Updates and Impact

What is the 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 Standards provide health and social care organisations with a framework for ensuring that patient and public involvement (PPI) is carried out to the highest standards.  Our Standards outline “what good PPI looks like” and are supported by a number of tools allowing organisations to benchmark their current patient engagement activity.

Find out more here.


How our Quality Standard is having impact

Healthwatch Birmingham has used our new Quality Standards benchmarking tools to review the PPI practice within the three merging Clinical Commissioning Groups.  Our findings report was submitted to the newly formed Birmingham and Solihull CCG in March 2018.

The report can be read here.

In order to ensure that recommendations presented were actioned, Healthwatch Birmingham met with the CCG to review progress.  We are pleased to report that the CCG has taken on board many of our recommendations and the following changes to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) practice have happened as a result of our review:

  • Consultation/survey outcomes and “You Said We Did” sections have been added to the CCG’s new website. This information will  provide patients and members of the public with feedback of how their views have influenced decisions made and encourage further participation
  • The CCG are relaunching their Primary Care Forum (service user engagement group) and are introducing processes to ensure that demographic information is collected from all new members. This data will be used to ensure that representatives participating in engagement activities accurately represent the Birmingham community.
  • The CCG has developed a new Communication and Engagement Strategy which recognises the need for sharing patient feedback across the whole organisation. Mandatory meetings will now take place between the Patient Experience and Complaints departments where all patient feedback data will be reviewed to identify trends and issues.
  • Going forward any consultation/engagement event will now routinely collect demographic information from those participating at an event.
  • The CCG is to increase the variety of engagement activities with the aim to collect a wider range of views and perspectives.  The CCG will increase their social media presence by working in partnership with “Solihull and Birmingham Updates”.
  • New working practices have been developed to ensure that patient feedback is collected in areas where the recruitment of Patient and Participation Group (PPG) members is difficult. The CCG will link with local community centres and will use their volunteers to collect feedback relating to services. This is a significant change and one which will ensure that more people have any opportunity to have their views heard.
  • The new CCG are hosting an event to launch their new organisation. A workshop aimed at PPG members will be offered and will provide tips around effective community engagement.  Supporting PPG members to improve their engagement skills will greatly improve the effectiveness and participation at future engagement meetings.
  • Reports from the Patient Experience and Complaints meetings will be presented to Primary Care Committee and Governing Body on a regular basis.

Healthwatch Birmingham has been working with UHB, using the Quality Standard Benchmarking tools to assess PPI activity.  An assessment has been carried out of all PPI activity and an action plan has been developed highlighting areas for improvement.  We have arranged to meet with the Patient Experience lead to review the implementation of the action plan.

In addition to working with the Patient Experience Lead there are discussions to potentially use the Quality Standards Benchmarking tool to assess PPI activity at Board level.

After piloting the new benchmarking tools with both Birmingham and Solihull CCG and UHB, Healthwatch Birmingham has developed an evaluation questionnaire which has been circulated to both organisations.  The feedback we have received is extremely encouraging.

Participants provided a rating of 4 (1 being low and 5 being high) to the question which asked how useful they thought the Quality Standards were as a benchmarking tool.  A score of 4 was also given to the question asking how effective the Quality Standards had been in supporting PPI improvement.

The above statements have been supported by the actions taken by the CCG in response to our review finding report.  The new benchmarking tools are levering tangible improvement in the way PPI is now being conducted within the CCG.

Over recent months we have worked closely with BSMHFT to promote our PPI Quality Standards and have recently been invited to work with them to review the Trust’s PPI processes.  This review will take a similar format to the CCG review where we will visit every directorate within the Trust to benchmark their PPI processes.

We will use our benchmarking tools to identify areas of good practice and support the Trust to develop an action plan outlining areas requiring improvement.

We have been working closely with the BCC with the view to introducing the Quality Standards within nursing and domiciliary care organisations.  We are planning to attend networking meetings/events to promote our Quality Standards within these organisations and aim to deliver information workshops in the early autumn.

This initiative will involve a great deal of partnership working with BCC, will aim to support them to fulfil their strategic objectives and will drive up the quality of care being delivered within Birmingham.

During the last quarter four organisations have adopted the Feedback Centre Widget and links are now present on all their websites.

Over the coming months we will be working hard to increase the number of widget adoptions and will be promoting the widget at our upcoming Quality Standards workshops.  As widget adoption is highlighted within our good practice benchmarking tool we feel confident that all nursing and domiciliary care organisations attending our workshop will sign up for our widget.