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Patient Experience event puts the service user first

The Patient Experience team at Health Innovation Network hosted a well-attended event at the Robens Suite, at the top of Guy’s Tower. There was a specific focus on involving those groups and individuals who tend to get left out of participation and co-design activities – ‘the voices less heard’.



Peter Beresford Co-Chair of Shaping our Lives, a national network of service users, presented the findings from the report ‘Beyond The Usual Suspects’. This user controlled project explored why certain groups of ‘seldom-heard’ service users experience barriers to involvement and how these barriers can be overcome.

In order to encourage creative thinking, our resident poet Philip Wells used poetry to sum up his observations of the day. He also inspired a group of budding poets to create their own work which they shared with the room.

The event was attended by over 70 people and drew in a mixed group of delegates all with an interest in improving patient experience and involving people in service design and transformation. Delegates included representatives from a number of Healthwatch organisations, charities, acute hospitals, mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, councils, patient participation groups, academic researchers and patient/service user representatives.

Service user representatives including ex-offenders, homeless people, those with sensory impairment and people with mental health problems, shared their experience of their involvment in engagement activities and what this has meant to them.

Healthwatch Wandsworth presented some of the work they have been with children and young people and Healthwatch Lambeth performed a role play with some of their ‘Right for Everyone’ visitors who have been visiting local GP surgeries to ask receptionists to improve accessibility of primary care for people with learning disabilities.

Quote from one of the delegates: ” Poetry encouraged a thought provoking mind-set” and “what a great event – really inspiring”.

Click here to read the Peter Beresford report, Beyond the Usual Suspects 

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