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Leadership training for patients and local residents

Patient Leadership Course

Patient Leadership and Coaching Course

Background and context

On Thursday 8 November the CCG and Healthwatch CWL launched a pilot Patient Leadership and Coaching Course, targeting patients who were members of or wanted to join their Patient Participation Group (PPG). The need for the course was identified via two separate engagement work streams. The first was the need for support around PPG development in Hammersmith and Fulham (identified by Healthwatch CWL, local patients, PPG Chairs and some H&F Practice Managers). The second was the need to recruit more patient representatives to the CCG’s Patient Reference Group (which currently has more CVS representation than direct patient representation), and local patients’ feedback that they required training and support in order to be constructive members of the group. Patient training has also been identified by NHS England as a key strand in any successful approach towards patient and public engagement.

How does the course work?

The course model was loosely adapted from a longer NHS Leadership Academy for Effective Lay Partners, with the support of Professor Lis Paice and Healthwatch CWL. The final model for 8 November was coproduced with groups of patient representatives in July and August 2018. The model involves a combination of short presentations, interactive exercises, case study working, and patients working in groups of 5-8 with a certified coach to develop their skills in self-reflection, collaborative working, and constructive challenging.

Our expert panel on whom patients could practise their questioning techniques were James Cavanagh, Chad Hockey (H&F GP), Trish Longdon, Sue Shorvon (volunteer), Peter Hamm (Chair of Canberra Old Oak CCG), and Denise McDonnell (H&F Practice Manager).

Quotes and observations from the day

It was a real collaborative effort with nearly 30 patients attending and an abundance of positive and constructive energy. The event doubled as an opportunity to get a valuable range of views feeding into our primary and urgent care engagement piece. The coaching approach proved popular and effective, with attendees so galvanised by the experience that by the end of the day they were pledging to commit to developing their GP Practice's PPG, joining the CCG's PRG, and even asking for selfies with the presenters and coaches. One patient attendee remarked: “I had no idea what patient participation was, but if it is like this, I am in!” while another tweeted: “Brilliant training day, loads of positive comments and ideas.” Sue Shorvon, volunteer and speaker on the day, told us why she volunteers with the NHS and Healthwatch: "My time is my currency, and I use it in the best ways I can." Ben Westmancott, Director of Compliance, who attended as a coach on the day commented: "It was amazing! So many positive people and contributions, so much energy."

85% agreed that the course had improved their confidence, skills & knowledge as a PPG member, and would like to attend future courses.

90% said the course was ‘excellent’ & would recommend to other patients.

One of the experts by experience who helped us to design the course was nominated by the CCG as a “Health Hero” and as an inspirational woman in London. The Mayor’s Office is planning to publish her volunteering achievements via social media as a result.

Key messages of the course

1. NHS services frequently undergo redesign to meet and adapt to changing local needs and local and national circumstances.

2. When the NHS proposes change, there is both a legal duty and a need to work with local residents to define and bring about the changes.

3. The first step for many people could be getting involved with their GP Practice’s PPG.

4. The next step could be getting involved in decision making with other local NHS organisations, like Healthwatch and H&F CCG.

5. You as patients or carers have the power to work collaboratively with clinical staff and make positive change happen, ensuring that the way services are designed and delivered meet local needs.

Evaluation techniques

  • Measure against H&F GP practice baseline survey to see how the training impacts on PPG development (numbers of active PPGs, frequency of meetings, outcomes of meetings, numbers of people attending meetings)
  • Survey attendees to see what skills and confidence they have gained from the training
  • Assess impact of training on CCG’s Patient Reference Group membership and outcomes
  • Rollout of regular training achieved across North West London following this prototype if interest

You can read a presentation on our pilot leadership training course here.

You can read the slides for our Patient Leadership course here.

You can see how the event was advertised on our website here. We also advertised the event via our twitter account, flyers in GP practices and through face to face outreach work in the community.