Celebrating 2023: A Year of Milestones and Meaningful Progress in Person Centred Care

Chris Graham reflects on the impactful journey of The Picker Group and its collaborative efforts in enhancing healthcare experiences.

Now that we are well into December, the end of the year provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we’ve achieved and learned over the course of 2023 – and in this short blog, I want to reflect on some of the key developments for our Charity. 

The first thing that stands out is simply how productive the year has been: we have taken on a number of new projects as well as continuing to support long running work. In response to this we have grown, and I have been delighted to welcome many new colleagues to the Picker Group over the course of 2023. As well as internal appointments, we have appointed five new members to our Board of Trustees – all of whom bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise. All of these appointments reflect our aspiration to build on our recent successes and to ensure that we are doing as much as we possibly can to influence, inspire, and empower our partners and stakeholders to deliver the highest quality person centred care for all, always. To our new colleagues, I want to say thank you for joining us on this journey – and for so quickly getting to grips with life in an organisation that continues to enjoy a positive, collaborative working culture, and that excels through the expertise and dedication of its team.   

Working together, we have had some real stand-out moments in 2023. It is impossible to list every highlight – a sign in itself of what a productive, impactful year it has been – but five points illustrate the breadth and scale of our work: 

  • We have been awarded a multi-year contract to coordinate the NHS Patient Survey Programme for the Care Quality Commission. We have a long association with this programme and our proud to continue our involvement. This year, key developments include the publication of the most recent national survey of users of Urgent and Emergency Care services in July – although we were disappointed to report sharp declines in many areas of patient experience. We aim to support organisations in addressing the challenges that these results can highlight: this year alone we have conducted more than thirty national and local workshops to support improvement.  
  • Similarly, we have extended our role as the coordinating centre for the NHS Staff Survey via a new multi-year contract with NHS England. And this year we have developed and launched the first national survey of staff at GP practices in England. Starting from October, staff in participating organisations have been given the opportunity to give feedback about their experiences of working in general practice – bringing consistency with the NHS Staff Survey for secondary care organisations. We are looking forward to sharing findings in the new year. 
  • Our researchers have commenced a number of really interesting projects in 2023 – a great example being the evaluation of the Q Community that we initiated in June on behalf of the Health Foundation. Working with colleagues at ResPeo and Healthcare Priority Solutions, we’ll be taking a thorough look at how the improvement community has created impact at individual, organisational, and system level – as well as considering how that impact can grow in the future. The project will continue during 2024 but we’re already well underway with our research and are delighted to be supporting the development of this important initiative. 
  • In September, colleagues and I attended the Patient Experience Network’s national awards – and we were pleased to work with the inspirational team at PEN to host satellite events before and after the main awards day. We’re proud to be a part of this work that showcases some of the best practice in improving person centred care and helps to demonstrate the impact of our work on measuring and understanding people’s experiences of care.   
  • In November, we held our first national care symposium – a joint event with our wonderful colleagues at fellow charity the Point of Care Foundation. The symposium focused on the power of listening to patients and staff, and provided a space for learning and reflection. My thoughts from the day are published at https://picker.org/research_insights/insights-from-the-picker-and-point-of-care-foundation-symposium/.   

These examples, wonderful as they are to reflect on, are just a selection of what we’ve done in 2023 – many others are detailed in our website’s research and insights pages, which provide a stream of news and developments from the Picker Group. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with our activities, please do make sure that you’re signed up to our newsletter, and of course don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’d like to talk about how we can help you or your organisation to understand, measure, and improve people’s experiences of care. 

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