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Colin Smith


Understanding of views and reasons Generating ideas and perspectives Creative discovery ... consultations Race for Health initiative Youth events Refugee and Asylum ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Colin Smith

Welcome to..
Running a Focus Group
  • Colin Smith Patient and Public Involvement
  • Annette Bygraves Training Development Manager

Learning Outcomes
  • Be able to identify the purpose, strengths and
    weaknesses of the focus group methodology
  • Understand the fundamentals of setting up and
    facilitating a focus group and using the
    information to improve services
  • Be able to plan your own focus group

What is Patient Public Involvement?
  • The official process of ensuring that
    patients and the public are involved wherever
    decisions are taken about care in the NHS
  • The planning of the provision of those services
  • The development and consideration of proposals
    for changes in the way those services are provided
  • Decisions to be made by that body affecting the
    operation of those services.

Why do we do PPI?
  • Its the law
  • Health and Social Care Act Section 11
  • Section 242 of NHS Act 2006
  • Its PCT Policy
  • PPI Strategy May 2003
  • We are audited on it
  • Fitness for Purpose 2006
  • It improves services
  • Quality Standards 2007/8

What methods are there?
Questionnaires Surveys
Health Panels
Patient / Lay Representatives
Using Expert Patients
Patient Diaries
Focus Groups
Patient Groups
Citizens Panels
Using PALS
Patient information
Displays and notice boards
Talking to and involving local groups
Using the web site
Where do focus groups fit in?
  • Communication tool
  • Participation tool

When are focus groups used? As a stand alone
initiative Or Before, during and at the end of
Exercise 1
  • Split into pairs and discuss
  • What are the benefits of PPI and what are your
    experiences of PPI

  • Purpose and Process

What are Focus Groups?
  • In-depth discussion group
  • 6 12 participants
  • Common experience and characteristics
  • Specific focus to agenda
  • Key questions with prompts
  • Facilitator and scribe (audio recording)

Customer Care
  • Objectives
  • To explore what customer care could mean for the
  • To generate ideas on what a customer care
    programme would include, how it should be
    delivered, the sort of materials which are needed
    and who could be involved in delivering it

Customer Care
Objective 1 on scope
  • What does the idea of good customer care mean
    to you?
  • In what ways could receiving a good service be
    the same as receiving good customer care?
    (prompt) In what ways would it be different?

Why useful?
  • Generating ideas and perspectives
  • Creative discovery of issues
  • Unexpected findings
  • Understanding of views and reasons
  • Qualitative not quantitative enquiry

Pros and Cons
  • Interaction for novelty absence challenge
  • Generates overview not evidence
  • Content emerges comparison difficult
  • Transcription accuracy time consuming
  • Clarification and interpretation confidentiality
  • Endorsement and support staff and patients

Pros and Cons
  • Literacy skills interpreters
  • Views and feelings facilitator characteristics
  • Learning experience
  • New networks

Exercise 2
  • Freethink
  • In what situations do you think a Focus Group
    would be useful?

Planning (1) Why and What.
  • Setting Objectives and writing questions

Part of the planning process ?
  • The purpose of the focus group will determine the
    outcome and information you gain
  • The questions you use influence the kind of
    information you receive
  • Need to know who your workshop outcomes are aimed
    at and what information is needed

Setting Objectives
  • Be clear about the purpose of the focus group and
    embody this in 2 or 3 objectives which need to
    have an action word e.g.
  • To find out
  • To explore
  • To generate
  • To develop

Setting Objectives
  • To discover experiences of evaluating training
  • To generate ideas on approaches to evaluating the
    impact of training
  • To develop a 5 year strategy to firmly establish
    systems for evaluating of training within the

Writing Questions
  • Design questions relevant to objectives
  • Iterative process
  • Key questions
  • Prompts

Writing Questions
  • Obj. To generate ideas on approaches to
    evaluating the impact of training
  • Key Qu. How can the benefit of attending training
    be assessed?
  • Pr. Has anyone ever completed a questionnaire at
    the end of a training day?
  • Pr. What aspects of the training were you asked
    to comment on?
  • Pr. How were you asked to comment? (e.g. tick

  • Planning (2)
  • Who and Where.

Recruitment and Environment
Recruiting willing participants
  • Use existing contacts
  • Use staff who work with patients
  • Use Voluntary Sector to identify people
  • Keep lists of willing participants

Selecting your participants
  • Knowing your population
  • Linking objectives to population
  • Targeting e.g. diabetes
  • or Generic e.g. access to services
  • Or more controversially
  • Living with HIV/ AIDS versus attitudes to HIV/AIDS

Working with under-represented groups
  • Faith Literacy Training
  • BME Mental Health Scoping Group - consultations
  • Race for Health initiative
  • Youth events
  • Refugee and Asylum Seekers
  • Older Peoples Network
  • Neighbourhood Forums

Equality Impact Assessments!!
  • Location, location, location !
  • Seating plan formal, informal
  • Whos facilitating ?
  • Audio/video equipment
  • Flip charts post its !!
  • Someone to do the writing up / audio typing !!
  • Refreshments
  • Accessibility and special needs

Think before you begin!!
  • Prepare in advance
  • Make sure your preparation looks professional.
  • Do you know what the issue is about?
  • Do you know who is coming?

