Taking account of the patient and lay person’s view is an integral part of the Academy’s day to day work and is fundamental to helping us achieve our over-arching ambition which is to improve the quality of care. Only by connecting real-world patient experience to the way doctors are educated, trained or conduct medical practice can we improve the service patients receive across the whole of the UK. For this reason, the Academy ensures that patient or lay members are involved as much as possible in its workstreams and projects, as well as having the Academy Patient and Lay Committee (APLC) to work alongside the Academy on its priorities. The APLC also sets its own programme of work highlighting issues on healthcare where greater patient and lay perspective is needed.
The committee membership is drawn from representatives nominated by the Academy member College and Faculties and mirrors the organisation of the Academy Council. The Committee is Chaired by Ros Levenson and managed by Kate Tansley.
To increase the breadth of patient and lay views available to the Academy we also have a Stakeholder Reference group. This is a pool of patients and lay people who are willing to be involved in Academy work as and when it is needed, which can vary from responding to a survey to attending events. Members receive monthly updates detailing the Academy’s latest work with the patient/lay committee, opportunities to input their views, invitations to attend occasional events and join Academy Committees as required. The minimum commitment would require you to consider responding to the occasional email. Any further time spent contributing to the Academy is up to you and the nature of the work. It could be in the form of giving your views on a subject, attending events or joining a more formal committee. To find out more or if you are interested in being part of the Reference Group please see our recruitment advertisement.
The Academy and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health co-hosted a successful patient seminar in October 2019. The event was also supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Speakers from the Academy, NHS England and the Point of Care Foundation among others, gave over 50 attendees the opportunity to discuss, reflect on and provide opinion on the following three areas:
1. The Review of Clinical Standards – which focuses on waiting times for treatment
2. How patients can contribute to quality improvement
3. How we can work together more effectively to improve patient engagement at the medical royal colleges and faculties.
Representatives from across the medical royal colleges and faculties, the BMA and HQIP attended the event, including 12 children and young people (supported by RCPCH) who were invited to facilitate the third session on Improving patient engagement. This was well received with participants feeding back positive comments.
‘I really enjoyed the afternoon session, involving everyone and led by young people. Good to hear voices seldom heard.’
The discussion provided some interesting and innovative possibilities for improving patient and lay engagement across the colleges, faculties and the Academy, such as creating an engagement statement, putting together a ‘brochure of resources’ combining good practice and templates, which we will include in the APLC work in 2020.
Everyone agreed they enjoyed the day and would find a similar event useful in the future. We are already working on this so do let us know if you have any ideas for subjects we should be discussing.
Ros Levenson, Chair, Academy Patient Lay Committee
© 2020 Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.