A key plank of our Listening and Engagement approach to date has been a determination to ensure that people shouldn’t be forced to come to us to give their views and opinions, nor to make their voice heard. Instead, we have made strong efforts to go to them.
This is the philosophy that underpins our Listening Booth, now in its second year of operation. In the past year alone the Listening Booth travelled to over 25 locations, speaking to almost 200 people and allowing them to talk to us outside health locations, approaching them when they are feeling relaxed and have the time to talk about their experiences of healthcare.
It is also to philosophy that underlies our Patient Stories – by us going out to record real people and bringing their voices to the heart of our decision-making at our Governing Body.
Our updated Listening and Engagement strategy introduces further new ways in which we can communicate and engage with local people in ways that avoid them having to come to us – whether by letter, phone call or web – each and every time simply to find out if anything new has happened or anything new of particular interest to them is planned or happening.
We do this through imaginative investment in our web, digital and social media capabilities.
We have introduced a facility via our new website called myCCG which we believe to be a first amongst NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. Using myCCG, anyone can create their own free myCCG Account. When they do so, they can select to receive via e-mail either Instant Updates or a Daily Summary. All registered myCCG users can also comment on any item on our website and get involved in threaded discussions and questions and answers.
We are looking to use social media in ways that go beyond merely using it as another publishing channel. Rather than using social media simply to tell the NHS, social care and the wider world what we are doing and what we are thinking, we are looking to use social media to give frontline staff, carers, patients and families their voice and their spaces to interact with us and each other.
We are using a specialist NHS Social Media tool called Find SoMeone in Health to identify and approach followers of Twitter accounts that demonstrate a relevance to our target areas but do currently follow our own Twitter account @NHSELRCCG. This enables us to engage via Twitter with audiences who would not normally feature on our radar or whom may not be aware of what we do and/or hear messages and information from us that would be of use and help.
Initial analysis from Find SoMeone in Health has already identified:
- 504 people or organisations who follow the Twitter accounts of the Leicester Mercury AND NHS England but not NHSELRCCG, including ‘Active Oadby Wigston’ and ‘Rutland C Spirit – working to support people in rural areas’;
- 589 people or organisations who follow MIND and the Leicester Mercury, but not NHSELRCCG, including Action Homeless – a Leicester and Leicestershire charity tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness; and
- 1,150 people or organisations who follow MumsnetLeics but not NHSELRCCG.
We will also cross-reference and identify particular groups or individuals who are not currently engaged around a particular strategy, but whose profile or existing patterns of interest in a particular condition would suggest that they would naturally have an interest therein.
Our new podcast channel ELR CCG TV will contain material produced by our stakeholders and broadcast by us. We are asking them what topics they would most like us to produce with them or what programmes and material they would like to see.
We are also harnessing the power of mobile devices to improve how local people can access local services at the right time and in the right place.
Our new mobile App NHS Now allows users across East Leicestershire and Rutland to get self-care advice or find their nearest, most appropriate and most convenient local health service currently open to them at any time of the day or night. It has been warmly welcomed by local Healthwatch and patient representatives, as well as staff working in our GP Practice membership. It can be downloaded free of charge by searching for “NHS Now” on the Apple App Store or Google Play.