Make sure everything pre event has happened as
it should
Running the Focus Group
  • How do you do it?

Have you got the psychological environment right?
Have you got the psychological environment right?
  • Create a non threatening atmosphere
  • Welcome and Introduce everyone
  • Use icebreaker or pre-discussion chat
  • Explain purpose of the session
  • Agree or share ground rules
  • Clarify how you will record discussion
  • Dont overload the group with staff?

Has everything gone to plan?
During your focus group
  • Managing the discussion and time
  • Ensure everyone participates
  • Good facilitation,
  • using pauses,
  • using a range of questions such as probing
  • summarising and agreeing,
  • effective listening

Managing Dynamics and Difficult People
Dealing with Difficult People
  • The good news

Most people who participate want to contribute
Very, very occasionally you get someone who is
Who are they and what can you do?
Dealing with Difficult People
  • Who are they and what can you do?

Too-talkative person Talks all the time and
monopolises the discussion
  • Thank them for their contribution and ask for
    other peoples comments
  • Remind them that everyone is there to participate
  • Use your body language Dont look at them when
    you ask for a contribution. Turn your back on
    them if you can!
  • Ask people to talk in turn

Dealing with Difficult People
  • Who are they and what can you do?

The silent individual does not become involved
  • Watch carefully for any signs that someone is not
    participating (body language)
  • Call on this person sensitively, and invite a
    contribution or perhaps pose the question/point
    in a different way
  • Ask them if they agree with the point being made
  • Ask people to talk in turn

Dealing with Difficult People
  • Who are they and what can you do?

Vicky Pollard Yeah but, yeah but Agrees but
then points out the opposite again and again.
  • Acknowledge their concerns
  • Ask the rest of the group for their views
  • After three yes buts, state the need to move on
    and offer to talk to them outside the group
  • If the person interrupts with yes buts try
    suggesting that we are there to get a variety of
    views/ideas etc and offer to talk to them outside

Dealing with Difficult People
  • Who are they and what can you do?

Mr Angry Hostile, negative and undermining
Disagrees with everything
  • Keep your own temper in check
  • Talk quietly, sit down so you are on their level
  • Validate the person where you can but dont use
    counselling jargon
  • Sometimes the group itself will moderate, but
    dont let the group become excited
  • If the anger is directed at you, suggest a break
    and talk to them during it to find out what is
  • If no solution is acceptable ask what they
    would like to see happen

Some useful sound bites
I dont know, but I Know someone who will know
Thats an interesting point, anyone else got a
view on that?
So what should be happening/should we be
I will get back to you on that issue
Let me repeat the question
Thank you, thats really useful
Closing your Focus Group
  • Thank people
  • Explaining what happens next
  • Writing report, timescales etc
  • Expenses
  • Make sure you have all contact details

Some final tips
Greet everyone personally and by name
Remember peoples names
Say thank you a lot!
Use open ended questions, not questions that will
give you a Yes/no answer
Make sure everyone can get home
Repeat the question
Feeding back the outcomes
  • To the participants
  • To the organisers
  • To the wider staff team
  • To the wider community
  • Use different ways to present the outcomes
    depending on your target audience

Making use of the information
Change the way you and your staff team work Inform policy and decision makers about changes needed
Develop new working relationships with other providers Do further information gathering to back up your findings
Closing the Circle
  • Becoming a learning and reflective team
  • Reviewing actions as a result of the focus group
  • Revisiting issues to see if things have really
  • How can we learn from the experience and do even
    better next time !

What you will be doing Group Exercise
  • You will run and participate in a Focus Group.
  • Split into pairs, agree the order you will go in,
    design 2 questions in each pair including prompt
  • Each person will have three minutes to ask their
  • The focus group will be videoed

What you will be doing(2) Reviewing focus group
  • What questions did you ask?
  • How did you ask it?
  • How did people respond?
  • Would you do it differently next time?

The Future
  • Where to next with your focus group

Planning Your Focus Group
On your own consider the questions and make
  • What would you like to find out?
  • Why is it important to you?
  • What would you do with the information you gain?
  • Who would participate in your group?
  • What questions could you ask?

Planning Your Focus Group
  • Discuss your plan with your neighbour and then
  • What is the next thing you will do to take your
    focus group plan forwards.

Learning Outcomes
  • Be able to identify the purpose, strengths and
    weaknesses of the focus group methodology
  • Understand the fundamentals of setting up and
    facilitating a focus group and using the
    information to improve services
  • Be able to plan your own focus group

Running a Focus Group