Influencing policy

Feedback comments from NHS staff, patients, clients, carers and families are essential if policy is to support best practice and allow innovation to flourish throughout NHS Scotland at all levels - from Government policies to the type of local level involvement you have learned about in the previous activities.

Shaping services

Discuss how the service you work in or care you deliver is shaped and influenced with your mentor.

Questions you can ask are:

  • what influences have there been on the current service/care?
  • how and why were changes made in the past?
  • how does an idea or identified need for change get translated into how patients/clients receive care?
  • what happens if ideas can't be put into action e.g. because of lack of finance or other resources?

Record what you have found and your reflections on this information for your portfolio.

Getting good ideas into practice

Following on from the activity above, choose an example of where good practice was disseminated in your area or changes were made. Consider how the idea was translated into practice including:

  • who needed to be involved?
  • what challenges were present?
  • how long did the whole process take?
  • critically reflect  on what you have found  and record your reflections for your portfolio

If you want to explore this in more detail or think about how a new idea can be put into practice the Skills Maximisation Toolkit can help you. The volumes are listed on the NES AHP Publications webpage. Volume 1 is the workbook outlining the process of making changes and Volume 4 focuses on how changes have been put into action.

The Skills Maximisation Toolkit was originally designed for AHPs, but it is equally applicable to other healthcare and wider professions

Government and professional consultations

Activities in the previous sections of this unit have looked at how healthcare policy but do you know how you can have an influence on this policy and ensure that your voice is heard?

The Scottish Government state;

'In general consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.'

Find out more about this process for the Scottish Government website.

Look at the Current Consultations page to find out if there is a consultation that is of interest to you. If there is, you might want to explore this. You may want to consider how you can gain feedback from groups who may have specific communication issues or health problems influencing their ability to provide feedback on their care.

Alternatively, to be able to see the process and outcomes of a consultation, details of the consultation process in relation to the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 including the report on the consultation and the responses are available on the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act webpage.

Your professional regulator or professional body will also have consultations in relation to specific professional issues, or may ask members to contribute to their organisational response to Government consultations. Look at your professional body or professional regulator website and identify recent consultation activity. How can you contribute to this type of activity and what impact could the subject of the consultation have on your professional practice.

Reflect on how can you contribute to this type of activity and what impact could the subject of the consultation have on your professional practice. Make portfolio entry recording your reflections.