Image of Isla Skinner Patient Experience and Involvement Lead, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Isla Skinner Patient Experience and Involvement Lead, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust will be thanking local people who use its services, people who care for them, and representatives of community and voluntary organisations, who give up their time to contribute to the Trust’s work, on Tuesday 15 December 2020.

The Trust has invited everyone who is involved in Trust involvement work, including staff who are involvement leads within their services, to a special, online celebratory event, in recognition of their valuable contribution, as an alternative to its usual festive afternoon tea.

The Care Trust’s Patient Involvement and Experience team, which works with people from across the Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven areas who are actively involved in Trust projects, is keen to provide some light relief after a difficult year for so many.  The event will be opened by Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, followed by a variety of people highlighting how they have been involved and the difference it makes.

Awards will also be presented to mark particularly excellent examples of involvement during 2020, followed by a chance to meet new members of the Patient Involvement and Experience team.  Festive fun includes musical entertainment from local soprano Martha Hayward, and Fran Wyburn, Director of the Bradford Friendship Choir, and there will be an opportunity to meet Therese Patten, the new chief executive, in a mini Desert Island Discs slot.

Involvement is a type of volunteering but differs due to the types and lengths of activities, and the person’s interests.  Local people who are involved at the Trust draw on their own experiences of using Trust services to work together with staff to improve care and ensure the needs of the community are met.

Some of the projects people have contributed to over the last 12 months have included creating written and video resources for patients and carers; being involved in quality improvement work, or as members of important committees such as the Mental Health Legislation Committee and Quality and Safety Committee; speaking to support groups; helping to develop a poetry and creative writing project, and being involved in the recruitment of a range of staff.

The Care Trust’s Patient Experience Lead, Isla Skinner, said: “The contributions made by the people who get involved with the Trust are truly invaluable –  their experience, insight and skills are needed just as much as those of our staff.  Our involvement strategy is called ‘Your Voice Matters’, and we are keen to hear from people who would like to know more about being involved.  It’s vital that we have a wider variety of people involved with us so that the people we serve have a real voice in how we design and deliver care, so that the care we provide meets the needs of our local communities.  We know that those most affected by inequalities may not feel they have a voice, but we are listening, and we would love to hear from them.”

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