Empowering Patients with better information

We started off with this theme in September 2013. At our team meeting in January 2014 we agreed that this idea is something that needs to run as a theme through each piece of work that we do, as opposed to being set up as a separate project. This is part of us leaning and thinking about how we can best influence and change the system. Our original idea is here:

Key issues

It’s of paramount importance that healthcare professionals have policies and procedures in place that protect themselves, their staff team and their patients, but how great does a patient’s awareness of these policies need to be?

When receiving care or treatment, it becomes very important that patients understand what the options are and feel able to ask for what they need. Unfortunately, people have reported that:

– Patients are not being made aware of policies and procedures that are relevant to them and their health needs

– Policies are being used to criticise the actions of patients

– Information about procedure and policy are being kept from certain patients

– GPs are not fully aware of their own policies and procedures

This shows that there has been a concerning lack of information available to patients accessing healthcare services (predominantly GP surgeries). Many of the websites for GP surgeries in Kirklees provide limited information around policy essentials, such as confidentiality and data protection, and some provide details of a Practice Charter, outlining their responsibilities to their patient, and a code of conduct for patients. There is very little detail included and it is rarely specific to that surgery.

Most surgeries also provide some information around opening times, contacts and public health promotions on their websites, but there is a lack of information about patient rights and alternative services available. Some surgeries do not provide a website at all.

If you would like to share your views about this, or have a story you’d like to tell us, get in touch with Helen Wright who is leading on this piece of work”