How collaboration improves patient experience of clinical trials

Day 2 - 140303 OHCT patient  staff experience event (768) 15My name is Piran Sucindran and I work for Oncology and Haematology Clinical Trials (OHCT) at Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. In 2014 we pledged to continuously collaborate with patients to identify key areas of development and design, and implement improvement strategies. As a result, this year we launched our Patient Experience initiative.

We had three events, which looked at introducing patients and staff to the idea of collaborative service improvement.

The first Patient Experience was a Staff Event, which asked the staff what they believed they did well and what they would like to see improved. We then invited patients to our Patient Event to tell us their stories in their own words, highlighting their experiences and talking about their dreams of a perfect clinical trials service. We then held a Patient-Staff event where patients, carers, family and friends worked side-by-side with staff to develop improvement strategies. Four focus groups were formed to implement the strategies.

These four focus groups that have gone on to change the service in a number of ways:
  • A website and social media feed for introducing better communication.
  • A more efficient patient expenses reimbursement method.
  • A patient information booklet about what it's like to be on clinical trials at Guys and St Thomas' from a patient perspective.
  • A patient induction talk introducing them to clinical trials and how to navigate around the new cancer centre.
There were a number of meetings of these focus groups and then on 20 October we had a celebratory event.

We're planning ongoing involvement from our patients in our quality management meetings, held monthly. In the new year we will be starting quarterly collaborative quality improvement groups, with the first meeting at the end of January.

The Patient Experience has led to a real culture change within the team, focussing on the importance of the patients' experiences on clinical trials, not just safety and scientific integrity of data collected, both obviously parts of the patient experience. Staff have felt more empowered because of the event and our processes and quality management will now reflect better what patients want from our service.

If you would like further information or are interested in joining the group please email [email protected] or contact us through twitter at @GSTTohct.
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