Examples of how PPI contributed to implementation work in NIHR CLAHRC South Yorkshire

Involving patients and the public in an implementation project to improve nutrition of hospitalised patients – Kate Gerrish

NIHR CLAHRC South Yorkshire undertook a collaborative implementation project with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to introduce an evidence-based malnutrition screening tool and associated care guidelines to promote improvements in patient nutrition more generally. The project team were keen that patients and the public were involved in the project. The Project Advisory Group that was established to oversee the project included two PPI members. One person was a patient governor and the other a public governor for the Trust so they were familiar with the organization. They both had a longstanding interest in hospital nutrition and were already members of the Trust’s Nutritional Steering Group. 

Consequently, they were able to provide valuable insights and expertise to the Project Advisory Group, especially through championing the ‘patient perspective’.

The project team also worked with the volunteer co- coordinator for the Trust’s Patient Experience department to involve hospital volunteers. A small group of volunteers were trained to collect questionnaire data. They subsequently administered a national questionnaire developed by the Royal Collage of Nursing and Age UK which formed part of the ‘Hungry to be Heard’ campaign on hospital nutrition. Volunteers visited wards to help patients complete the questionnaire and they collected additional information on patients’ views about hospital food through conversations with patients. 

The contribution of the volunteers enabled a high response rate to be achieved, especially from patients who would not be able to complete a paper-based questionnaire. This meant that the Trust has useful data upon which to plan improvements. For further information on the project see here

Involving patients and carers in a Dysphagia Project Management Group - Irene Ilott

NIHR CLAHRC South Yorkshire undertook two collaborative implementation projects with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to enhance the care of people with swallowing problems (dysphagia). The project teams wanted people with direct experience of dysphagia as members of the management groups that oversaw the work. Two people – a family carer and a former patient - were approached by hospital staff to ascertain if they were interested in participating. They agreed, and continued to be involved from 2010 to 2013.

Both people were new to the organisation and to this role. To support their engagement, personal contact was made before and after each meeting. This was to ensure all the meeting arrangements were convenient, especially taxi journeys and that the venue was accessible.

The public members had an equal place and equal voice at each meeting. They were particularly influential in shaping the recommendations arising from the findings. Their contribution was acknowledged in the executive summaries published on the CLAHRC South Yorkshire website, see here