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Developing the panel – new ways of working for 2016

Marie Higgins writes...

Marie HigginsI joined the WVIP shortly after it was created in April 2014. It has given me the opportunity to pursue my passion for excellence in women's health and I am excited about innovations that will give greater opportunities for panel members to feel they are contributing in a meaningful way.

I responded to a call in the last newsletter for women’s voices who wanted to help develop some of the ideas members had given for how to improve the way the panel works. I have since met via teleconference with a group led by the Women’s Network and some of the RCOG staff responsible for engaging with the public.

It was a useful meeting with a clear direction and actions. I was able to give my views as a panel member. Here is a summary of what we discussed and what was decided.

  • Members of the panel want a more live approach to news, updates and opportunities to be involved, therefore a new closed WVIP Facebook page will launch in 2016 to help with this. Acknowledging that the newsletter and emails isn’t the best approach for everyone (but these will continue). You will be asked to join when it’s up and running.
  • Members want the chance to hear what feedback other people give about patient information, therefore this will now happen (as you will see in this newsletter).
  • Members want to see panel members giving more feedback on things they have been involved in and therefore feedback will be given directly from those who have been involved (like this!)
  • Members want the opportunity to come together/meet each other and share experiences in the shape of an event. With almost 300 members across the UK, this is a challenge but the College will be looking for ways to make this happen soon.

In the New Year there will also be a push to grow membership of the Panel to make sure women from as many walks of life as possible, and all parts of the UK have the opportunity to feed into women’s health through the College’s work.

The Panel is work in progress and there is plenty of opportunity to make it more useful to us as members. I will continue to be part of the working group and will keep you updated.