Person and Family Centred Care in the ICU

Leader(s)Joanne McPeake, Gemma Smart, Murray Sheriff Short and Tara Quasim
LocationGlasgow Royal Infirmary
DurationDecember 2013 – May 2015
Received for PublicationFebruary 2016

There is now support from both health care providers and policy makers that patients must be involved in the design of services within the NHS, to ensure safe, effective care is delivered to every patient. As a result, a multitude of models to deliver effective patient and family involvement have been described in the literature and policy. One model of patient involvement includes patient and family groups. These can come in many forms including small focus groups which address specific clinical areas and issues.

The staff at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wished to develop a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) with the aim of creating a model of collaboration between patients, relatives and staff in the ICU. This project utilised a number of different facilitation and practice development methods throughout the progression of this 18 month project. These methods, which included the creation of a staff steering group, values clarification exercises and the adapted emotional touchpoint technique, were supported by the facilitator from the Foundation of Nursing Studies.

A total of 12 patients and family members were recruited to the PFAC. The council met for a total of six sessions and was co-chaired by a family member and a staff member. The discussions for each session were structured around the patient journey through the hospital and their experience at each point in their journey. This included, arriving at ICU, experience of ICU, transfer to the ward environment and discharge home. Discussions and key areas for improvement which were identified by the council included improved signage within the hospital; the creation of information poster and the improvement of ICU waiting area.

The creation of the PFAC in Glasgow has demonstrated the importance of co-production in the NHS. Furthermore, it has shown that allowing patients to drive the quality agenda does not mean massive changes or indeed costs to service providers. This group has shown that small changes, with relatively little costs involved, can have significant implications for the quality of care which patients and family members receive. Members of the project team have presented the key findings, including information on the creation of the Council, at national conferences.

This project was supported by the Foundation of Nursing Studies Patients First Programme in partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

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