Do you want to get involved?

On this page you will find some different ways you can get involved in Patient/Public Partnership at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. 

These include:

  • Readers' Panel
  • Patient Experience Working Group
  • Patient Stories
  • Mystery Patients
  • Focus Groups

Scroll down for more information on each one and details of how to get involved.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us to collect patient feedback. Click here for more information.

Readers’ Panel

We want to expand our Trust Readers’ panel for people who would like to read and test our publications, such as leaflets, to help us make sure they are clear, informative and easy to understand.


The Readers’ Panel consists of members of the public who volunteer their time to read patient information produced by the Trust whilst in a draft stage. Panel members are asked for their views on the type of language used, the structure of sentences and paragraphs, the style of presentation, and whether they feel it would be understood by a target audience. By asking for opinions from a sample audience, the Readers’ Panel help us to ensure publications are easily understood and resources are not wasted by producing leaflets that patients do not understand.

The Readers’ panel help to make sure our written materials are as accessible as possible to all members of our community. They play an important part in the Trust’s commitment to the ‘Accessible Information Standard’.

You would be asked to proof read our written information by email and send us your views and comments back. You can either do this with a feedback form, or for some written information, with electronic comments typed into the document itself (we can provide guidance on how to do this electronically, if you need it).

You will be asked to look at and comment on:

  • The type of language used
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Design and layout
  • The pictures we use
  • Whether there is too much information, or not enough
  • Whether the information is clear

If something seems confusing, too technical or unclear it will need to be reworded. You can either suggest a rewording yourself or bring our attention to the wording, phrase or sentence and we'll change it.

We aim to contact members no more than once per month and to send a maximum of two proofs for feedback at any one time. You would have a minimum of two weeks to get back to us with your comments. All members of the panel are asked to sign a confidentiality form.

Anyone with an interest in reading and commenting on our written materials, and in improving information for patients and the public can get involved! You would, however, need access to email and the internet as this is the preferred method of communication for the panel.

Patient Experience Working Group

The Patient Experience Working Group is a forum where we share learning and good practice to improve patient experience. We would like to invite volunteers to act as patient and public representative members of our Working Group, to offer a patient perspective on a wide range of Trust issues that matter most to patients.

You would be asked to join an online discussion forum and you may be asked to attend meetings here at Chesterfield Royal, to discuss learning and improvement topics that will be shared by staff members from across our services. If you were invited to a meeting it would last no longer than one and a half hours. You would make sure that we always consider the perspective of the patient during our online and face to face discussions.

You would need to:

  • Have access to email and the internet
  • Be able to join and use the online forum
  • Be able to attend meetings at Chesterfield Royal, if asked
  • Be able to contribute both orally and in writing on patient experience topics
  • Have an understanding of healthcare
  • Have views on patient/public perspectives on the delivery and improvement of healthcare services
  • Be able to recognise information relating to relevant issues
  • Be able to work as a team member with other working group members and respect the opinions of others

Places are limited and are likely to be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Membership will be reviewed annually.


Patient Stories

Patient stories help us to gain an understanding of the healthcare experience of the storyteller. These stories can help us to build a picture of what it is like to be a service user. Patient stories help us to focus on how we are best able to improve the quality of services and transform patient and carer experience, through listening to and learning from the patient voice.


Firstly, you would be asked to talk with a member of staff who will support you through the process. You will be given a contact name and number and they will help you to produce your story and present at a Trust meeting, if you are happy to attend.  Our Board meetings include a patient story on the agenda of every other meeting.

We do like it if you can come along to a meeting and tell your story in person, however, we realise this is not right for everyone. Therefore, you might also be able to share your story in writing, or through audio or video recording. If you do come to a meeting, you will be given a specific date and time and the member of staff supporting you will explain what the meeting is for, how it works, why you have been invited and how many people might be attending the meeting. Members of the meeting may want to ask you questions at the end and they may also be able answer questions you might have.

After you have told your story, we will make sure we address any issues highlighted and share your examples of what went well with all staff concerned. You will be given feedback if you would like it. You would always be able to withdraw consent to share your story at any time, without need of an explanation.

Mystery Patients

Here at Chesterfield Royal we are always looking for ways to improve the services we provide to patients, carers and the public. Gathering feedback in as many ways as possible from the people using our services is vital to help guide those improvements. This has led to us now looking to develop a Mystery Patient Programme.

Patients who volunteer to become ‘mystery patients’ give feedback on their actual experience during their time at the hospital from arrival to discharge. All mystery patient feedback will be anonymous and staff at the hospital will not know you are a Mystery Patient.


Once you volunteer to become a mystery patient, you will be given a feedback form to fill in to record your thoughts and experiences as you go through each stage of your care. You can fill in a feedback form after every contact with the hospital or select to give your feedback less often. As this programme is in the early stages of development, you may not be asked immediately to give feedback.

The Patient Experience Team will give you feedback forms and pre-paid envelopes for returning the forms. The Team can also tell you more about what is involved. If you would like, the Patient Experience Manager can also meet with you to go through the process and provide guidance on what you are being asked to do.

While the Patient Experience Manager will know your name, all your feedback will be strictly confidential. Your anonymous feedback will be analysed and circulated to relevant staff members and teams, who will consider any future changes to service or Trust policy. Your feedback will help the hospital to view services through the eyes of the people we care for. Taking part in our Mystery Patient Programme will not affect your treatment or care.

All patients are welcome to take part, whether they are coming to Chesterfield Royal as an outpatient, inpatient or daycase; you may also want to tell us about your experience in the Emergency Department, Maternity or GP services. Carers, parents or relatives are also welcome to contribute. Mystery patients must be aged 18 or over, using Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust services currently, or expecting to in the near future.

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are usually one-off meetings, where we might talk to you about our plans for service improvement or any issues affecting patient experience. There are usually up to 10 people at a focus group (sometimes there might be more or less), this may include patients, public and staff. A facilitator will help to guide the meeting and make sure that everyone is comfortable.

Members of the group will talk about any plans or topics highlighted by patient feedback; we will explore everyone's thoughts, feelings and ideas to help the Trust improve. It really helps us to think about our work from a patient/public point of view. By talking to us at a focus group, you can help us to:

  • make sure our plans for service improvement are relevant and useful
  • improve patient and carer experience
  • increase knowledge and understanding of healthcare and our services

You would be asked to join our staff and other patients or members of the public to discuss a specific topic. The focus group would last no more than two hours.

You would need to be able to:

  • Attend Chesterfield Royal for a focus group meeting or meetings
  • Feel comfortable talking in the meeting and discussing the focus group topic
  • Be able to work with group members and respect the opinions of others
  • Respect confidentiality, as some discussions may be sensitive

This can vary, depending on the focus group. Some groups may need people with certain conditions or experiences, whilst others may want a more general opinion. You may have an interest in something specific and you would be able to register your interest; we would then contact you if a focus group was planned for the topic of your interest.