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Help us to improve the service

Some of our ex-patients have offered to help us in improving the service after the completion of their treatment. People who have been through the service are in a great position to make suggestions and comments about what has worked and what could be done differently to further improve the service.

How can you help?

1. All patients receive a questionnaire after their assessment and also at the end of their treatment. We would encourage patients to be as honest as possible and provide detailed feedback and suggestions.

2. Over the last five years we have developed a group of ex-patients who have been invaluable in commenting on proposed changes to the service, new leaflets or letters, or suggesting new ways of publicising the service. In the final patient experience questionnaire (PEQ) we invite people who have completed their treatment to become part of this group. Due to the nature of First Step and the geography of Cumbria, it has proved impossible so far to bring ex patients together as a face-to-face group using traditional meetings, and we have found that the best way to ask for comments is by email. The email address was set up specifically for the Group, and is checked routinely for any feedback or comments. (Please note that this email address is not checked daily so if you have any messages related to your current treatment (e.g. cancellation, wish to swap practitioner, etc or any urgent matters) please contact the Hub on 0300 123 9122.

3. There are a range of tasks that members of the Group can work on, but there is no pressure to take on any, or all of the roles. Many of the Group are happy simply to be sent documents to look at, and send their comments back to the Team. The timing of requests for help may also be intermittent – some months we have little to consult on, and others we may have lots of new documents or plans to ask for comments.

The range of tasks people can help us with include:

  • Contributing to, and final checking of, letters, leaflets and website changes to ensure they are easy to understand.
  • Evaluation of new Self Help packages – books and CDs
  • Suggestions for the promotion of First Step – particularly to “hard to reach” groups.
  • Provide ex-patient representation on recruitment panels for all senior clinical roles. (Training will be provided by the Partnership Trust for any person wishing to take on this role.)
  • Assist in the review of Patient Experience Questionnaires, identifying areas of concern, and recommending changes to clinical or administrative pathways.
  • Participate in any Partnership Service User events (e.g. Members Meetings)