Being Open

Working for openness in Health and Social Care

“Being Open” Task and Finish Groups: Level 1 and Level 2

 

“Task and Finish” Groups are being set up to shape and quality assure Guidance for people who use Health and Social Care Services, on how openness must apply across Health and Social Care. Guidance is also being written for staff, and for the various organisations which make up Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

The aim is to make sure that patients, service users and their families and carers experience openness and candour in all their dealings with Health and Social Care; in day to day appointments (Level 1 Group) and when something untoward has happened but harm hasn’t occurred (Level 2 Group).

The Department of Health (The Department) is looking for up to five Lay people for each Group to:

  • Help shape and quality assure the draft openness Guidance for individuals using health and social care services, setting out their rights and responsibilities;
  • Help to shape future public involvement initiatives to test the Guidance.

Could you #Make Change Together by helping to shape this Guidance?

  • Have you had experience of using Health and Social Care services yourself, or do you provide unpaid care to family members or friends?
  • Can you participate in meetings, by phone or over the internet (or if COVID-19 permits, face to face) to contribute your knowledge and experience to shape the development of the Guidance?
  • Can you comment constructively on the work and documents produced, by phone, in writing, by email or over the internet?
  • Can you commit to read information in advance of meetings, and provide feedback in between meetings?
  • Have you had experience of engaging support or help to navigate using Health and Social Care services or have been involved in Quality Improvement work?
  • Have you made a complaint about your care (or that of a family member or friend) which has now been resolved? Or thought about making a complaint because of the care you or your family member or friend received?
  • Are you available to get involved in at least four on-line meetings between June – September 2020?
  • Do you want to get involved to #Make Change Together to help improve Health and Social Care services across Northern Ireland?

If you have not already been involved in work on the Hyponatremia Implementation Programme, this could be your chance to #Make Change Together.

 

What support is available?
  • Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed in line with the Health and Social Care Guidance on reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.
  • An on-line induction/training session will be provided to help you understand Health and Social Care and the Candour and Openness programme of work.
  • Mentoring and coaching via the independent Patient and Client Council’s Client Support Officers, and the Programme Involvement Team.
How do i get involved?

If you are interested, please complete a short application to tell us some information about yourself.  Complete the application at the bottom of this page by 19th June.  All applications will be considered by a group of service users and carers. If more applications are received than places available, we will ask you if we can keep your details for up to one year, to give you further opportunities to get involved in this work.

Background information

In January 2018, following an extensive investigation into the deaths of five children in hospitals in Northern Ireland, the Report of the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia Related Deaths (IHRD) was published. It found that:

  • The culture of the Health and Social Care system at the time;
  • The arrangements in place to ensure the quality of services; and
  • The behaviour of individuals

had all contributed to those unnecessary deaths.

The Inquiry’s recommendations included the development of Guidance on Openness, and the introduction of a statutory Duty of Candour, to support a change in the relationship between patients, their families and carers, and those delivering Health and Social Care.

The Department and Health and Social Care Organisations recognised that the Inquiry highlighted serious failures; and that these must be dealt with. The Department set up an Implementation Programme to do this, including a Duty of Candour Workstream, with a Being Open Sub Group.

Work has been going on, through the Duty of Candour Workstream and its’ Being Open Sub group, to support Health and Social Care to be open and honest, both towards the people who use its services and for those working within it. A wide range of people have been involved including service users, carers, representatives from the community and voluntary sector, Health and Social Care staff and Department of Health staff.  Click here to listen to an update from the Group Chairs.

What has happened already? Who has been involved?

The Duty of Candour and Being Open Groups gathered and considered a wealth of evidence and research.  Workshops were held with a range of people and organisations so that they could contribute to this work.  These included Health and Social Care staff, service users and carers, the Independent Health and Social Care sector, and others.  Further information about the workshops is here.

Working together, the Groups have identified principles of candour, and written a draft “Framework for Openness for Health and Social Care”.

The Department is working to finalise the “Framework for Openness in Health and Social Care” to set out how openness must apply across the whole of Health and Social Care system, for

  • People who use Health and Social Care services.
  • Health and Social Care staff.
  • The various organisations which make up Health and Social Care.

The aim is to make sure that patients, service users and their families and carers experience openness and candour in all their dealings with Health and Social Care Organisations.  Work is also continuing to implement a Statutory Duty of Candour, in line with the Inquiry recommendations.

The Framework for Openness in Health and Social Care will make sure that:

  • Health and Social Care has an open and honest culture.
  • Health and Social Care focusses on learning from what has happened in an incident, even if no harm has been caused.
  • Health and Social Care Organisations and the Department investigate, learn and take action, informing, supporting and involving the patient or service user and their family, when something has gone wrong and harm or death has occurred.

As part of this Framework, specific Guidance is now being developed to outline the rights and responsibilities of people (patients; service users; their families and carers) using Health and Social Care.

Next steps

 The next stage is to develop Guidance to support the implementation of the Framework, with specific Guidance for patients, families and carers. Guidance for staff and organisations is also being developed.  We are setting up Task and Finish Groups to co-develop this work.

What is involved?

For patients, service users and their families and carers, the aim is to make sure that they experience openness and candour in all their dealings with Health and Social Care Organisations; in day to day appointments (Level 1 Group) and when something untoward has happened but harm hasn’t occurred (Level 2 Group). Work is also going on to produce Guidance for those times when harm has occurred (Level 3 Serious Adverse Incidents).

Further information

The following websites provide information in relation to getting involved in Health and Social Care and also the Openness and Candour work:

  • The Patient and Client Council is an independent voice for patients, clients, carers and communities. Find out further information here.
  • The Engage website here is a central resource for involvement in Health and Social Care.
  • Check out ‘getting involved- what do I need to know’ here.
  • The Department of Health website provides information regarding the full Hyponatraemia Implementation Programme here.
  • Further information on the Duty of Candour Workstream and Being open sub-group may be found here.