Let’s re-shape the NHS together

As the IWA launches a new crowdfunding campaign Angharad Dalton explains why we’re involving patients in our next health project, and why you should support it.

Technology is developing all around us and in all manner of ways, from gadgets that track fitness levels to fridge-freezers that can order ice-cream for you if it is going to be warm. These developments are permeating every sector and increasingly influencing our thinking and expectations. The possibilities seem limitless in a connected world where collaboration is at a peak and brilliant (and bonkers) ideas abound. So, what’s the problem?

Patient Stories Series

This week on Click on Wales we are running a series of patient posts in relation to our new crowdfunding campaign for our Helping Patients Change the NHS project.

You can read the full series here

Well, the reality is that there simply isn’t enough money around to give every promising idea a go.

This of course is a truism that affects all industries and sectors, but it is especially disadvantageous within the healthcare sector, where overlooked and underfunded ideas and innovations have the potential to transform lives.

It’s concerning to us here at the IWA especially that “healthcare has found it harder than banking, travel or the tax man to take advantage of digital technology. Today, you can be told how soon your taxi will arrive and you can access your bank records online, but out of hours practitioners cannot access the records of the patients they treat.

Our governments have recognised the need to modernise the way healthcare works, with Informed Health and Care (Welsh Government, 2015) and Personalised Health and Care 2020 (UK coalition Government, 2014) providing frameworks for action to support medical professionals, patients and the public in making better use of technology. The push towards healthcare modernisation and development  is happening (at least frameworks for it are being developed) but we think it’s important that *you* can be a part of it.  This is one area where the IWA can really make a difference. At the IWA, we passionately believe that Welsh individuals and communities hold the answers to many issues facing our country today. Previously, we have ‘crowdsourced’ policy ideas from Welsh citizens around making improvements to cancer services, and on Wales’ constitutional future. Now, by putting citizens and patients at the heart of our work, we aim to crowdfund and co-produce a healthcare system that is of and for the citizen.

Today the IWA launches Helping Patients Change the NHS, a crowdfunding campaign to fund a ‘for patients, by patients’ project to improve the health service in Wales. In our crowdsourced ‘Let’s talk cancer’ project in 2015, patients told us they want a better experience of the NHS in Wales; specifically access to patient notes and more information about delays to appointments to avoid wasting time in hospital waiting rooms.

Our new project ‘Helping Patients Change the NHS’ will:

  • Bring patients and practitioners together to design ’ innovative solutions to these two problems
  • Test patient ideas in hospital settings
  • Work to get the best of the patient ideas implemented across the NHS in Wales.

But we can’t do this without your support. We can’t organise this work without your help, we are writing to Trusts, asking our members and seeking crowdfunding to help us make this project a reality. Our crowdfunding target is £2,500. Your donation will help us make this project a reality.

To support this project please click here: https://www.iwa.wales/our-work/health/help-us-fund-project/ 

Angharad Dalton is Policy and Projects Officer for the IWA and will lead the ‘Helping patient change the NHS’ project. For any queries please contact Angharad on [email protected].

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