On March 21st, our Engagement Team hosted an event which provides a spotlight on how co-production can be achieved across NHS and local health services through engaging people with lived experience effectively.
Cheryl Huggins, Healthwatch Essex Engagement and Volunteering Officer, emphasised how patient engagement can still be seen as a tick box exercise, but can be delivered well with meaningful engagement. The involvement of patients such as our Healthwatch Essex Ambassadors and Patient Partners breaks the traditional view of patient involvement however they must be supported in a structured and safe environment.
The event showcased best practice of co-production across Essex and encouraged everyone to think about co-production in their role, whether it’s as a service user, commissioner or provider, through the following:
- Film launched highlighting Healthwatch Essex Mental Health Ambassador programme
- Guest speaker, Claire Hankey, Director of Communications for Mid Essex STP presented on the work of the STP including the development of a new Citizens Panel, future model of public and patient involvement and ongoing work with our Patient Partners.
- Our ‘Experts of Experience’ Tamsin and John shared why they got involved as Mental Health Ambassadors and how they wanted to make a difference.
The event received great feedback from all attendees with 82% rating the event as Very Good and the remaining 18% rating it as Excellent. The blended approach between staff, volunteers, patient stories and practical examples made a positive impact on the audience with individuals pledging to introduce more co-production in their current roles and future projects.