If you are a patient or a relative of a patient, then you see the world differently to a hospital director, consultant surgeon or nurse. The Regional Council therefore decided in 2016 to invite user representatives to the important meetings at the region’s hospitals.
An evaluation has indicated that this has been so successful that it has now been decided to continue the arrangement for another two years. Both the hospitals and the voluntary user representatives have indicated that they would like to see the collaboration continue.
“It’s incredibly important that we maintain a close dialogue with the people we are here to help. Therefore it’s obvious that patients and their relatives are also represented when important decisions are to be made in our health service. Their insights and experience are absolutely vital,” said Chairman of the Regional Council Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats).
The arrangement was already in place at the Capital Region of Denmark mental health services (Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri), when in 2016 it was decided to expand it to the rest of the region.
An evaluation has now indicated that the participants at the meetings believe that the initiative has tremendous potential, and there has been a great deal of demand for input from user representatives at many different levels of the organisation.
Both hospital staff and user representatives have also generally experienced that it does make a difference when users are present at the meetings. There is, however, agreement that the collaboration should be adjusted slightly in order to get more from the meetings.
- It is a fruitful collaboration, but we can also see that minor adjustments are needed. It is therefore a good idea to extend the arrangement for another two years and then look at our experience again to see whether we can find out more.
- I personally very much like this development and I’m certain that we’ll also greatly benefit from the effective collaboration in the future, said Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats).
Small changes on the way
The adjustments include giving hospitals greater individual freedom to choose the user representatives and the meeting forums they participate in. Work will also continue to find the optimal format for dissemination of knowledge and sparring at the hospitals. The user representatives will also receive travel expenses for participating in the meetings.
Results of the evaluation:
Experience from this initiative, both for user representatives and hospital representatives, has generally been positive. Two out of three hospital representatives say that it is ”very positive” or “positive” that user representatives are present at their meetings. There is support from both the hospital and user representatives for the arrangement to continue:
- 59% of hospital representatives think that the initiative should continue, whilst 14% say it should not. 27% are uncertain.
- 83% of the user representatives think that the initiative should continue, whilst 7% say it should not. 10% are uncertain.
- Four out of five user representatives want to continue in their roles after the two-year trial period.
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats), Chairman of the Regional Council via the press office tel.: +45 70 20 95 88