Healthwatch Birmingham develops new Quality Standard
Healthwatch Birmingham, in partnership with NHS England West Midlands, has developed a Quality Standard for using patient and public insight, experience and involvement to reduce health inequality.
The Standard consists of a series of objectives which provide health and social care organisations with a description of “what good looks like” in bringing together two of their legislative duties – involving the public in decision-making and addressing health inequality.
The Quality Standard has been initially designed for use by leaders of organisations (those charged with governance) and commissioners (NHS staff who decide how services are delivered).
In August, representatives of 14 West Midlands Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) attended a briefing workshop about the Standard and have been asked to complete a self-assessment against the objectives. The results of this process will be used to upgrade the Standard when it is rolled out in the next 6 months.
Jo Alner, NHS England’s Locality Director for Herefordshire & Worcestershire, who facilitated the workshop, said “Working alongside Healthwatch Birmingham is proving invaluable in developing and testing the Quality Standard and defining what good looks like. Through a series of key challenge questions we are exploring how local CCGs in the West Midlands are using patient and public insight, experience and involvement to reduce health inequalities.”
Healthwatch Birmingham is now developing the Quality Standard so it can be used by provider and regulatory organisations. We are also planning to test these versions of the Standard with a Birmingham NHS provider trust and a local regulatory body. There are further plans to pilot the commissioning version with one of the city’s main commissioners.
Phil Morgan, Audit Officer at Healthwatch Birmingham, is leading on the Quality Standard: “Following this first round of using the Standard we will upgrade it and work with a growing number of health and social care organisations in Birmingham to encourage wider acceptance of the Standard.
“This should result in patients and the public increasingly at the heart of decision making, thereby improving the quality of decisions and, as a result, addressing health inequality in the city.”