Empowering people to help speak up about safety in primary care: Using codesign to involve patients and professionals in developing new interventions for patients with multimorbidity
Sarah Knowles, Rebecca Hays, Hugo Senra, Peter Bower, Louise Locock, Jo Protheroe, Caroline Sanders, Gavin Daker-White
Background Multimorbidity, defined as the presence of two or more long-term conditions, is increasingly common in primary care, and patients with multimorbidity may face particular barriers to quality of care and increased safety risks due to the complexity of managing multiple conditions. Consistent with calls to directly involve service users in improving care, we aimed to use design materials to codesign new interventions to improve safety in primary care. Design We drew on two established methods—accelerated experience-based codesign and the future workshop approach. We synthesized design materials based on research into the patient experience of safety and multimorbidity in primary care to enable both patients, service users and carers, and primary health-care professionals to propose interventions to improve care. Results Both patients and professionals prioritized polypharmacy as a threat to safety. Their recommendations for supportive interventions were consistent with Burden of Treatment theory, emphasizing the limited capacity of patients with multimorbidity and the need for services to proactively offer support to reduce the burden of managing complex treatment regimes. Discussion & Conclusions The process was feasible and acceptable to participants, who valued the opportunity to jointly propose new interventions. The iterative workshop approach enabled the research team to better explore and refine the suggestions of attendees. Final recommendations included the need for accessible reminders to support medication adherence and medication reviews for particularly vulnerable patients conducted with pharmacists within GP practices.