Who is involved?
The Health and Care Public Forum (Sheffield) consists of a group of volunteers who draw upon their own experiences and in some cases those of the people they care for, to challenge current thinking in health and care service, design, delivery and commissioning and suggest ways to make local people’s health and experiences better. The experiences and views of members of the group help shape and add value to the development and delivery of the work of the HCP.
Collectively, the forum members have a wide range of expertise due to their experiences of mobility, sensory and communication difficulties and long term conditions such as asthma, diabetes and autism. Their areas of interest and knowledge span a broad variety of services and reflect the diverse factors that affect people’s health and wellbeing. The group are keen to see the role of social factors including housing and community included in a more holistic and preventative approach to improving health, and for patients and carers to have more person centred interactions and support from the services they use.
Aims, roles and responsibilities
The two main aims of their work is:
- To influence and improve patient and public involvement plans within the Sheffield HCP
- To influence how services are designed, delivered, funded and coordinated – so that people have better experiences and outcomes.
Their roles and responsibilities as set out in the Terms of Reference are to:
- Share their own views and experiences in relation to wellbeing, health and social care.
- Advise how best to work with other members of the public to gather their experiences and opinions on wellbeing, health and social care services.
- Be a ‘critical friend’ by challenging aspects of the HCP work, with a focus on suggesting solutions.
- Identify things that might be missing from the work but matter to them or other patients, relatives and carers.
- Consider the impact of possible changes in the design and delivery of services for the people of Sheffield and whether they are in line with the best interests of local people.
- Inform the design of public-facing information materials and how they are shared with patients, their relatives, carers and the wider public.
The Health and Care Public Forum developed the above framework to help members be effective in their role and achieve the forum’s main work aims.
It sets out ‘what they do and how they do it’ – their behaviours, guiding principles, and a series of questions which they can refer to when thinking critically about documents, and when considering what professionals from the health and care system share with them at their meetings.
The document may be useful to other patients and public voice groups and professionals working on programmes of change within the health and care system.
The above toolkit was developed by Healthwatch Sheffield with a purpose to support the improvement of Patient and Public Involvement across the HCP. This toolkit is to be continually updated based on feedback and ideas from professionals. If you have any suggestions please contact Healthwatch Sheffield using the contact details here.