As part of our Quality Improvement Programme, we aim to involve patients in activities to make improvements. We have set up a number local patient groups throughout the UK where patients take part as active participants. Opinions are sought on actions being taken to improve outcomes and patients are included in decisions taken as part of the project.
Patient input is required on:
- Consenting to hold personal patient data on the National Vascular Database
- Patients' experience of care
- Informed consent-what information should be provided to patients on the treatment of AAAs?
- Patient assessment and joint decision making for surgery
- Structure of multi-disciplinary teams and how they work
- Providing information to AAA screening patients
- Practical input on patient information leaflets and consent forms
Guidance for Conducting AAA Patient Groups
We have developed guidance for conducting patient groups and have feedback of themes from several groups held so far (see below).
Focus Group Methodology: Download AAA QIP Patient Group Methodology (pdf)
Patient Group Meeting Plan: Download AAA QIP Patient Group Meeting Plan (pdf)
Patient Group Findings presented at the Vascular Society's Annual General Meeting
View our patient group outcomes presentation that was presented at the 2010 Vascular Society AGM:
Several AAA patient group meetings have already been held in Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Aberdeen. Patients who had undergone an AAA repair have been happy to share their experiences with us and these have been included on the 'Patient Experience' topic on our FORUM. These show the varying degrees of complications, days in hospital and recovery time back to normal activity that AAA patients' face. Patients also informed us on what they feel are acceptable outcomes for those with AAAs and what they feel are important in services for AAA repair. The meetings have also produced novel ideas for improvements. This information will be fed back to patients, used to create and direct work streams on this project as well as inform recommendations to the Vascular Society as well as patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) development.
Practical Outputs from AAA Patient Groups
Post-Operative Communication Care Bundle
A consistent theme that has emerged nationally is that patients feel they do not receive enough post operative information, in particular what to expect. Many patients reported that they faced unexpected consequences from AAA surgery and as a result this lead to anxiousness in their recovery. Patients' expectations need to be corrected and hospitals have a responsibility to provide the appropriate information to ensure patients experience the best possible care.
Therefore, the AAA QIP has outlined a strategy that aims to:
- Address the lack of post operative recovery information that has been identified nationally.
- Standardise the process of providing patient information.
- Ensure patients are fully informed upon discharge (inc medication, pain relief & follow up).
- Ensure patients are provided with a point of contact post-operatively to address concerns.
The following care bundle has been designed to achieve these aims. It should be implemented on all patients after surgical intervention.
Regional Patient Group Feedback:
Ireland: Working hard to establish AAA patient groups within existing Mens Health and Cardiovascular Network organisations.