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.
- 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.