Case study: Co-designing training

Patient group co-designs training

Group of patients co-designs a Quality Improvement training module

Most of the teams on our Quality Improvement training include patients, carers or other members of the public, and some of these participants suggested that a ‘patient-focussed’ training module would be helpful.

At the heart of this training module was the goal of providing future Quality Improvement (QI) participants with an understanding of Solent NHS Trust, the Academy, the work we do, how we use QI and an introduction to the processes involved in QI. Working with our QI team, a group of participants co-designed and delivered a 'Patient QI training programme.'

“It’s exciting, I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’ve learnt new things, I feel very supported and part of the team.… I’d really like to see more patients getting involved.” - Paula, Mum

The team of co-designers 

The QI participant co-designers are a mix of patients and carers from Solent NHS Trust, as well as young people from Southampton Children’s Hospital. The Solent representatives had all been part of a QI team before...

> Paula is a mum of three and two of her boys have Autism. She has previously helped redesign the referral pathway.

> Roger used his experience of caring for his elderly parents whilst living with a long term condition.

> Alice is a young adult who has been a patient and now volunteers on our neurological rehabilitation ward.

> Kaira and Izzy are part of the Youth Board at Southampton Children’s Hospital and have driven change in ward environments, including meals and feedback mechanisms for children in hospital.

Each member of the team brought with them a wealth of personal experience that was vital in helping to shape the training module, and make sure the improvement training worked for service users and the community.

"I’ve come along to give a patient side of things…Not the main reason [to be involved] but the snacks are amazing and you get treated like a queen…. For people in hospital, it’s nice to know that how it is now, you are going to change that hopefully and make it better." - Alice, patient

The co-design process

The process of designing the training module took place over four morning sessions, and the result is a suite of patient-focussed QI materials, including: posters, short films, personal stories, a welcome video and some interactive activities. These can be found on the Improvement Training webpage.

The package of training materials to engage patients and others in improvement includes:

  • posters,
  • a slidedeck (to be used online or face to face that other organisations can adapt for their own brand/ logo),
  • a series of patient stories, both in written case study form and video format,
  • a personal welcome and thank you video, including the reasons they’ve been involved,
  • interactive materials, including a large floor map with pins to show which services participants use and where they live,
  • two short animated films, one providing an introduction to QI and the programme at Solent, and another providing an over of QI and the Method for Improvement. There were created in partnership with our Creative Communications Manager, Talia,
  • and a dedicated way of getting feedback and encouraging suggestions or questions. A hatred of a feedback forms was declared (to quote, “the heart-sink end to any NHS day”), and instead the decision was made to encourage the use of a live feedback, commenting and question platform such as Sli-do.

Beyond the co-design project

The story continues – those who have worked on the design project will now be part of the delivery of the training sessions. Paula, Roger and Alice are just about to start our QI Leader programme, learning with our clinical staff. All of those involved have decided that they would like to continue in some sort of peer training and/or support role.

And then there's what we've learnt along the way...

1. If you want patients to tell stories and help with delivery, you need to spend a lot of time building confidence and trust.

2. Service users are brilliant at thinking of ways to engage different groups and utilise different technologies. 

3. Our co-designers had a lot fun

4. The participants may not have represented every service user group ,but they represented a wide range of people; we hope this will create a "ripple effect" and lead to getting others involved, as a result of the stories our participants brought to the project.

5. They taught us never to hold an event without good quality snacks!

“It’s done in a friendly, caring environment and it’s a good opportunity to have fun and learn about what’s going on and have your say. If you take part in this you will find it fulfilling because you can see the benefits of your work and your ideas.” - Roger, carer and patient