We have been operating our programme of National Projects since 2012 following a pilot in the South West in 2010. Since then we have worked on over 90 projects with NHS Trusts and other organisations in improvement projects using a “co-production” approach by involving patients and family/ carers as equal partners to ensure the patient voice is heard. Using a wide range of methods including patient and staff surveys, focus groups, observations, mystery shopper and community reporting (using film to capture stories of people’s experiences and highlight what is important to them). Much of our work involves working with patients’ relatives and carers and staff to influence improvements.
Our pool of expertise has grown from a handful of employed staff in 2010 to more than 25 freelance project managers today and our recruitment programme is continuing. Project managers have high levels of skills and expertise and come from a range of professional backgrounds including executive directors, specialist clinicians, academics, researchers, educators, trainers and those with specialist project management expertise but all with personal experience of being a patient and/or carer. Our project managers are passionate about improving patient care and involving patients in achieving this goal.
In order to fund some of our project work we offer Organisational membership to NHS trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other organisations. The benefits include regular contact with a local project manager to develop a project proposal with agreed outcomes and timescales. Every project includes a comprehensive report including recommendations at the completion of the project. Ongoing support is available for implementation of recommendations and further actions if this is required.
Our expectations for projects that we undertake are that they lead to improvements for patients, that the project is replicable and sustainable and leaves a legacy for the benefit of others.
Patients Association Volunteer Ambassadors are vital in helping make our projects happen. Our Ambassadors provide invaluable support to our projects in a number of ways including talking to patients and family/ carers to gather feedback. Some Ambassadors are trained community reporters and many of them promote the work of the Patients Association in their communities.
To find out more about our Project work, or how to get involved, please follow this link.