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Improving networked care


In settings that do not already have a culture of patient participation, the idea of patient involvement can initially be seen as a challenge.

  • Having a trust strategy for patient participation provides a wider context for and understanding of EBCD.
  • For EBCD to succeed, obtaining commitment, oversight and expectation from senior operational managers from the very beginning is of paramount importance.  This provides not only recognition of the significance of the work but also the required time and resources, making the aims more achievable.   
  • Having strong local leadership cannot be over emphasised, but having strong members of the team who feel involved and empowered to carry on the work in the absence of the project lead, in the event of long-term unplanned absence, is equally important for success. 
  • Another challenge can be the perceived lack of time available to do this work, with busy clinics, difficulty in getting staff released and annual leave commitments.
  • Events, activities and staff availability need to be planned in advance.
  • Train only those staff to be included in subsequent activities and consider who these staff members need to be.

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challenges imageFrom the staff’s perspective, there is a risk that the model appears over complicated and time consuming, requiring skills and equipment that they may not have locally.

It is important to emphasise the flexibility of the tool to reassure staff that as long as the core elements of the tool are met, they can adapt it to their local circumstances.

Recruiting patients for the project can be a challenge – it is not easy to explain a complicated project during a busy clinic and some teams may struggle to find enough patients willing to commit. 

Setting up a database and webpage of patients willing to become involved makes the process of recruiting patients easier.

Posters and leaflets emphasising the local nature of the work can help.

A positive feature of the work by one of the teams was in identifying interested patients before the process started.