Patient and Carer Partners
Our Patient and Carer Partners are a group of volunteers who work closely with the Trust as critical friends. Our Partners use their experience as patients or carers to represent the views of patients, their families, carers, the public and our local communities. They help us ensure the patient’s best interests are at the centre of all our work.
We collaborate with our Partners in various ways, on a range of activities (please look at our Partner Profiles for some examples). Our opportunities can be long term or ad hoc depending on the level of commitment you can offer and your interests.
Whilst we have specific projects, groups, or committees where we like to involve Partners (please see our current opportunities page), we are also open to hearing from you about where you could get involved. If you have an idea for how you could use your experience or skills to make a difference and influence health care, please get in touch.
What do Patient and Carer Partners do?
A wide range of activities depending on whether you can offer a regular, long term commitment or would prefer a shorter term project-based role.
Examples of some regular activities undertaken by our long-term Partners include:
- Attending the Patient Safety Committee
- Attending the Patient and Carer Experience Committee
- Sitting on Interview Panel for Consultants and Senior Roles
- Review of Policies
- Review of Trust-wide strategy
Ad-hoc opportunities and projects are updated on this website.
Please also see the role descriptions for more detail.
How much time do Patient and Carer Partners need to commit?
This varies depending on which role you take up. Our long term Partners will:
- attend meetings or groups that they sit on (unless you send apologies, and a Deputy can stand in)
- attend the Patient and Carer Partnership Group meeting for 2 hours, once every 3 months (quarterly).
The amount of time our short term project Partners need to commit depends on the nature of the project and, your own availability. We are open to making the role as accessible as possible and appreciate that our Partners may have studies, work, home life or health committments that take priority.
The Patient and Carer Partnership Group meeting is optional for those Partners undertaking short term project roles.
We expect all Partners to give the time needed to complete mandatory training (around 2 hours each year) and any associated role training (can be up to 1 day of full training, as a one-off).
Is this role paid?
Like all our Volunteering roles, Partners are not paid for their time. However, we will refund any out-of-pocket expenses, for example, mileage and parking tickets incurred while carrying out the Patient and Carer Partner role. Anyone who volunteers for 4 hours or more each week is also eligible to claim a meal voucher, which you can spend in the staff restaurant.
Who can join?
Anyone over 18 who has been a patient, carer, or other visitor at North Bristol NHS Trust or who lives locally can apply to join us as a Patient and Carer Partner. No previous experience as a Partner is required.
We are happy to work with anyone, including those with accessibility needs. Whether you need an interpreter, information in another format etc., we’d be happy to hear from you.
Because our work can involve accessing confidential NHS information, applicants may be required to undergo a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). For all applicants an application form must be completed, and two personal references given (more information about this is on the application form).
Please see the 'Current Opportunities' page for information about our long term and short term project roles.
How can I find out more?
Contact the Volunteer Service:
email at Volunteer.firstname.lastname@example.org
call 0117 4140110 or 0117 4140111
How can I apply?
Email the Volunteer Service at Volunteer.email@example.com who will send you a form to register your interest.
How is this different to volunteering?
As a Partner you fall under the umbrella of a Volunteer. This means you are covered by the same policies and processes as all Volunteers.
Partners are unique in that you are also a member of a core group called the Patient and Carer Partnership Group (PaCPG). The PaCPG are a close knit family providing support, friendship and encouragement for one another. The Patient and Carer Partnership Group is chaired by the Chair of the PaCPG, who is always on hand to guide you in your role.