Setting the standards for patient care

Setting the standards for patient care

Patient involvement is set to improve in the health service with the creation of new standards which will oversee the input the public have into their care.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has for the first time established a set of standards for engagement between people working within Health and Social Care (HSC) and service users, carers and members of the public.

The five standards of Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) support the key principle of people being involved and consulted on decisions which affect their health and social care. The five standards are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Governance
  3. Opportunities and support for involvement
  4. Knowledge and skills
  5. Measuring outcomes.

Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA, said: “When people are meaningfully involved in decision making about their health and social wellbeing, it leads to improved quality and safety. These standards set the benchmark for that engagement, to build upon the involvement patients have in their care and to ensure that they are appropriately consulted about decisions that affect them.

“This initiative shows the significance of working with partners across Health and Social Care and emphasises the importance of working with our most important partners – patients and carers.”

Involvement can range from one-to-one clinical or social care interaction with service users and carers, through to larger group engagements to assess needs, design services and influence commissioning priorities and policy development.

The standards have been endorsed by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Health Minister Jim Wells said: “The standards will help the HSC system in the drive to achieve person-centred service. They will help embed PPI into the culture and practice of health and social care, so that it becomes the norm.” 

The PPI standards have been developed in partnership with the Regional HSC PPI Forum which comprises all HSC organisations and service users and carers. 

Martin Quinn, Regional PPI Lead at the PHA, said: “If we embrace this fully, it will help ensure a continual improvement in culture and practice, whereby service users’ and carers’ knowledge and expertise are recognised and valued and where we collaborate in genuine partnership with service users and carers in the planning, design, management and delivery of services for the benefit of all.”

Notes to the editor
  • The five PPI standards are:

- Leadership – HSC organisations will have in place, clear leadership arrangements to provide assurances that PPI is embedded into policy and practice.

- Governance – HSC organisations will have in place, clear corporate governance arrangements to provide assurances that PPI is embedded into policy and practice.

- Opportunities and support for involvement – HSC organisations will provide clear and accessible opportunities for involvement at all levels, facilitating and supporting the involvement of service users, carers and the public in the planning, delivery and evaluation of services.

- Knowledge and skills – HSC organisations will provide PPI awareness raising and training opportunities as appropriate to need, to enable all staff to deliver their statutory PPI obligations.

- Measuring outcomes – HSC organisations will measure the impact and evaluate outcomes of PPI activity.