You said, we did
What you tell us directly informs the decisions made by Nene CCG. That’s why we welcome the opinions and feedback of local people about healthcare services
Below are some examples of how services have been shaped by the views of public, patients and carers.
The Northamptonshire CCGs (Corby and Nene) are working to align local maternity services to the recommendations outlined in the NHS England Better Births report, to deliver improvements by 2021.
We needed to understand what our local mums, dads, partners and families felt worked well and what needed to improve. To do this, the CCGs appointed Healthwatch Northamptonshire to liaise with parents who had used maternity services in Northamptonshire. The key areas of focus were continuity of care, safety and the provision of clear and consistent information to support informed choices. A survey of more than 500 parents covered a pregnant women’s journey before, during and after giving birth. Mums were also asked about:
- The support they received relating to perinatal mental health conditions
- How local maternity services support breastfeeding
- How services support stop smoking and healthy eating during pregnancy.
The Healthwatch report formed the foundations for developing the Northamptonshire Local Maternity System transformation plan.
Partnership has been central to this process. The CCGs worked with Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital to run two local Whose Shoes? workshops in 2018.
These events were well attended by both parents of young children and clinicians working in maternity services, such as midwives and heads of midwifery services. They were facilitated through a fun interactive board game, to cover key questions and encourage debate in a relaxed environment.
Feedback was gathered from those who attended. 100% of service users who attended were supportive, while clinicians said the workshops had influenced their thoughts on doing things differently in future.
Recruitment for the Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) was also promoted at the workshops. The MVP is a local volunteer group made up of mums who have used maternity services in Northamptonshire. Their role is viewed as critical to developing a genuine change in the services.
Through this ongoing forum we can enable women and their families from all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities to share their views with us, and work with us to co-produce services and plan and monitor service improvements.
Corby GP services and Urgent Care Centre
During 2017-18, Corby CCG sought the views of local people on an unprecedented scale.
Called Resetting Healthcare in Corby, the focus of our conversation was on services based at GP surgeries and at Corby Urgent Care Centre (UCC). People told us:
- Access to GP services needed to improve
- They wanted an urgent service in Corby to continue
- It wasn’t always easy to decide which service to use.
This public input directly informed CCG plans for a GP-led Same Day Access Hub, featuring an appointments-based system and care navigators to help people get the right care, first time’. The CCG then sought views on these plans:
- 90% of respondents supported the extension of access to primary care to 12 hours a day, 365 days a year
- 69% of people supported the use of trained phone navigators
- 73% were confident that an appointments system would guarantee on-the-day access
In August 2018, the plans for a Same Day Access Hub were halted following a judicial review. Following that decision, the CCG has used the insight gained through our engagement to procured two new contracts – one to ensure continuity of service at the Urgent Care Centre, and one to provide extra appointments for GP services in the evenings and at weekends. Both these contracts will be implemented from 1 April 2019.
In 2018 Nene CCG ratified changes to the local acute care pathway for stroke patients, under proposals developed through the Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership:
- All hyper-acute and acute stroke services to be based at Northampton General Hospital (NGH)
- All acute rehabilitation to be in Northampton, rather than split between NGH and Kettering General Hospital (KGH)
- KGH to continue providing outpatient follow-up care and treatment for Transient Ischemic Attack (very minor strokes)
- 12 community stroke beds at Isebrook Hospital, with the Community Stroke Team continuing to provide home-base care and rehabilitation across the county
The changes were implemented to ensure everyone in Northamptonshire has access to the same high quality standards of care, improve the sustainability of services, and bring care closer to patients’ homes when it is safer and more effective to do so.
The views of patients, carers and other key stakeholders (such as GPs and HealthWatch) were sought through an extensive programme of engagement lasting several months. This included input from public representatives in Nene CCG’s governance structure. The engagement confirmed general support for the changes before they were formally considered and adopted.
The high-quality hospital care people receive in Northamptonshire after suffering a stroke is already showing evidence of getting even better after this new way working was introduced earlier this year. More information can be found on the Northamptonshire Care and Partnership website.
Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Service
Informed by input from mums, Corby and Nene CCGs worked with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) to bid for funding to develop a community specialist perinatal mental health service for women at risk of, or experiencing, severe mental health conditions during pregnancy and the first year following delivery.
The bid was successful. As part of the service design, women who have experienced severe mental illness during their pregnancy or following the birth of their child are involved to ensure the service has a "Think Family" approach, with the best interests of women and her infant at the heart of the service.
Working together, the CCGs and NHFT have recruited a multidisciplinary team to deliver a comprehensive Perinatal Mental Health Service for hundreds of women by:
- Intervening earlier at pre-conception, during pregnancy and up to 1 year following delivery
- Delivering on-going training of professionals from across children’s’ and maternity services
- Improving the experience, pathways and processes for mothers, their families and professionals
In December 2018 mothers posted the following feedback about the Northamptonshire service on iWantGreatCare:
- "Amazing experience where I feel comfortable and safe to discuss any issues I am experiencing. Also to meet people who are going through something similar to me makes me feel ‘normal’ and less isolated."
- "The whole team are fantastic a breath of fresh air and helped me see light at the end of the tunnel"
- "The care I have received has been outstanding, from all the professionals along my journey. Rebecca has supported me weekly and has been there at the end of the phone if I've needed her. Throughout, I have been treated with complete respect and dignity and involved in all decisions about my care. I was concerned that I was now in a 'system' but Rebecca has answered all my questions."