Patient Focus and Public Involvement
The NHS Board recognises and values its relationships with patients and the wider public.
There is in place a Patient Focus Public Involvement Strategy, which sets out the approach to ensuring that the discharge of the Board’s role and responsibilities is patient focussed and includes public involvement as a key component of ensuring that the population served is genuinely engaged in Strategy Development, Service Design and Redesign and the monitoring of services.
Whilst elements of Public Involvement are ad hoc, in response to particular, discrete pieces of work, there are established Public Partnership Forums within the Acute Division and in each of the North and South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnerships.
The NHS Board submits to the Scottish Health Council on a quarterly basis a comprehensive assessment of its activity around Patient Focus Public Involvement. Prior to submission to the Scottish Health Council, the quarterly Assessment Report is approved by the Clinical Governance Committee.
Modernisation Board – Stakeholder Engagement Group
There is, within NHS Lanarkshire, a Modernisation Board. This is an Officer Group chaired by the Director for Strategic Implementation, Planning and Performance. It is responsible for oversight of Strategy Development and Service Design and Redesign, ensuring that this is set within an agreed strategic context.
The Modernisation Board is supported by a number of Service Improvement Boards and Clinical Service Improvement Groups, membership of which includes Managerial and Clinical Staff from a range of Clinical Disciplines, thereby promoting wide Clinical Engagement in the Board’s Planning processes.
Within the Modernisation Board arrangements, there is also a Stakeholder Engagement Group, which has responsibility for confirming to the Modernisation Board that there is appropriate Stakeholder input to Strategy Development and Service Design and Redesign work.
The NHS Board recognises that complaints are a vital and necessary part of feedback.
There is clear leadership within the NHS Board around responsibility for handling and resolving complaints, and ensuring that the lessons learnt are used to improve the service.
The Executive Lead for Complaints is the Director of the North Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership.
There is an agreed policy on dealing with suggestions and complaints. This is accessible on the NHS Lanarkshire Public Website, and is publicised throughout the organisation, such that staff will be able to respond appropriately to a suggestion or a complaint.
Suggestions and complaint activity is monitored on an ongoing basis, with reports being considered by the Acute and Community Health Partnership Management Teams.
Annual Complaints Reports are produced for the Acute Division and for the North and South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnerships. The Annual Reports, which identify: the numbers and types of complaints; the issues raised in complaints; outcomes and lessons learnt, are considered in a number of Forums, including the:
- Acute and Community Health Partnership Management Teams,
- Divisional Risk Management Groups,
- Executive level Risk Management Steering Group,
- Clinical Governance Committee
- and the NHS Board.
The NHS Board Annual Report, published in December, includes a section on Complaints, which summarises the key information within the Complaints Annual Reports.
The NHS Board is keen to hear the views and experiences of service users on an ongoing basis, as a key element of its endeavour to further improve access to services and service quality.
The roll-out of ’Better Together’, the national Patient Experience Programme, in Lanarkshire, should enhance the Board’s knowledge and understanding of the Patient Experience.
Progress Reports on the implementation of the Patient Experience Programme are considered by the NHS Board, and are accessible with other Board papers on the NHS Lanarkshire Public Website.
The NHS Board has a Staff Governance Committee in place, with a remit to monitor progress against the five component parts of the Staff Governance Standard, namely: that staff will be:
- Treated Fairly and Consistently
- Appropriately Trained
- Involved in Decisions which affect them
- Provided with an improved and safe working environment
- Well Informed
The Staff Governance Committee is Chaired by the Employee Director, who also is Joint Chair of the Area Partnership Forum. The Employee Director is a Non Executive Director on the NHS Board, and routinely attends meetings of the Executive-level Corporate Management Team. This ensures that staff issues and concerns are considered at a number of levels within the organisation, including at Executive and NHS Board level.
Partnership arrangements between Management and Staff
There is in place a Partnership Agreement which sets out a number of different ways in which the Partnership between Management and Staff will be taken forward within the NHS in Lanarkshire.
The Partnership Agreement and the established Partnership arrangements provide valuable mechanisms for consulting and involving staff and their representatives in decision-making. The mechanisms through which Partnership is taken forward include an Area Partnership Forum and Divisional Partnership Forums; a Human Resources Forum, a Joint Policy Forum, a Staff and Organisational Development Group and an Occupational Health and Safety Management Group.
The Partnership Agreement also sets out the position with regard to Staff Side representation; the Facilities Agreement; Communications, and the organisational commitment to Equality and Diversity.
Staff Health and Support
The NHS Board seeks to protect and promote staff health, and to protect the rights of staff. There is a well-developed Occupational Health and Safety Service within NHS Lanarkshire which provides a wide range of proactive and reactive services for staff. This includes the organisational commitment to Healthy Working Lives, the national programme to promote Health at Work.
In addition to the support available to staff through the Occupational Health and Safety Service, the NHS Board is also affiliated to the Employee Counselling Service, an independent body, which has over 30 years of experience of assisting employees resolve work-related and personal problems, and regaining their ability to work at full capacity.
All staff have direct and confidential access to the Employee Counselling Service (ECS). The ECS also gives advice, support and training to Managers and Supervisors dealing with sensitive situations.
Public Interest Disclosure
There is, in place, a Policy under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, ie a “Whistleblowing” Policy, which sets out the arrangements and support for staff in making a legitimate Public Interest Disclosure.