A new campaign aimed at empowering patients to ask questions about their treatment has been launched today (Tuesday 8 November) at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
The new initiative, ‘It’s OK to Ask,’ helps service users find out more about their care so they can better understand what is being recommended to them. It prompts three main questions for patients to consider:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important I do this?
Other supporting materials, such as posters and bookmarks, will be given out highlighting potential questions they may wish to ask surrounding discharge, medication and treatment.
Garry Perry, Associate Director – Patient Relations & Experience at the Trust, said the campaign will help patients and healthcare professionals engage in positive conversations about treatment.
He said: “It’s about our patients feeling empowered to ask questions and feeling involved in their care. It creates opportunities to double check things they don’t understand. As a result, patients will be better informed and better in control of the care they receive.
“We also want patients to know they shouldn’t feel embarrassed if they don’t understand something, and they shouldn’t leave their appointment or consultation feeling confused about what’s the plan is. We appreciate this can be even more challenging when patients have sensory difficulties or English is not their first language. This campaign will support staff, with additional leaflets and information, to take necessary action to help our patients understand.”
Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive, added: “Our staff are more than happy to answer any questions you might have, as then they can be assured you are content and feel informed about next steps.
“By being more involved, you’ll be able to make better decisions for yourself about your own care. I’d strongly encourage you to say what’s on your mind, as only then can we be sure that we’re meeting your needs.
“Thank you to our Patient Experience Team for leading on this important piece of work and for always striving to make patients’ voices heard.”
The Patient Experience Team, supported by Walsall Manor Hospital’s Welcome Hub team and volunteers, will be visiting a variety of departments across in the month of November to engage both patients and staff in the new initiative.
This campaign forms part of a wider piece of engagement work at the Trust called ‘Know it November’ which again strives to remind patients that no question is ever wrong.