Notes from the Citizens' Panel meetings

March 2018

In March, the panel discussed the presentation for the forthcoming public meeting on the Hospital Services Review at The Source, Meadowhall. They gave comments on the content and asked that there was more background detail available to enable members of the public to give their feedback. They asked for more information on:

  • The current workforce and where they were located
  • What workforce numbers needed to be
  • The current and future costs of running the services 
  • Future parking provision and the costs of travel
  • Safe and best working practices for the services

They made comments on:

  • The importance of involving ambulance services and public transport planners and providers in the work
  • The need for clarity around options (as they are developed)
  • The need to consider access and public transport 
  • The importance of helping the public understand how to get the best from their services
  • The need to make South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw an attractive place to work

The Panel also discussed the Equality Impact Assessment for hyper acute stroke services. They noted that the proposal in the consultation had only one option and suggested that future proposals include multiple options. They were pleased to learn that clinicians had been involved in developing the proposal.

They made comments on:

  • The impact on people from minority backgrounds who might find it difficult to travel further to see relatives
  • The impact on people on who have low incomes and those with mental health issues, as well as their carers and family members
  • The impact on ambulance services and the need for more bariatric ambulances

May 2018

In May the Panel met to consider:

  • The latest hospital services review presentation
  • Orthopaedics and the work looking at variances in follow up appointments for people who have had hip and knee replacements
  • Lower bowel testing and work looking at the least invasive testing possible
  • The latest hospital services review survey

In the hospital services review presentation item, the Panel commented on:

  • How an overstretched workforce was measured
  • The challenge of shortage of money and representing this in the presentation
  • It would benefit from a statement to say this was just one area of work being looked at
  • There was too much detail and too many acronyms in the presentation - it needed to be in plain English
  • The need for more clarity on accountability
  • The presentation was too long and needed to be shorter
  • The need for more clarity on what a hosted network was
  • Using infographics to help explain statistics

In the orthopaedics item, the Panel received a presentation on work just getting underway to look at the difference in follow-up appointments for people who have had a hip or knee replacement: The Panel was keen to be involved and as well as agreeing for the trial to be a regular item for discussion, one of the members volunteered to attend meetings of the trial work.

In the lower bowel testing discussion, the Panel heard about proposals for a process that would mean patients receive the least invastive tests possible. They were asked to comment on how best to involve patients views in the design.

In the survey discussion, the Panel asked for consistency in some definitions.

June 2018

In June, the Panel met to consider:

  • The Yorkshire and Humber111 service re-procurement
  • A campaign to raise awareness of low cost medications

They heard updates from members on:

  • Patient and public voice training
  • A review of engagement events being attended by Panel members

In the 111 service item, they heard about the process underway to reprocure this service across Yorkshire and the Humber.  The Panel were asked to comment on the questions in the document which asked potential suppliers to participate in dialogue (a technical term which means enter into discussions about providing the service). The Panel fed back:

  • The need to consider staff handling times and the economics of making it work
  • The importance of staff understanding the geography of the region and helping people to do self-support
  • The need to consider media, messaging and the cost of calls
  • Accessibility to reliable interpreters
  • Assessing anxiety-reduction trainiing
  • The importance of the interface with the ambulance service
  • The need to respond to any future changes to services
  • The need to gather user feedback and how this would be done
  • A suggestion to give a scripted example of someone accessing the service, ensuring this was done across diverse groups (like a mystery shopper)
  • The importance of handling agitated and upset callers 
  • The need to ensure the provision of a quality service for non-English speakers

The Panel put forward two members to continue to participate in the procurement process.

On the item about a campaign to raise awareness of the cost of medications, the Panel heard that following a national consultation, patients would be asked to pay for low-cost prescription medicine available over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets to reduce the cost of cheap generic medication being prescribed on the NHS - for example, Paracetemol.

The ICS is developing a campaign to support this and is currently gathering insight into the barriers that people face to understanding the issue.

