Improving the quality of patient and public involvement undertaken by providers and commissioners of health and social care is a key aim of our PPI Quality Standard. We often use the principles of the standard to comment on PPI when providers and commissioners engage with the public.
Service users should see an improvement in how BCHT engages them in various decisions, in how participation reflects the Trusts population and how involvement is used to identify the needs of different groups.
In our comments to the review of the Trust’s patient and engagement strategy we asked the Trust to include the following in the final strategy:
- An objectives that is explicit about their duty to address equality and health inequalities. Thus, suggested that the engagement strategy would be strengthened if one of its objectives is ‘to use patient and public insight, experience and involvement to identify, understand and address the potential consequences of service improvement, design and development on health inequalities and barriers to improvements in health outcomes (including increasing independence and preventing worsening ill-health)’. This would enable the Trust to meet its two public sector legislative duties:
- Engage/involve the public and patients; and
- Reduce health inequality and improve health outcomes
The Trust has used our comments to further develop the strategy and BCHT sought to hold discussions with our CEO to further discuss our input into the strategy. This has also improved our working relationship with the Trust such that we have arranged engagement events across the Trust (post Covid-19) thus improving opportunities for service users to share their experiences and views.