Parents and Family Engagement
We hosted online workshops with family members of children who had accessed CHI services (inpatient, day case, ED, outpatient) within the past two years to get their input and advice on innovation in CHI, as well as some of the early themes emerging from the Innovation Strategy Steering Group workshop. Overall, the family members that we spoke to were very interested in innovation practice, seeing direct link with improving the care and experience for children and their families. In speaking about their experiences, they felt there was considerable scope for innovation in the delivery of care. They spoke about the importance of team-working and culture, describing their experience of ‘getting a different feel’ from different wards and areas of the hospitals they attended. In the words of one parent: ‘When you get a good feeling from a ward, you get the feeling that they are pulling together and working to make things better’. They supported the idea of partnerships, particularly with community bodies and agencies. Alongside this, the family members also expressed some concerns and worries about future changes. They spoke of the comfort that they currently experience when seeing familiar staff faces, returning to wards they know and being familiar with how services run. This reconfirmed the importance of involving family members and other service users in the design of new services and environments of care.
Overall, the family members told us that they welcomed the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge – ‘It’s really nice to be heard” – and they welcomed the opportunity to influence the innovation strategy for CHI.
Consultation with Children & Young People
We held a virtual whiteboard workshop with members of the CHI Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to better understand what innovation looks like for them and where they would see opportunities for innovation in children’s health services. The Youth Advisory Council is a group of young people (aged 12 – 16) who share their experiences as users of hospital services in order to improve the care children and young people receive in our hospitals and centres. For this group, access to technology and good consistent Wi-Fi was very important. They were keen to look at what could be done differently for older children and young people, feeling that currently the environment is set up for younger children. For example, they talked about outpatient areas with Disney and other cartoon characters on walls and play areas to entertain younger children while there is a lack of facilities that cater for 9-16 year olds. In similar theme to that raised at the parents group, the young people told us that, while they are excited about the new building and technology, what mattered to them most was friendly staff who knew who they were and they didn’t want to lose this ‘human touch’. They suggested getting young people involved in innovation by making it fun and they suggested providing something that young people could interact with while waiting for appointments, all suggestions that we will be taking on board.