Patient and public involvement (PPI) has been
recognized internationally. In England, NHS policies have increasingly
emphasized the importance of patient-centered services, but limited evidence
exists about the implementation of PPI policies and strategies within
organizations. Few studies have explored health professionals’ perceptions of PPI and
comparatively little is known about the experience of senior nurses. A national
consultation utilising three focus groups aimed to explore senior nurses’ PPI
experience. Four Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and eleven Primary Care Trusts
(PCTs) in England, with fifteen senior nurses with leadership roles and direct
PPI experience, participated. Focus groups were digitally recorded and
transcribed verbatim; anonymised transcripts were validated by participants and
analysed with thematic analysis. Sixteen categories emerged within five
sub-themes of PPI experience: provision of information and raising awareness (1 category), informal generic PPI-activities not perceived
as PPI (3 categories), formal generic
PPI (3 categories), involvement of
specific groups (5 categories) and
PPI in commissioning and strategy (4 categories). Findings provided
new insights into senior nurses’ experiences and evidence that progress towards
meaningful, effective PPI remains slow. Nurses performed PPI in a pragmatic
sense, by virtue of the nature of nursing, but they did not recognise or label
these activities as such. However, a plethora and variety of innovative
activities formally recognised as patient and public involvement were undertaken,
together with specific networks and groups’ involvement, and involvement linked
to commissioning and strategy. Enhancing awareness of nurses through education,
together with monitoring and feedback mechanisms could support the PPI
implementation and effectiveness at organisations.
Cite this paper
Boudioni, M. and McLaren, S. (2014) Diversity and Scope of Senior Nurses’ Informal and Formal Experiences of Patient and Public Involvement in England. Open Journal of Nursing
, 198-210. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.43024
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