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Patient and Family Involvement

November 2017: Update following publication of the external report into how we involve families in investigations following a death

In October 2016, we published a report into how we involve families in investigations following the death of someone under our care. This was commissioned as part of our commitment to improve the way we conduct investigations following the death of an individual in contact with our services. Today we have published an update on our progress in carrying out the recommendations from this report.

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  • We have reviewed the information we provide to patients, service users, families and carers on Confidentiality and Sharing information with families, carers and friends.   Families and service users have been closely involved in the review, including a joint workshop, circulating redrafted text widely for comments and revising text again based on feedback.   The guidance to staff has been updated, and an information sheet for families in contact with mental health services ‘Common Sense Confidentiality’ is in its final stages, and will be introduced from mid November.  

  • Families’ experiences of services have been shared with staff at the annual Quality Conference and the Nursing and Allied Health Professionals Conference, raising staff awareness that families want to be partners in the care of their loved one, and have a valuable contribution to make.    Following feedback from families and staff we have also run two training sessions for staff who will be sharing investigation reports with families, to help them to share the findings of an investigation in a sensitive and open way. 

  • In November we will launch the Carers Charter within the Trust, in poster and leaflet format.

  • There is increasing family/carer involvement, for example new groups for families / carers have been set up at Kingsley ward (Winchester), Southampton, and Cedar Ward, Woodhaven.  Families have spoken very highly of the service and support they have received.  We recognise that we have work to do to make sure that families in contact with any service can receive a similar level of support.

  • A review of the key roles in an investigation, that of Commissioning Manager and Investigating Officer, has been completed.  It identified that roles sometimes lack clarity in terms of communicating with the family, and made recommendations to address this.

  •  Complaints Policy and Procedure have been updated taking comments from patients, families and staff.   As a result there is a clearer commitment to involve the patient/family in the complaint investigation. 



    If you would like to be involved, or find out more about this important piece of work please contact Chris Woodfine, by email at Chris.woodfine@southernhealth.nhs.uk or telephone on 023 8087 4146 or 07771 388495.