Can a person-centred culture exist in a hospital setting?

Jennifer Pearl biog photo
Jennifer Pearl, National Co-production Advisory Group (NCAG)
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If there was one piece of practical action Integrated Care Systems (ICS) could take to make collaborative working a reality, TLAP and NCAG would say it’s ‘co-production’.

From our experience of social care, we know that working in co-production supports a person-centred approach. Not only does it have a positive impact on local populations, it  also supports workforce integration.

Here Jennifer Pearl, member of NCAG gives an insight into the difference it made at her NHS trust

Have you ever heard of a Baclofen Pump? I have one and it has transformed my life. It’s a pump that’s implanted in my stomach with a catheter that goes straight into a fluid filled area around my spinal cord.  It’s a really clever bit of kit that drips medication straight to where it’s needed.  Since I’ve had the pump it’s enabled me to live again.  I had terrible spasms before which stopped me sleeping and resulted in me breaking an ankle.

Previously, the pump had to be replaced every five-seven years by a general anaesthetic.  Now, it can be replaced under local anaesthetic.  The nurse in charge wanted to make an animation to explain to patients what this would involve.

Patient Participation Group

From the start of the project when she applied for funding, to drawing up storyboards, Liz involved the patient participation group (PPG) of around eight people of whom I am a member. We offered feedback via email, Zoom or telephone about the music, imagery, language, and content. Not only did Liz seek our opinions, she worked with a multi-disciplinary team in the hospital to get their feedback too.  The finished product is fantastic.  I wish there had been a similar animation when I first considered having the pump.  We suggested that further animations would be really useful, and as a result another animation is being made on triggers for spasticity.

What is co-production?

Personalised care and support planning for supporting integrated care

Infection control and how small details count for so much

Peddle bins were another area that sparked a co-productive approach!  It’s impossible to operate one if you are paralysed.  As a wheelchair user you have no option other than throwing paper towels on the floor.  We discussed this with the consultant at one of our PPG meetings, who took the issue to the board of University College Hospital. The consultant took up our cause with relish because she realised how such seemingly small details count for so much when you are a wheelchair user. Doing so was no straightforward business. She had to consult with the fire officer and the infection control officer before trialling the new bins.  All the while keeping us informed.

On a lighter note, I asked the very same consultant if it would be advisable for me to go micro lighting. She gave me a rather blank look. ‘What is micro lighting?’

As it turned out, I did end up flying a microlight. Had my doctor realised that the landing was as bumpy as it was, I doubt she would have thought it a very good idea. Without the pump it would have been a lot harder. 

Replacing your Baclofen pump - episode one (opens new window)

Replacing your Baclofen pump - episode two (opens new window)



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