Empowering patient voice through training and development
Since it was first established, Newham CCG has delivered training to empower patients to become effective patient representatives. Patient representatives who volunteer to get involved in service redesign groups or procurements are all offered bespoke inductions and training. We also offer Patient Representatives reward and recognition as per our Reward and Recognition Policy that we developed in partnership with the London Borough of Newham in 2013.
Inductions are led by the commissioners leading the commissioning activity in partnership with the patient and public engagement team. You can see an example of what an induction might look like by having a look at the support we offered for the Patient Representatives involved in the Urgent Treatment Centre Procurement here.
We have also delivered training to support patients to be effective patient representatives, which involved several sessions covering the NHS context, the role of clinical commissioning groups and the role of patients in decision making. You can view examples of the training we undertook in respect of commissioning and procurement (also available in the downloads section on the right hand side of this page)
We have a legal duty to ensure patients are equal partners in the procurement process, which is why we also have patient representative evaluators on the procurement team working together with commissioners. Our procurement team deliver bespoke training on all stages of the procurement stages including how to use the procurement e-portal ProContract. You can view an example of the training slides here.
Case studies - reducing health inequalities through training and development
We also believe training and development can be central to reducing health inequalities which is why we listen to the needs of our most vulnerable communities, and based on what they tell us we develop bespoke training interventions that meet their needs across all the protected characteristics – community by community.
You can see some of the good work we have done in partnership with the voluntary sector and our commissioning colleagues in the case studies below.
Empowering Carers Training Project
The project aimed to set up a multi-agency training and development initiative in partnership with Newham Carers Network to develop a training programme for carers. Responding to feedback from carers, the project focused on improving access to primary care services as well as supporting carers to live well with diabetes.
A community engagement outreach plan led by Newham Carers Network was established early on in the project timeline to build relationships with carers, as well as to gain insight into what support carers may need to attend a session. 904 community contacts were made with grassroots community groups supporting carers locally.
At the heart of this project was an aim to reduce health inequality through education. We know when groups across the protected characteristics are unable to access services then the health system is inequitable. The demographic data collected at the learning sessions indicates participants are representative of the communities we serve. You can read the report here or in the downloads section on the right.
Following the sessions carers told us they felt more empowered:
- Just over 53% of carers said they will actively take steps to self manage by asking their GP for a care plan, while some said they will “check my blood sugar once a day” or “buy suitable shoes for my brother.”
- 23% of carers said they will take action to navigate diabetes services with confidence. As well as saying they would “get a foot health check for my husband”, some said they would “call up the GP to arrange referrals for foot and eye clinic” or “check all medication to find out more about what she is taking”.
- 33% of carers showed more confidence in navigating primary care services. Pledges included “I will register as a carer at my surgery”, “speak to pharmacists first before booking a GP appointment.” While some said they will “educate my church group about extended hours’ service”.
For the session, we also co-produced a GP guide for carers which you can download here.
A community engagement session was hosted by Subco, a long standing community group supporting South Asian elders (see photo above from the session). Palak told us, ““The workshops have been very useful to understand the difficulties of a carer and the barriers they face while accessing GP services. I will ensure carers needs are taken into account when commissioning new services or making a change to an existing service.”
Raising awareness of the barriers the Roma community face in accessing NHS primary care services
Based on feedback from service users from the Roma community, the Roma Support Group delivered 12 Roma cultural awareness sessions for GP practices in Newham.
Sessions lasted between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours, and topics covered in the sessions included an overview of the discrimination faced by Roma communities, barriers they face in accessing health services and practical tips for successful engagement with Roma patients. Training session outcomes included:
- Training session attendees reported substantial gains in knowledge of Roma culture and health experiences, with 85% stating that the training had increased their awareness of the Roma community.
- 86% of attendees further stated that the training made them feel better prepared to apply their knowledge of Roma culture in their day-to-day work.
- Open-ended feedback also reflected positive impressions of the sessions, with some key reflections on increased confidence and changes to practice including:
Practice staff told us:
“This [training] has changed my perception and boosted my confidence to work effectively with this community”
“I intend to feedback to my team to create more awareness about cultural aspects and barriers among Roma community”