News article response from Healthwatch Kent
Our newsletter readers will note that in the news stories we publish, we sometimes add a comment from tCI.
Whilst we would love to provide our own written articles and comment on as many stories as possible to provide an opportunity for you to learn from others’ mistakes, or benefit from their good practices, unfortunately we do not currently have the resources at HQ to do so. We often receive feedback from our readers that they value the public consultation and engagement related stories directly in their inbox.
We welcome this response from Healthwatch Kent’s CEO, and encourage more organisations to write to us with requests for topics and input on a particular news article.
I was compelled to contact The Consultation Institute regarding the article on 23rd February: https://www.consultationinstitute.org/consultation-news/nhs-consultations-slammed-sham/
We are the local Healthwatch for Kent and have worked closely with the stroke review to help ensure the case for change and pre-consultation phases were robust.
We had excellent training from TCI in 2015 and from that produced our Best Practice Guide on Consultations: www.healthwatchkent.co.uk/sites/default/files/healthwatch_kent_best_practise_guide_to_consultation_final.pdf
We used this to both support and guide the stroke review process but then also to scrutinise it so that we were able to give a view which we published this week: http://www.healthwatchkent.co.uk/steves-blog
In the article the local campaign group asserted that holding listening events that featured round table discussions was ‘undemocratic and a sham’.
I excitedly read to the end to see what TCI’s view was, but there wasn’t one.
In other articles, tCI offer a perspective and I was interested in what they thought of SONIKs views on what a consultation meeting should be and compare it to what they think is good practice. All our training and understanding of best practice indicates to me that their demands would mean a poorer quality of event.
I attended the event in Margate this week and although the agenda had been changed to incorporate an open Q&A session, the campaign group eventually made it impossible to progress to the round table part of the event. Whilst the group filed out, some local people remained and wanted to talk about their views, which we did. However, it was clear we could have had more discussions as smaller groups that would have given even richer feedback. This seemed to be a missed opportunity.
The potential problem is that some campaign groups, in particular the group related to this article, would promote tCI repeating their concerns as confirmation that they are valid.
I have found the Institute’s insights on issues from other areas so helpful, and would love to see more of this on the articles published.