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In this Issue:

We've won an award!

New member of staff at HRIS

Mystery shopping: the results

Updated BSL versions: now available

Complaints leaflet for under 16s

New work: entitlements for overseas visitors

It's okay to ask!

Update: information on screening

Your comments please!


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Dates for your diary

24 January 2008

Healthcare Events' 'Patient Involvement and Empowerment' conference at Manchester Conference Centre.

11 March 2008

The Patient Information Forum's third annual conference 'Producing effective information for patients: the key issues' at Manchester Conference Centre.



HRIS eNewsletter

November 2007, Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of our quarterly eNewsletter. In this, you can find out about the work we've been doing over the past few months.

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We've won an award!

Photo of Confidentiality - your rights leaflet.Our leaflet, Confidentiality - your rights, which sets out how the health service keeps information about young people private, won first prize in the Patient Information Award (Young People) category at the BMA Patient Information Awards 2007. Both Elaine and Martyn Evans, Director of the Scottish Consumer Council, attended the ceremony held in London on 12 September.

As well as achieving the special prize for information for young people, the leaflet was also awarded a 'Highly Commended' certificate in the general patient information section of the awards ceremony.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us to produce this leaflet - we couldn't have done it without you!   


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New member of staff at HRIS

As many of you will know, Isla left the project at the end of August to take up a place on the NHS Graduate Management Training scheme. But we're delighted to welcome Brigitte Cosford to the HRIS team, who has joined us from the Communications Department at NHS Ayrshire & Arran.


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Mystery shopping: the results

Photo of HRIS leaflets.Earlier this year, we asked the Scottish Consumer Council's (SCC) Consumer Network to carry out a mystery shopping exercise to find out how easy it is for members of the public to get copies of our leaflets from their health board, and health services in their area. We also wanted to find out if NHS staff are aware of our leaflets.  

Consumer Network volunteers were asked to carry out a number of tasks. These included phoning up their health board to make a general request for information about their health rights, and also to ask more specifically for one or two of our information leaflets. Volunteers were also asked to visit their GP surgery, community pharmacy, and local hospital to find out how easy it is to get copies of our leaflets.

If you want to know more about the research, and to find out the results, you can read the mystery shopping report.


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Updated BSL versions: now available

The British Sign Language (BSL) versions of our recently updated leaflets, 'Confidentiality - it's your right', 'How to see your health records', and 'Making a complaint about the NHS' are now available. You can download these from the patient information section of our website. If you would like a hard copy, please contact your local health board (for contact details, go to the 'how to get our leaflets' web page.)

The updated leaflets are also available in nine translated languages, in easy read format, in large print, and in spoken English. These are also available from the patient information section of our website.


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Complaints leaflet for under 16s

Picture of doctor and girl talking.We're currently developing an information leaflet for young people to outline their right to have their say about the care they have received from the NHS. HMIE inspections of child protection services in a number of areas in Scotland have identified the lack of a leaflet on the NHS complaints procedure that is child-friendly, and we've been asked to address this.

We've asked relevant stakeholders, including a Young People's Health Advisory Group, to comment on the appropriate content of this leaflet. The majority of people we've spoken to strongly believe that information like this would be helpful and should encourage young people to speak out about the care they have received from the NHS - we're taking these views on board. You can find out more about the background research we've done by reading our report.

If you would like to find out more about this work, contact Elaine.


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New work: entitlements for overseas visitors

The Scottish Government has asked us to produce accessible information to explain the circumstances under which overseas visitors are entitled to NHS care in Scotland.

We have completed some background research looking at the type of information that currently exists. We've also spoken to staff from NHS 24, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the Scottish Refugee Council, who have a responsibility for providing help and advice to overseas visitors in need of health care. Those we've spoken to are keen for this work to go ahead.

As entitlement to NHS care depends on an individual's particular circumstances, we are drafting a series of short information leaflets. This will allow us to tailor the information to specific groups, including refugees and asylum seekers, migrant workers and overseas students.

We hope that the individual leaflets will be ready for consultation with relevant stakeholders early next year, and we will then look to find out what members of the public think. For more information on this work, contact Brigitte.


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It's okay to ask!

Picture of girl looking puzzled.Many of you will remember that we've been working on a list of questions for patients to use in any consultation and for any condition. The Scottish Government asked us to pilot these questions to find out if they are effective in practice.

We developed a leaflet called 'It's okay to ask!' for use in the pilot, and commissioned George Street Research to help us run and evaluate the research. The research took place throughout October in three locations (two GP surgeries and one out patients clinic) in NHS Lothian, with 200 members of the public taking part. NHS frontline staff were also interviewed to find out their views.

Although we haven't received the final report on the pilot, the initial findings are extremely positive. They indicate that the majority of people felt reassured that it is okay to ask questions during health care consultations as a result of reading the leaflet, and many said that they would use the leaflet again. Once we have received the final report, the next step will be to make recommendations to the Scottish Government on the best way forward, and we hope to be able to do this before the end of the year.

If you would like more information about the 'It's okay to ask!' pilot, contact Elaine.


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Update: information on screening

Earlier this year we drafted an information leaflet on screening, on behalf of the Health Improvement Strategy Division (HISD) of the Scottish Government. The leaflet aimed to give the public general information about their rights around screening without going into detail about the specific programmes that are available from the NHS in Scotland.

We commissioned an independent researcher to carry out a series of focus groups on the draft leaflet to find out if the information in the leaflet is useful and helpful. While the focus group participants praised the language used in the leaflet for being simple and clear, most felt that the information was too general to be helpful. You can read more about the views expressed by the focus group participants in the full consultation report.

On the basis of this research, we suggested that, rather than produce a general leaflet, HISD look into other ways of publicising patients' rights around screening. If you would like more information, contact Elaine.


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Your comments please!

A pilot website has been set up to explore the possibility of creating a central resource of translated information in a range of languages about public services. This forms part of the work of the Translation, Interpreting and Communication Support Implementation Group (TICSIG), which is a working group of the Equality Unit of the Scottish Government.

The pilot website contains information in Polish which has been collected from NHS boards, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations. It also contains information produced in England which is equally relevant in Scotland, as well as a small amount of information produced in other countries which is currently being used in Scotland.

TICSIG would like to encourage people to try out the site and feedback their comments using the link on the website homepage. If you would like to get involved, visit the Polish Information Plus site at www.polishinformationplus.co.uk/index.aspx


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Page last edited: 05 March 2008