Using co-production to improve the state of care

Jennifer Pearl biog photo
Jennifer Pearl, National Co-production Advisory Group (NCAG)
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Jennifer Pearl and Andrea Sutcliffe

It was a privilege to get an invite to the State of Care 2022 event (opens new window) recently. 

State of Care is the Care Quality Commission annual assessment of health care and social care in England.  Several things struck me as I attended the event. The first of those being how, on the whole, I get a good service and have a reasonable way of living despite all my complex health needs and challenges.   

However, operations have been delayed and cancelled, and I still have the same problems that I’ve had since 2018 with equipment provision.  Back then the Care Quality Commission did not have a regulatory power to look at the whole system. They do now, which is wonderful and I do hope these powers make a difference to the whole system.   

Some of the headaches I have are with wheelchair services and provision of specialist equipment.  I would also like to have a choice of what time I go to bed and be able to get this service from a local provision, therefore not having to rely on family care when I choose to go to bed late. 

It has been 5 years since I last went to the State of Care and had my picture taken with the then Chair of the Care Quality Commission, Peter Wyman.  

The state of care is not in a good place. The headlines from the report that resonated with me are the following: The health and social care system is gridlockedPeople are struggling to access care; and Inequalities pervade and persist

Six years ago, after being ill, I started working for the Care Quality Commission as an Expert by Experience.  Since then I have got more and more involved in using my voice to improve services and highlight concerns, both at a local and national level. 

I was on the patient reference group for the Dame Cumberlidge report on patient safety. One of the recommendations in the report was to have a Patient Safety Commissioner. At this recent State of Care event Dr Hughes, Patient Safety Commissioner, introduced herself to me.  It is good to see things being put into practice.  

From making this connection, I was able to put Dr Hughes in touch with the Spinal Injuries Association.  One of my biggest fears is going to a non specialist hospital and not having my needs met. 

Also at the event, as pictured above, it was a pleasure to see Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

I am very pleased that my role as an Expert by Experience for the Care Quality Commission and my work on the National Co Production advisory group complement each other.   

Care Quality Commission will be using the Making It Real statements in their new regulatory framework to ensure that people’s voices get heard. 


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