The Panel was asked to generate ideas for thoughts on who best to engage with in this insight phase and for their views on how to target and change behaviours.

They suggested:

  • Presence at community groups to engage people
  • Conversation with pharmacists - training pharmacists to support the work
  • Ensure the information is on websites 
  • Family hubs 
  • Job centres
  • Patient participation groups 
  • Social media

In relation to effective messaging, they suggested:

  • Talking about how the savings could be spent
  • Consistency in the message of which drugs
  • Using the TV screens in GP surgeries
  • Public transport advertising
  • Patients having the medication written down for when they go to the supermarket or pharmacy
  • Working with local communities at sessions and events
  • Consideration for people with learning disabilities, English as a second language and those on low incomes

For the update from members regarding their attendance at the training event, they reported the quailty of the training was good though it would have benefitted from more examples of where the patient and public voice has been used to good effect.

In the review of members' attendance at engagement events they reported:

  • The supporting materials were helpful
  • Leaving time for questions was important
  • Lots of questions and discussions around mental health provision and maternity and what it means for local people
  • Lots of questions about the training of staff
  • Questions about the need to travel to hospital
  • Relief that general hospitals are not going to be reviewed for closure
  • Support for the Citizens' Panel and its work
  • The presentation on the hospital services review was well received, with fair challenges

The Panel discussed how they could get involved in more conversations with local people, exploring the possibility of GP surgeries and hospitals. They also asked for a list of where conversations have already taken place, to help raise awareness with their local communities.​

July 2018

In July, the Panel met and discussed: 

  • The re-procurement of the integrated urgent care service across Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Work to review FIT testing within the lower gastro-intestinal pathway
  • The introduction of a Transport and Travel Group for SYB

In relation to the re-procurement of the integrated urgent care service:

The panel discussed how their feedback so far had been integrated into the engagement section of the tendering process and their overall weight in decision-making. At least one member of the panel confirmed they were able to take part in the dialogue discussions around the tender submissions and the group were informed they would recieve the tender submissions in time to input their scores at the next meeting of the Panel (9 August). 

Panel members asked questions about whether a helpline for people to discuss non-urgent issues was still available and how signposting to the service and also local support groups could be improved.

There was also a discussion about the merit of social prescribing and whether the new service could refer to local social prescribing support as well as GPs. It was noted that this should be taken as an action to scope in the next stage of 111 procurement. 

In relation to the lower gastro-intestinal pathway:

Members of the South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance attended the discussion to ask for Panel members' views on the updated pathway and how as patients they would like to collect the FIT test and be kept updated. The group were also asked whether they, as a group or as individuals, would like to be involved in the implementation group from September onwards. Written feedback was also given by the Panel to the Cancer Alliance team. 

In relation to the Transport and Travel Group:

The proposal to introduce a Transport and Travel Group, to run alongside the Citizens' Panel, was introduced to the group with the suggestion that a member of the Panel joins the new group, acting as a liaison between the two groups as well as the Transport and Travel clinical forum. The Panel were asked for their views on the proposal and for advice on recruiting patients and members of the public to the group. 

Questions were raised around: 

  • The remit of the group and where it fit within the ICS workstreams (and review of hospital services)
  • The frequency of the meetings
  • How the group would challenge assumptions of realistic travel timeframes in regards to public transport
  • What demographics need to be considered and how would these people be recruited to make sure the group is representative 
  • Will routing options be tested - eg, to note challenges with peak transport times, parking and public transport connections
  • Where the meetings of the group would be held as this could pose travel problems itself

Further items proposed by the Panel to consider when setting up the group included: 

·         Target dial-a-ride - people who volunteer to take people to hospital. 

·         Talk to people with ideas rather than objections.  

·         Should parking be a guiding factor as to where specific services are based (if services are being reduced in some hospitals).

·         Mix of people - villages and towns 

·         Ensure we take account of how people travel to appointments 

·         Frequency of travel (regular or one-off)

·         Volunteer driver support (Retford Drivers, Sheffield Community Transport etc.)

