So far on our journey towards becoming an Ontario Health Team, three streams of engagement have been undertaken, focused on the needs of those with mental health and addictions needs, those with palliative care needs and on how home care services can be integrated with primary care for improved service delivery. The three streams have included patients, families & caregivers and persons with lived experience who were invited to several engagement events to co-design the transformational changes described in this document. Moving forward, the implementation teams that are forming to advance the described key change activities within each priority population work-stream will include patients, families & caregivers and persons with lived experience to ensure that this important voice is contributing to the continued design and implementation of this work. We will also continue to collect, respond and share (where permission to do so is granted) individual patient stories as a powerful way to motivate the required transformation.
We have created a Guelph and Area OHT website (http://guelphandareaoht.com/) where we house updates and relevant information. We have also created a Guelph and Area OHT e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) that is linked from the website to allow all stakeholders including patients, families, and caregivers to provide, feedback, ask questions etc. We will be enhancing the web page to include a ‘Patient & Caregiver’ specific section.
At our September 18th engagement with patients, families and caregivers representing many of the core partner organizations we asked for direct feedback on how patients and families should be integrated into an Ontario Health Team. Some of their ideas/suggestions included: Patient and patient advocates (numbers as required) must be full board members with voice and vote, patients (and the community) should have input into the selection of “senior leadership”. Additionally, while there was value in the continuation of existing, organization-focused patient advisory or resident councils, there was an acknowledgement of the opportunity to hold joint sessions as the OHT develops with the possibility of creating a Guelph and Area OHT Patient & Family Advisory Committee in the longer term.
Evaluating patient engagement is of interest to us. We are committed to monitoring where patients are participating, what feedback or suggestions have been made by patients, and what action was taken by those receiving the feedback or suggestion. We will continue to explore meaningful evaluative measures for patient engagement including an online engagement platform.
We look forward to doing more community engagement in Year 1 planning of the Guelph OHT. We are exploring having an open community meeting to keep Guelph and Area residents informed and keep ongoing feedback.