2020 Annual Review: Lay Committee - the patient perspective
Carol Pellowe Chair, Lay Committee
"One of our key roles is providing the College with patient and public perceptions on required information."
Ms Carol Pellowe
Chair, Lay Committee
At the beginning of 2020, we successfully recruited new members to the Lay Committee. Although we have only been able to meet virtually, we have still been able to influence College business without the complication of travel.
Patient information and COVID-19
One of our key roles is providing the College with patient and public perceptions on required information and adapting College information. The increased demand for accurate information regarding COVID-19 has kept us busy. This is likely to continue, especially over the period of vaccination. It is critical that we speak with authority and give unbiased advice to help the public make informed decisions.
Our membership represents a wide range of expertise and experience, including dentistry, nursing, legal services, engineers, pharmacy, politics and management. Consequently, we can tap into a variety of opinions. An example of this was our work with the Lay Committee of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on messaging the public about COVID-19.
The increased demand for accurate information regarding COVID-19 has kept us busy.
The campaign included messaging around accessing the NHS when necessary and how this may affect people attending appointments. If patients have been shielding, they need assurance that it is safe for them to attend a hospital. There is still much to do and as a Committee we want to explore answering questions around the backlog of standard care and surgery and how that will be addressed, not to mention the effect on NHS staff.
As the College prepares its next strategic review, the Lay Committee is considering a plan to fully support the College’s aims. As we have now appointed a Chair Designate, the change of Chair will be smooth and the workflow uninterrupted. None of our work would have been possible without the guidance of El Fabbrani and her assistant Rasheda Begum, I would like to thank them.