Hospital, local authority and community services need to know if the service they are delivering is effective from the users point of view. This can influence how services are changed in future. Comments about quality of food, cleanliness, temperature in the building, visiting times, waiting times, comfort, respect and dignity, privacy. These are just some of the issues you may want to comment on. Make it clear that you are making a comment and not a complaint at this stage.
Most organisations will welcome comments from service users be they positive or negative.For example
- Sometimes you may want to make a comment on how to make a small change which could make a difference to the experience you or the person with the stroke has had.
- You may want to point out good performance in some aspects and inconsistency in others.
- Perhaps you want to make a suggestion about how to improve an aspect of care, the environment or way the treatment or service was given.
- Is there some aspect of the care you would have liked to see more of ?
- Was there some part of the care you feel could be changed to improve the same experience for other stroke patients and carers in future?
- Did staff give you the information you needed? Were they approachable and friendly?
Organisations may have user questionnaires or suggestion boxes for you to make your comments. You could also write to the person in charge or the manager of the service to give your comments.
If you want to become more involved in influencing change within an organisation there are now a variety of ways. The NHS involves patients and carers through its Patient Focus Public Involvement (PFPI) initiatives. Local authorities may have their own service user groups. The Voices Scotland team offer training for patients and carers who wish to become involved in getting their opinions and experiences heard to shape existing and future services (this includes assistance for stroke patients who need help with communication). The level of involvement can be geared to the level of time or commitments you have. From looking over documents and making comments at home to sitting on local or sometimes national committees or steering groups about stroke issues.
For more information about Voices Scotland contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 225 6963. Information can also be found on the Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland website.