NHS urges medics to work closer with patients

NHS staff should work closer with patients, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has suggested. By Jamie Stuttard

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

The ‘experience based design (ebd) approach’ is a new guide, designed by the Institute, which aims to understand patient needs and use this understanding to redesign services. The approach claims to move NHS staff from working to and for its patients, to working with patients.

The ebd approach encourages patients to share their stories while receiving care with the carer’s experience of delivering care.

Pilot schemes, led by the NHS Institute, were held across England to develop the guide. At each test site, more patient-focused services have been created as a result of patients and staff discussing their experiences. Improvements have also been reported in areas such as safety, waiting, dignity and patient information.

‘If NHS services are to improve, it’s essential that staff start thinking about how to meaningfully involve patients. The ebd approach is at its most powerful when applied to healthcare because people often feel more vulnerable when they need NHS services’, said Lynne Maher, head of Innovation Practice at the Institute.

Hugh McGrath, a patient from one of the test sites, said: ‘I’m grateful to the staff for involving patients and asking us how we feel about the service we receive. The staff used our feedback to make important improvements.’

The ebd approach can be applied to frontline and managerial staff, and is available free to all NHS staff.

Practical workshops are also being held across the country in Peterborough, London, York and Southampton.


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