For all of our patient and public contributors, we provide ongoing learning programmes to make sure they are making the fullest possible contribution to shaping future healthcare practice. This includes:
- Opportunities to meet with other public contributors from around the region
- Networking and information sharing events about involvement
- Evaluation of public involvement
View from a public contributor:
“I ‘formally’ retired six years ago, having worked at regional and national levels in healthcare for the last 15 years of my career; the last seven specifically in patient safety. However since then, I have spent four years as a part-time project manager for the Patients Association, a national charity that campaigns for improvements to health and social care services across the UK. The projects involved working with organisations across the South West to capture, understand and improve patient experience.
“I am a volunteer with Healthwatch South Gloucestershire and their ‘Enter and View’ lead, and also Chair of the Healthwatch Advisory Group. Since my retirement I’ve discovered what it means to be on the receiving end of healthcare and it has amazed me. I’ve had positive and negative experiences, and been the ‘victim’ of two patient safety incidents. Although I think I can be assertive and articulate and know my way around the ‘system’, my voice has often not been heard in the care process, or it is ignored, and I’ve been left feeling disempowered and disappointed. My work experience, my experience as a patient, and my belief that patients should be ‘co-producers’ of care, make me feel passionate about trying to improve patient experience and patient safety.”