Patients and Client Council Says Publics' Voice on Services Essential


The Patients and Clients Council (PCC) has said that Patients and Service Users must  have their say on health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

The PCC is an independent health body and is  working to bring about a comprehensive transparent  system for patients, service users, carers and family to enable them to have their say on health and social care services here in Northern Ireland.

The NHS Friends and Family Survey is an evaluation tool available used  in England which asks patients whether or not they would recommend inpatient wards and emergency department (ED) services based on their experiences. The first results from this survey were released today and make for interesting reading.dn_screen

Louise Skelly from the PCC said: “This report highlights both the importance of service user feedback, further underlined by the findings of the Francis report but furthermore the appetite for providing such information. It is vital that patients, service users, carers and families be given a system to feedback on services here in Northern Ireland.

“The Patient and Client Council have already made significant progress towards the implementation of a health and social care feedback system.  While it is always useful to learn from experience elsewhere, we think that the Friends and Family Test does not go far enough.  The scheme is too blunt an instrument to provide useful data in that it only asks one question and does not respond to the individual.”

“We have had discussions with key decision makers here in Northern Ireland.  We have also held focus groups across the region and people tell us they want such a system and will use it.  However, they tell us they want to be able to comment on the quality and experience of services and they want feedback on what happens as a result of their comments.  The system must be responsive and be as close to real time as possible,” added Louise Skelly.