How you can get involved

Our Patient Experience Strategy

On 30 January 2016 the Trust launched its renewed Patient Experience Strategy. The four year strategy outlines our commitment to improve the experience of patients, and their families and carers.

We are committed to involving patients in decisions about your care and delivering a service that is responsive to individual needs. We do this by:

  • Listening to our patients by encouraging feedback and sharing the results with our staff

  • Responding to feedback so people can see how their views and experiences are making a difference

  • Working collaboratively with patients and their carers to help shape services to meet the needs of individuals

Most importantly, we need you – patients, carers, relatives, Trust Members and Governors, or interested members of our local community – to help us and GET INVOLVED.


Creating an Involvement Network

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust significantly values the contribution that patients, carers, volunteers and our Foundation Trust members provide to help us improve our services both in hospital and out in the community.

Our Patient Experience and Engagement Strategy outlines our vision for working with people to deliver an excellent experience of care. It states:

“We want people to be in control of their health and care from the outset and by listening, understanding and responding to the views of our patients and the local community we will deliver the care they want and need.”

The Trust is committed to involving you in the ways we design and deliver our services and how we can improve them. We collect feedback from patients, carers and members of the public about where there is good practice and where we could do more.

Airedale would like to create an ‘Involvement Network’ to work alongside members of the public. The network will be an opportunity for you to get involved in different activities across the organisation which you will be informed about on a regular basis.

Some of the opportunities may include:

-Attending a focus group/ strategy event

-Becoming a patient representative at a business meeting

-Completing a survey about your experience

You would be expected to complete a short introductory module to the organisation, so we can get to know you and you can get to know us a bit better.

We’re at the beginning of our journey to create the network, if you’re interested in knowing more click here to register your details


Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)

** Volunteers needed now for assessments in May 2018 **

The hospital is recruiting assessors to carry out assessments of the care environment.  This helps us understand how well we are meeting the needs of our patients and identify where improvements can be made.

Assessments take place annually and we need assessors to help us look at cleanliness, condition of the buildings, how well the buildings meet the needs of those who use them, the quality and availability of food and drinks, and how well the environment protects privacy and dignity and supports those with dementia or a disability.

You don’t need any specific knowledge of healthcare to take part and you will receive 1 hour of training before you start.  You will then take part in 2 x half days of assessments.

We’ve put together a useful guide to the role below if you are interested and want to find out more.

To take part or for more information please contact Rita Oddy, Head of Facilities on 01535 294549 or email  We look forward to hearing from you.

PLACE Guide April 2018


Mealtime Assistants (formerly Feeding Buddies)

Mealtime assistant

The Mealtime Assistant initiative is a volunteer led scheme providing support to patients who may require one to one assistance or encouragement with eating and drinking.

Patients love our Mealtime Assistants because as volunteers, they have the time to chat and encourage them to eat, making mealtimes a more enjoyable and sociable experience.

What is the role of a Mealtime Assistant?

Mealtime Assistants can help in the following ways:

  • Ensuring the table is clean and free from clutter

  • Ensuring the patient is sat comfortably to eat their meal

  • Handing out meals and drinks and making sure that the patient has the correct meal

  • Opening packets and lids and setting out utensils and cutlery

  • Cutting up food if required into manageable pieces and assisting the patient to eat

  • Generally chatting with the patient to ensure their mealtime experience is a pleasant one

How much time would I need to be a Mealtime Assistant?

The time you offer is entirely up to you, we are grateful for any time you can give. Most of our existing volunteers may visit a ward once or twice a week. You can choose whether to come and help at breakfast, lunch time or tea time.

I would like to be a Mealtime Assistant, what do I need to do?

If you are interested in knowing more about the role you can contact our Voluntary Services Manager for more details. Should you wish to volunteer, you will need to complete our application form and attend a training session. We will then match you up with an existing volunteer who can help you familiarise yourself with the ward surroundings and mealtime process.

How do I get in touch?

For more information please contact Mr Gurmit Jauhal, Voluntary Services Manager, tel   01535 295316 or email or download the leaflet.

Patient and Carer Panel

If you are interested in becoming a panel member or would like to find out more about the Panel and its work, please contact Lynsey Nicholson, Patient Experience Officer, tel 01535 294027 or email

Patient and Carer Panel infographic

























Readers’ Panel

We have a Readers’ Panel made up of members of the public who have volunteered their time to read and comment on patient information produced by the Trust. They offer a patient perspective on the content and design of information.

The panel supports the creation of high quality written information for patients and carers, and is an integral part of taking forward the Trust’s commitment to the Accessible Information Standard.

If you are interested in becoming a panel member, please contact Helen Roberts, Patient Information Officer, tel 01535 294413 or email

Airedale Hospital Youth Forum

The Youth Forum is an exciting new initiative taking shape at Airedale Hospital, which began in September 2016. A small group of young people have come together to help develop the way the hospital delivers services to them. Young people aged 13-19 are eligible to join the forum.

Youth Forum infographic

What do young people say about the forum?

Aisha Mirza, Member of the Youth Forum said:

“This is a great way to help children and young people in the community. It is also fantastic to have an opportunity to influence the hospitals facilities for children and young people. I am also going to benefit from this personally as it will help develop my confidence and leadership skills.”

Another member of the forum, Georgina Riley says:

“The youth forum is helping me to gain experience in a hospital environment whilst also helping improve the service for people who are under 18 but are no longer young children.”

How much time would I have to give?

We meet approximately 4-5 times each year for up to 2-3 hours. The group meet at the hospital but a lot of information exchange and communication takes place online and through social media. We communicate ideas, progress made on projects and share updates. You will be expected to act as a ‘champion’ for young people’s feedback – so the hospital can hear lots of people’s views.

What kinds of projects is the forum working on?

We have a project plan, which changes over time. Some examples of the projects so far includes:

  • Providing our thoughts on the information leaflets Airedale Hospital provides- the hospital wants to make information easier to understand, in one simple format and accessible for people’s needs.

  • A walk around of the A&E department, Radiology Department and Children’s ward making observations for improvements on the environmentUndertaking menu taster sessions to inform the new menu for the Children’s Ward

  • Helping to design a new ‘teen space’ on the Children’s Ward

And loads more!

So if I give my time, what’s in it for me?

You’ll gain a real insight into how an acute hospital trust works and listen to people’s feedback about how services can be improved. The youth forum also has access to training such as leadership modules, project management, conflict resolution etc. The members can be provided with supporting statements for college or university. The hospital is also able to offer work experience placements.

It will be a really good addition to your CV, particularly anyone interested in working in the NHS as a future career prospect- however, you’ll learn lots of transferable skills for other industries.

I’m interested, what do I need to do?

There is a form to fill in if you are interested and an informal chat over the phone will be arranged with Lynsey, who leads the staff support team for the youth forum.

You can have a chat, return your form or ask questions by getting in touch with Lynsey, tel 01535 294027 or email