The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), with People in Health West of England, have developed an easy-to-use toolkit for health professionals on how to involve the public. It has been written with the busy, front line clinician in mind, but will be useful for in need of a beginner’s guide to understanding public involvement in the health sector.
As a result of legislation and policy in health and social care, involving the public (service users, their families, carers and citizens) is increasingly becoming the ‘way we do things’. There's also a drive towards co-production as a method of involvement. Many clinicians are unprepared for this and whilst there are several guides available, they are generally written with a very specific audience in mind, such as commissioners or researchers. There is little available for busy healthcare professionals who need a quick reference to use in their daily practice.
The interpretation of ‘involvement’ and co-production can vary between the different disciplines of health research, quality improvement, service provision and commissioning. These can be confusing for staff on the ground, who then may not be sure whether they are doing the ‘right’ thing. This toolkit aims to reassure and encourage the practical application of involvement and co-production.
The toolkit was written by Hildegard Dumper, West of England AHSN’s Patient & Public Involvement Manager, with input from public contributors, Chris Dunn, Joanna Parker, Sandra Tweddle, and Adele Webb, as well as staff from both People in Health West of England and the AHSN, and formatted by Nathalie Delaney in their Patient Safety team.Download the toolkit here.