The DH connecting programme has been launched to help staff become more connected to the real experiences of patients and service users.
The Francis Report highlighted the importance of making sure patients are at the heart of everything the Department does – the policies we develop and the work we direct needs to be grounded in the realities of people’s experience.
A wide range of activities to help connect staff to the experiences of patients and service users are being made available through partnerships with health and social care providers and third sector organisations. These include opportunities to accompany hospital porters, see the work of healthcare assistants, and find out what it’s like on reception desks or on helplines, shadow doctors and nurses as they work on wards or in operating theatres, or experience life with social workers in the community. Connecting is about ensuring patients voices are heard and that the health and social care system delivers for all by putting our workers directly in touch with patients, service users and staff.
Ministers, directors and SCS are leading the process, but everyone in the Department is being encouraged to build up their connections over time. A structured process is being developed to help everyone share knowledge and learning within the Department on their return. The experience of staff will also be reflected in their performance assessments and it will become a normal part of how the Department of Health works in the future.