Don’t forget world class commissioning and service transformation needs specialist insight and feedback techniques

One of the things that jumps out of Transforming Participation in Health and Care is that it has a whole section on insight and feedback.  There are also many good ideas around better involvement and patient participation but it is familiar territory for many people.  So this additional emphasis on insight and feedback really stands out, for me anyway.

Our ambition is for the NHS to become
a world class customer service, delivering
treatment and care that always meet the
needs and preferences of patients and
service users. – Transforming Participation in Health and Care (vision for insight and feedback)

This has all made me wonder what this vision might look like in practice?  For example, what should good health and social care commissioners be doing year on year to make sure this happens? So I’ve put some ideas together…

Health and social care commissioners need high quality insight.

High quality insight comes from a well-designed research programme that:

  • Takes sampling seriously. E..g. it is careful about where insight comes from and invests in getting the right people involved? It ensures it hears from a good mix of people and not just those who shout the loudest or are easiest to get involved.
  • Uses the right techniques. recognises the difference between qualitative and quantitative data but values them both. It also goes further and incorporates the added benefits of deliberative methods.

Health and social care commissioners need a suite of intelligence at their disposal to make good decisions

Such a suite of intelligence might include data from things like:

  • Qualitative findings from well designed and facilitated focus groups, recruited so as to be reflective of different, local, demographics
  • Strong data from robust surveys that are representative of local people’s views and opinions
  • Insightful feedback into complex issues from deliberative events, deliberative panels and workshops
  • In depth insight from patient representatives, carers and forums where powerful stories can be harnessed
  • Opinions from street engagement to find out the views of the ‘less vocal.’
  • Feedback from GPs via surveys, interviews or more innovative ‘Delphi style’ research and engagement techniques
  • Intelligence from social media engagement and buzz monitoring
  • Findings from innovative engagement techniques tailored to the audience and issue in questions ( E.g. do you ever intend to run an Open Space Event or facilitate a Samoan Circle?)

Health and social care commissioners should harvest all the chatter on social media and turn it into intelligent data

People are talking about health and social care services all the time. So commissioners need to harvest this data.

Social media technology can be used to monitor and analyse social media posts to find out about…

  • People’s day to day experience of services
  • What people think about local health priorities
  • People’s health problems.  E.g. is flue trending locally?
  • Early problem detection e.g. complaints and queries about local services (e.g. posted on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus)

I reckon these are some of the important things that commissioners may need to think about so that they can make decisions based on great insight.  I hope it helps and if you need any support with any of these methods, delivery or training, then please do get in touch.

We provide specialist communications and engagement support to the health and social care sector. We are experts in integrated campaigns, stakeholder engagement and consultation.


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