Voices for improvement

In collaboration with the Health Foundation Q Community

Our strategic review identified that we need to foreground patient and user experience much more in everything we do, and that we need to find ways of working with, rather than for our members and the people and communities they reach. Efforts to improve or reform health and care will fail, if they don’t focus on what needs to change the experience people have who rely on services.

In 2020, the Q Community and National Voices are collaborating on a design project aimed at developing stronger mechanisms for connecting and supporting service users and patients involved in improvement. This work will surface and connect current learning, practice and people in this area across the UK and Ireland and co-develop ideas for convening and boosting impact.

Many people who use health and care services have an ambition, based on their experience, to improve the design and delivery of health and care and there is consensus that designing effective and sustainable solutions requires working collaboratively.

We will be convening our membership, the Q community and other stakeholder organisations across both the professional health system and patient partners/voices/activists and volunteers during the design phase. We are seeking to understand more about what’s happening, what’s needed and where there’s opportunity for achieving more through connecting with each other.

Like all co-design processes, it is difficult to predict the shape of a future collaboration. But we will be exploring how to:

  • Create a diverse and inclusive community of people who want to improve health and care based on their experiences as service users or carers
  • Add value to the work National Voices members and other stakeholders do in this space, rather than duplicating or competing with them
  • Listen to the needs and ambitions of diverse people who use services, with a focus on how unequal such experiences can be.

What we have planned

We are still in the planning stages, and the project will develop in response to our learnings from each stage. Here’s an overview of our plan for the year:

January – April

  1. Identify people and organisations to bring fresh thinking to this ambition
  2. Explore what’s working well
  3. Initiate and recruit to a ‘Check and Challenge’ Group who will oversee the project management, resources and governance.

May – September

  1. Build connections and bring people together to co-design ideas
  2. Investigate promising ideas in depth
  3. Identify partnership opportunities

October – December

  1. Consolidate our shared learning
  2. Co-design a proposal to build on better practice
  3. Develop partnerships to sustain and spread better practice

Project team

Rachel Mathews has joined the National Voices team as Programme Manager and will be leading this piece of work. Read Rachel’s blog, Wealth and waste management – Introducing the Patient Partners Programme.

Ella Wright, who joins us from Charity works will be working with Rachel to support the project.

Get involved

If you think you or your organisation would like to learn with us, do get in touch. We are looking for people who can think inclusively, have fresh ideas and who are excited by the long term vision. If you would like to find out more, please email ella.wright@nationalvoices.org.uk.