2021 Annual Review: Lay Commitee - it’s all about the patient
The Lay Committee
During 2021 members of the Lay Committee made sure that the patient and public voice was heard throughout the College.
In April 2021 Pauline Elliott became Chair of the Lay Committee, taking over from Carol Pellowe. Carol and four other long-serving members of the Lay Committee stepped down in 2022 after six years of voluntary work at the College. We thank them for their expertise and experience and wish them well in their future endeavours.
During 2021 members of the Lay Committee made sure that the patient and public voice was heard throughout the College. Our activities included participating in hybrid ACSA reviews, contributing to Boards, committees and other groups, reviewing patient information, and writing regularly about the public perspective on healthcare in the Bulletin and other College publications.
We made progress on the aims of our Interim Strategic Plan, which focuses on improving our influence, our communication and our ways of working. Refreshing our webpages and taking opportunities to represent patients and the public at events, such as Anaesthesia Updates and the Winter Symposium, has helped to raise our profile at the College. We have also started to forge fruitful links with patient groups at other organisations such as the BMA’s Patient Liaison Group.
In a year in which issues of inequality and discrimination dominated headlines around the world, we were proud to publish the Lay Committee’s commitment on equality, diversity and inclusion. This sets out not only the actions we will take to improve our own approaches, but also the challenge we will offer the College to ensure it takes account of the views of individuals and groups from diverse communities in our society.
In a year in which issues of inequality and discrimination dominated headlines around the world, we were proud to publish the Lay Committee’s commitment on equality, diversity and inclusion.
One of our key aims is to diversify the Lay Committee itself. Therefore, we are pleased that our efforts to create an open and non-restrictive recruitment process for new members attracted a wide range of applicants. We have recruited seven people from different backgrounds and communities and from widespread locations around the UK. Our new colleagues will make a major contribution to ensuring that the patient and public perspective is clearly heard at the College. The Committee very much looks forward to working with them.
Another important aspect of our current and future work is supporting initiatives and developments in informed consent and shared decision-making. High quality, trusted patient information is central to meaningful shared decision-making. Through our work with the Centre for Perioperative Care and the Patient Information Group, we will aim to enhance our contribution to materials and resources provided by the College.
During 2021 the Lay Committee was invited to work with Council on the development of the new College values and strategy. Some enjoyable sessions, during which ideas were welcomed, shared and challenged, generated the foundations for the new frameworks. From our involvement with people responsible for designing and driving forward the commitments and plans, we are confident that the College will ensure that patients and the public are central to its future activities.
In 2022 our governance structure will change as we move from the Communications and External Affairs Directorate to our new home within the Clinical Quality and Research Directorate. The Lay Committee looks forward to working with Sharon Drake and her team to revise our strategic plan so that it aligns with the new College values and strategy. We’ll also be collaborating with colleagues at the College and beyond to explore new ways of championing and strengthening the patient voice in anaesthesia, intensive care, pain management and the wider healthcare environment.