We recognise that our principle function in the LETB is to develop a high quality, safe and sustainable healthcare workforce, with the education, skills and behaviours to deliver the care that people living in the East Midlands require.
It is our learners that are working directly with patients and we want to make sure they also have a strong voice in raising quality in the healthcare system.
Why is this important to the HEEM?The involvement of patients, family carers and users of health services has been identified in the Francis Inquiry Reports, Berwick Reports and other recent publications as central to developing and assuring quality and safety in healthcare. This will also be a key enabler of the transformational shift to a truly compassionate and patient-centred healthcare system, where greater power and control is put into the hands of individuals using services.
Proposed education interventionWe have been working with a small group of patients, carers and staff to develop our approach in the LETB to patient and public involvement, identify strengths in our current ways of working and areas where further development is needed.
This is called the Putting People First Strategy and will help to ensure that everyone working for and on behalf of the LETB understands their role and accountability to put patients first and foremost. This strategy will be continuously improved, building on our experience and further discussions with patients, learners and staff.
Benefits to patients and serviceExamples of the ways that the patients and the public are already contributing to our work are:
• Providing feedback to help us understand how our workforce, education and training services are affecting the outcomes and experience of people living in the East Midlands
• Participating in quality management and assurance processes, including visiting healthcare providers where our learners are working, joining our Quality Scrutiny Boards to enable continuous improvement to the training we provide to people working in healthcare
• Contributing to the assessment of medical practitioners through the ARCP processes
• Working within our universities in the design and delivery of education and assessment of students, bringing expertise through lived experience and telling their stories as a learning resource
• Providing diverse and independent views to raise our insight
Productivity and impactOur approach to working in partnership with lay members in the systematic monitoring, evaluation and scrutiny of education quality for doctors was recognised by the GMC in 2012 as an example of good practice.
We have begun discussions about how we can build on this by working with our partner healthcare organisations in the East Midlands to create a shared approach to patient and public involvement.
This will be advantageous to patients and communities by giving greater visibility and making voices more audible. It will also make sure that we share the intelligence we gather so that it can be impactful across organisations.