·         Rural villages need a say  

·         Drivers and non-drivers 

·         Deprived areas - people with less money to travel 

·         Disability Awareness - physical and learning needs 

·         Transport enthusiasts 

·         Someone from Passenger transport authority.

·         Planning for future transport projects (e.g. train-tram)

·         Recruiting - jobless in furthest possible place 

·         People local to hospital – impacted by increased traffic.

August 2018

In August, the Panel met and discussed:

·         The latest developments in the review of hospital services

·         The planned launch of the partnership as an Integrated Care System

In relation to the review of hospital services:

The Panel discussed how the report had been published earlier in the summer and ways in which we could find new ways for more people to read and understand the recommendations. They received an update on the activity being carried out by the communications and engagement team to publicise the review and subsequent report and how the process itself is expected to be ongoing until 2020. The Panel asked whether this meant their tenure would be extended given they originally made a two year commitment.

In relation to the planned launch of the Integrated Care System:

The Panel received an update on how, up until this point the ICS has been operating in ‘shadow’ form and will formally launch in October. It was noted that the ICS still won’t be a statutory organisation but will continue to be a partnership of all health and care organisations with some of the region’s chief executives and accountable officers taking the lead on particular workstreams.

The proposal for an external bulletin about the work of the ICS was discussed, including how the Citizens’ Panel could be involved to help shape the content so their work and input is more visible

September 2018

In September, the Citizens’ Panel met to discuss:

·         The ICS campaign with Standout Media “569 million reasons”

·         Names for the newly launching ICS public bulletin

·         An update on the work of the hospital services review

·         Recruitment to the Transport and Travel Group

In relation to the 569 million reasons campaign:

Members of the Panel received an update of the campaign from campaign partner, Standout Media, including receiving an overview of how their feedback and suggestions had so far been incorporated into the draft survey. Panel members asked questions around how the campaign will be promoted, including:

·         The limitations of social media in reaching all target audiences and how this will be addressed

·         How GPs will be involved and are there any messages they can already start giving to patients

·         How Parish Councils might be able to help

·         Ideas for attending flu and other drop-in clinics to gather feedback

 In relation to the naming of the new public bulletin:

The Panel discussed their name suggestions so far and ideas for wider content – eg, could the Panel members have a monthly feature?

In relation to the work of the hospital services review:

Panel members asked whether there was any update on the next stages of the work and how they, and members of the public, would be involved in next steps. A discussion was had around the next stages in the modelling of potential options and looking at the impact of them in terms of access and transport. It was confirmed to the group that work was ongoing and the recommendations of the report were still being discussed by partners before next steps were agreed.

In relation to the Transport and Travel Group:

The Panel heard that recruitment to the Transport and Travel Group had begun and is being supported by Co:Create. The Panel heard that the group will have 10 members, with two from each area; a driver and a non-driver. It was confirmed that the meetings will be bi-monthly and will include transport company input.

Panel members asked questions around:

·         How the public group and the clinical group would feed in to each other

·         Whether rail companies would be engaged

October 2018

In October, the Panel met and discussed two key areas of work:

·         The South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance

·         The mental health workstream of the ICS

In relation to the Cancer Alliance:

The communications and engagement lead for the Cancer Alliance attended the meeting to provide an introduction to and overview of the partnership. The group heard about the Alliance’s work to support the meeting of national cancer waiting time targets, the importance of raising awareness of signs and symptoms and patient choice around treatment options.

