About us>>Part two: Classes of information held>>9. Public involvement

9. Public involvement

Barts and The London NHS Trust values input and feedback from patients and the local community, and is committed to encouraging patient involvement for managing and developing its services. It has established a number of channels to support this process, including:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) – Barts and The London NHS Trust established a Patient Advice and Liaison Service at The Royal London Hospital in April 2001 – one of the first NHS organisations to set up such a service. The service provides much-appreciated support to patients requiring advice, and information and help with various healthcare issues. It is a fundamental element in facilitating patient and public participation, and is a channel for feedback on our services. The service is multilingual to support the many people who use our services whose first language is not English.

PALS is open Monday to Friday 9.30am-5.30pm. The main reception at The Royal London Hospital. Tel 020 7943 1335.  More>>

Patient and Public Involvement Forum – the Trust’s Patient and Public Involvement Forum includes members who are current/former Trust patients or carers of patients. The Chair of the Patient and Public Involvement Forum sits on the Trust Board and puts forward recommendations for changes and improvements on issues the Forum has targeted. The Forum is also consulted on and included in discussions on service and future development within the Trust.

Annual Public Meeting and Trust Board meetings – the general public are welcome to attend the Trust’s Annual Public Meeting, usually held in September.  The Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts are presented at the meeting. Six public Trust Board meetings are also held each year. These meetings are publicised in advance on the Trust's website, in newsletters and/or the local press, and include opportunities for the public to ask questions to members of the Board.

Open Days – there are annual open days at both The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital. These include opportunities for the general public to find out more about the Trust’s services, to meet staff and ask questions. These events are publicised in advance in newsletters, the local press and on the Trust's website. Other Trust special events are publicised on the Trust website and in the local media.

Vital Arts – the art project for the Trust is charitably funded to deliver a high quality programme of integrated art projects for the comfort, healing and well being of patients, staff and the hospital community. Collaboration and participation are at the heart of this work and the arts projects are designed to engage people in the design of their healthcare environments and in fostering a sense of community within the hospital

Patient surveys – many directorates and departments carry out patient surveys about services and the quality of care. The information from these surveys is used to bring about improvements.

User groups – a number of services have user groups, whose views are valued and contribute to service improvements.

Residents consultative forum - a group for local resident's groups to keep them abreast of the construction impact of the new Royal London Hospital being built in their community.

More information on these can be found on the Trust’s website and in the Trust’s Annual Report.

Please note: Some information that is of a personal and confidential nature or otherwise exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Data Protection Act 1998 will be excluded, as will any other confidential material. This includes material relating to the health and safety of specific individuals, as to law enforcement or criminal or regulatory enforcement or audit issues may also be excluded from publication. There may be circumstances where material cannot be released because the appropriate officer of the Trust has taken the view that it may be prejudicial to the conduct of public affairs.

Barts and The London serves one of the most multiculturally diverse local communities in the country, including the largest Bengali population outside of Bangladesh. The following are designed to build mutual understanding and support the many different needs of this community:

Multi-faith chaplaincy – The Trust’s chaplaincy is a multi-faith team with Christian (Church of England, Roman Catholic and Free Church), Muslim and Jewish chaplains who serve the religious and spiritual needs of patients, their relatives and members of staff. The team aims to contact representatives of other faiths as need arises. There are opportunities for various styles of worship in the Christian chapels and the Muslim prayer rooms, which have separate washing facilities for men and women. All the chaplains are ready to minister at the patient's bedside. More>>

Health advocacy service – the Trust has a team of multilingual health advocates who are able to provide an interpreting service for patients who have limited knowledge of English. More>>

Multicultural Week – this is an annual event in the Trust, designed to celebrate and build understanding of the multicultural diversity of our local population, patients and staff. It includes performances, information displays and seminars. The event is publicised in advance in newsletters and the local press and on the Trust's website.

Multilingual talking signs – the Trust has multi-lingual talking signs at The Royal London Hospital to give directions to patients and visitors in the six most-used languages in the hospital.