An insight into Insight

Written by Sarah Flower on .

In last week’s blog we told you about the fantastic award the Insight team picked up at the Patient Experience Network National Awards. This week, Katie Adams our Insight Analyst gives us a closer look at the Insight database.

I joined the NHS because I want to make a difference to patient care by using my research and analysis skills to formulate data to explain patient experiences. The Insight system allows me to do just this and I really believe that it benefits patients by capturing real-time information which can be used to identify where improvements to services need to be made.

Diversity - exciting or daunting?

Written by Christine De Souza on .

I get quite excited whenever a client initiates a discussion, or shows a genuine interest in wanting to engage with communities whom we seldom hear from. Last week was one of those days.

A practice located in the diverse suburbs of Birmingham was keen to explore ways to hear the priorities of the patients who use their service, "we would like to facilitate ongoing discussions in these diverse groups, so we can truly understand what their needs are ," said the Practice Manager.

We try all sorts of ways to encourage people to attend public engagement events, fill in consultation surveys, join patient groups or just be involved in having a say on local health services. And people attend. Surveys get filled in, and there are PPGs and patient groups with strong memberships. But chances are, the demographic profiling of each would show us the same groups of engaged people.

In the case of this GP practice in Birmingham, service users also included newly arrived migrants, and a high concentration of Somali and Romany communities. We are aware that English may not be their first language, and being perceived as a figure of authority may not necessarily work in our attempt to start conversations.

We want to reach out to these groups, understand what's important to them and empower them to feel included in shaping local health decisions.

So our plan is to start with those who are familiar to these groups, supporting them to take the first step towards engaging with these communities. The practice's healthcare assistants are local to the communities, so they speak the languages which will help facilitate communication and break down barriers. They are also keen to be involved in recruiting and supporting a regular patient community group, and trained in areas such as meeting facilitation and minute taking.

It's rare that synergies like this happen, and capturing voices of those seldom heard is high on everyone's agenda. I can already tell that the team are looking forward to seeing how they can develop this, and will likely discuss learnings and successes with the same enthusiasm of a football fan after a match.


Innovative engagement

Written by Amy Egan on .

Thinking of innovative ways to engage with a wider audience other than the usual events and public meetings? Face-to-face engagement can be costly and often a struggle for people to get to owing to location, timing and parking. Engagement leads at Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have told us they are faced with similar challenges whilst having limited time, money and resources – they need innovative, cost-effective mechanisms to engage with their local population.

How engaging are you?

Written by Preetpal Channa on .

Have you noticed how public bodies like the NHS and local authorities seem to be consulting everybody about everything lately? What has led to the desire to ask people for their opinion? Is anyone genuinely listening or is this all just part of a tick-box exercise? With the advent of social media there has been a huge shift in how people want to be engaged, a new expectation of feedback at any time, any place and furthermore in the public domain.


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