Panel members asked questions about:

·         The equity of specialist services across the region

·         The equity of diagnosis across the region and whether this varied amongst demographics

·         The input clinicians have in making a difference to waiting times

·         Whether more cancer nurse specialists could be based within primary care to support demand

·         Whether people with learning disabilities had been taken into account as a target audience in any awareness raising campaigns

In relation to the mental health workstream:

A member of the mental health workstream attended the meeting and talked the Panel through the ICS’ priority areas for mental health:

1)      Stopping out of area placements (including complex dementia)

2)      Perinatal Mental Health (pregnancy up to 1 year after birth/including partners) 

3)      Children and Young People crisis pathways – care closer to home

4)      Autism/ADHD – currently there are enormous waiting lists and few support service

5)      Employment – People with MH conditions/ Musculoskeletal conditions (MSK) and help people to stay in work

6)      Suicide prevention – SYB has received £555,000 in funding as we have one of the highest suicide rates in the country

Members of the Panel asked questions around:

·         Risk factors that increase the risk of suicide, eg deprivation, drug and alcohol addictions

·         Whether the work was achievable within resource requirements

·         The scale of mental health outreach and what more could be done

·         Work within schools to raise awareness of mental health conditions and support available

January 2019

In January 2019, the Citizens’ Panel met and discussed:

  • An update on the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYB ICS)
  • Shaping the Social Prescribing offer for SYB
  • Involving patients and the public in the next phase of the hyper acute stroke services work

In relation to the update on SYB ICS update

The ICS Associate Director (AD) of Communications and Engagement attended the session and thanked the Panel for their ongoing support and input throughout the first year.

Members were introduced to the Long Term Plan, which is a continuation of the Five Year Forward View. The AD explained that there is now an opportunity for the public and partners to give their feedback on the themes in the Plan in relation to SYB and that the ICS would formulate a local response to the Long Term Plan. Members heard that this would be done by getting the conversation right, looking at what conversations have already been had with people locally and then making sure we reached out to all communities. The Panel was asked to support local conversations where possible.  . 

Questions were raised around:

  • Funding to support the Long Term Plan
  • The importance of working with Healthwatch

In relation to shaping the SYB social prescribing offer:

Members heard from the ICS Prevention Programme Manager who explained how social prescribing is a way of linking patients and people accessing care with local non-medical sources of support. It recognises the importance of psychological, social, environmental and economic factors in health and wellbeing and health inequalities.  It can happen alongside or instead of a medicalised approach.

It is an ICS priority as is the expansion of the service offer across SYB to increase access for a wider range of residents. The ICS is reviewing the approach to working collaboratively with partners and will develop a five year discussion document and call to action. This is an opportunity for people and partners to help contribute and shape the social prescribing offer. 

The Panel was invited to be involved in the development of the work and if there were specific or other areas that should be explored as part of the strategy.

Questions and comments were raised around:

  • This was one way people could take control of their own health
  • The issue of rural areas and transport/access - making it difficult for people to maintain/offer a set period of support particularly for those with poor mobility.
  • Rotherham has been a flagship for social prescribing but funding is an issue to sustain these sources of support.

In relation to involving patients and the public in the next phase of the hyper acute stroke services work

The Panel received an update on the work so far to transform the way hyper acute stroke services were provided across SYB. At a previous Panel meeting, members had raised the importance of the needs of patients with mental health conditions and asked that this was considered as part of the work to implement the changes. At the session today, they learned that as a result the patient flow policy had been updated. 

The Panel was asked for their views on the next phase of the engagement and how best to involve and inform patients and their families.

The Panel fed back that they felt much had been done in the earlier stages of work but after discussions shared the following suggestions:

  • Think about provision for carers/family members
  • Work with the voluntary sector to communicate this work and where they could support people out of area.
  • Awareness raising with First Responders
  • Patient information was a common theme – materials to be passed on in the back of an Ambulance
  • Raise public awareness about it and promote the benefits not just the cost benefits
  • Clarify expectations for the family members
  • Build on the FAST campaign
  • Work alongside agencies such as stroke association/those supporting carers
  • Clear lines of communication to ensure that a patient is moved back to their local hospital and their family are kept fully informed

February 2019

In February 2019, the Citizens’ Panel met and discussed:

  • The QUIT Programme; Tackling Tobacco in Hospital Settings
  • An update on the Hospital Services Review
  • Joint working approach – thoughts on the partnership working for Bassetlaw straddled by two ICS

In relation to the QUIT programme

Members were joined by the ICS QUIT programme lead and learned about the QUIT programme and the ICSs three prevention priorities.

