Thursday 12 March 2009

Helping charities harness their members' voices

As reported in the press this week, iWantGreatCare has expanded its pilot programme working with major health charities. Diabetes UK is the first to adopt the programme, with others expected to follow rapidly.

The project will involve iWantGreatCare working with the charities to define what matters most to patients, designing questions that will capture their experience, and then asking them to rate their care using the website or paper-based feedback. The data will then be analysed and fed back to the charity to use in supporting primary care trusts commission services that are fully based on the needs and experiences of patients.

Dr Neil Bacon, who founded iWantGreatCare, said his company is providing its services free to any charity in the UK who wished to harness patient experience as a powerful tool to help PCTs commission care directly shaped by experience of patients. He said: “We want to develop a huge database on patients' experience of care of diabetes. Diabetes UK will use that to talk to PCTs and identify ways to improve the patient journey. This will be patients driving discussions with commissioners and thus shaping services in a truly patient-centric manner.”

John Grummit, vice chair of Diabetes UK, which has more than 170,000 members and is one of the largest patient organisations in Europe, added: “If we can get that momentum going and get that data out there and get that explosion of information used by decision makers it would be a big change.”

Charities are able to find more information, and apply to become partners (free of charge) at

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