or to their next care provider and how Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury can be detected early and treated effectively. They will be applying their perspective as a patient or Carer to important discussions about how to improve services, acting as a sounding board and critical friend.

Participants are going to be supported in their roles through a learning and development programme run by the Centre for Patient Leadership. The time commitment will vary but will be a mixture of days and mornings/afternoons over nine weekdays in the next 12 months, commencing on the 10th March, with other dates to be agreed.

It is hoped that this pioneering programme could set a new standard and expectation about how the expertise of local people can be brought to bear across the NHS, and beyond, to accelerate progress towards treating people as partners.

For an informal conversation, more information or an application pack people can contact Elizabeth Mackie at Healthwatch East Sussex using the following methods:

Telephone: 0333 101 4007 (local rate)

Mobile: 0779 097 719;

or email:

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