  • Embedding the treatment of tobacco dependence in secondary care
  • Identification and management of clinical risk factors for Cardio Vascular Disease
  • Expansion of social prescribing

Smoking remains the biggest public health threat. The QUIT programme is an evidenced based approach to targeting active smokers in hospital settings. It is an opportunity to change the culture of smoking in hospital settings as it treats smoking as any other long term condition such as blood pressure. It also seeks to give professional/clinical staff the confidence and competence to support smokers and be the best role models. The aim of the programme is to make hospital grounds fully smoke free, ask people their smoking status upon booking in and providing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) within six hours. Consistency in this approach is imperative. 

Hospitals have a unique opportunity and provide a ‘teachable’ moment where smokers can be supported with a new approach.  

Members asked questions on:

•                     The likelihood of making a hospital a smoke free zone, given it is often a stressful time for people

•                     The impact on patients with mental health difficulties

•                     The medicalisation of smoking

•                     Extending the focus in the future to children as well as adults

In relation to the hospital services review update

A discussion was held on the latest progress in the Hospital Services Programme, specifically the current developments around Hosted Networks, including hosting arrangements, form of the networks and resourcing them. Members also discussed clinical models.

Each of the Acute Trusts in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw has agreed to be the ‘host’ to lead a network for one of the five services covered in the Hospital Services Review (HSR). A recent press release can be found on the ICS website

Members asked questions on:

•                     The criteria for selecting the hosted networks

•                     Research into the way of working

•                     Engagement with staff

•                     Public engagement

In relation to joint working across Bassetlaw

There is a need to involve the public in the Long Term Plan in order to develop the ICS five year plan and plans are underway to ensure the people across SYB have the opportunity. Bassetlaw sits within both the SYB ICS and also Nottinghamshire ICS. The Panel were asked for their views on how best to have the conversations with people in the area, given both ICSs are carrying out engagement.

The Panel discussed how best to approach so the feedback is consistent and ensure that the work of Healthwatch and local partners makes sense to the public. This included making the narrative clear for local people and for the evaluation of the feedback to be shared across both ICSs.

March 2019

In March 2019, the Citizens’ Panel met and discussed:

•                     Healthwatch and their approach to engagement on the Long Term Plan

•                     Feedback from Panel members on the Kings Fund event

•                     Pathology services briefing

•                     Equality  Impact Assessments and involvement

In relation to Healthwatch and engagement on the Long Term Plan

Members heard from Healthwatch Doncaster, which is leading on the co-ordination of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) for Healthwatch organisations in SYB. Each Healthwatch has been asked to complete a minimum of 250 surveys and two focus groups. 

In terms of engagement activity from SYB ICS partners, there are a number of opportunities including focus groups, online surveys and regional wide engagement events between now until July. The approach will also include two events to be held at the Source on the 6th June that will run in the morning and evening, providing an opportunity for working people/different groups to engage in the SY conversation. Panel members were asked to support the conversations and raise awareness of the survey.

Questions from the panel included:

•                     Alignment with the Hospital Services Review

•                     Important to ensure local plans and regional plans were aligned

In relation to feedback from Panel members on the Kings Fund event

Three panel members had attended a recent King’s Fund event in Leeds. The event was designed for anyone working in the NHS, public, private, academic and third sector to gain a greater understanding of how the health and care system currently works and how it is changing.

In relation to Pathology services

Members read a paper about the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Pathology Transformation Programme.

In 2017, NHS Improvement (NHSI) published requirements to change pathology services across the country so that we can all better manage the work, better plan for the future and make the service as high quality and responsive as possible.

It was agreed there wouldn’t be any impact on patients across SYB in the foreseeable future. Future updates will be shared with members when timely and appropriate.  

In relation to feedback on equality impact assessments and involvement

Members were asked for feedback on the ICS internal approach to equality impact assessments and involvement for programmes and projects.