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Patient and Family Involvement

February 2018: 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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  • The Carers Charter, and an information sheet for families in contact with mental health services ‘Common Sense Confidentiality’ have been launched and are available in services. The Carers Charter is available as posters and as pocket sized leaflets. These explain to families and carers the type of involvement they can expect from services. 

  • Work continues to discuss family involvement with staff, to raise their awareness of the poor experience of some families, and also to understand the barriers to engaging families for staff. This has taken the form of Learning Networks in Adult Mental Health Services. Families are now members of a working group looking at care planning in mental health services, and in learning disability services a carer is a member of the peer review team.  

  • Learning Disability services have been focusing on ensuring that carers know who to ask about having their own needs reviewed, if they needed to. Results to a regular carer survey showed the best three month return during this last calendar year, which demonstrates the work that teams have given to this question.

  • A review, last year, of the roles of staff involved in investigations following serious harm or death highlighted the need for further training for the Commissioning Manager role. An e-learning package has been developed to address this need.

  • We have produced guidance to staff, on sharing a final draft Investigation Report with families, if families wish to see the report at that time.

  • A thematic review of the role of Family Liaison Officer has been completed, and the next steps will be to take forward the recommendations.

  • Trust services are ensuring that Next of Kin and other relationships are recorded in the patient record, so that practitioners know who the important family members are.  Levels of recording continue to improve, and as at 16/2/18 were 85.6% for Physical health services (Integrated Service Division), 86.7% for the Integrated Service Division's Outpatient therapy services, 87.1% for Older People's Mental Health services, 85.5% for Learning Disability services and 78.8% for Adult Mental Health. The proportion increases as a patient’s next appointment comes around, giving an opportunity to check details with them.

  • We will continue to improve the way we involve families, building on work so far, and this is included in our plans for 2018/19.