Speaker Interview
Julia Holding, Head of Experience of Care | NHS England & NHS Improvement

Q-1 What according to you are the barriers and facilitators of a real-time feedback approach for measuring patient experiences of hospital care?

Real Time Feedback is the gold standard. It is important that we strive to be in a place where patients and their carers can provide feedback about their care, when they feel inspired to do it, in a way which is easiest for them to use. It is up to those of us with responsibility for running and improving healthcare to make sense of the feedback we get. Technology is both a facilitator and a barrier.

Increasingly healthcare institutions are enabling patients to use the technology in their pockets. There are a plethora of smart phone apps and code readers now being used extensively; however, there remain some barriers which prevent technology being fully utilised to support the use of this feedback in all improvement work.
Analytics services within healthcare institutions have been set up to mainly deal with numbers, making sense of the narrative we get from patients and converting this into what can be used systematically for quality and service improvement still in some areas presents a challenge.

Q-2 What advice or tips would you give caregivers to help to translate patient feedback into real improvements?

There is a lot of really practical advice coming from organisations like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Their Model for Improvement encourages ‘point of care’ staff to use simple tools to make sense of both quantitative and qualitative data to : Identify priorities for improvement, to measure improvement and to assess impact. The Always Events® programme Takes this one step further by fully embracing the principle of co-producing improvement, with point of care teams working fully in partnership with patients and carers.

Q-3 While NHS is striving to improve the experience of care; how NHS’s ensure that patients have much more control, share decisions about care and treatment and have an active role in improving and redesigning services?

The NHS represents a fair democratic process to deliver healthcare to people based on need and not on ability to pay, and the NHS Constitution sets out a commitment for the right of people to share in decisions about their care and treatment, it also articulates an aspiration for communities to be actively engaged in designing local healthcare services. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the route map for healthcare delivery over the next ten years in England, and it places an emphasis on the importance of individuals to be supported to stay healthy, and when they do require intervention to be at the centre of decision making. At a local level we know there is still more to do to ensure our most vulnerable patients are also able to exercise choice

Q-4 In your opinion why is a platform like International Patient Experience Symposium important to the healthcare fraternity – what are your expectations from the upcoming gathering?

I have worked for the NHS for thirty years and I have fortunately been able to view the service from a whole range of perspectives. The symposium provides an opportunity for me to share my extensive and varied experience, but importantly it will also enable me to glimpse other healthcare systems from around the world, and to learn how others are embracing and improving the experience of patients.