I have not been paid in any way or received any products for writing this blog. The views expressed in this post are mine and do not represent any others. Also, the QiC programme has been made possible with sponsorship from Sanofi. Sanofi has had no editorial control over any of its contents
I have never blogged at the request of any third party or company in the past. In fact if I’ve been asked to, I have refused, even if I was intending to off my own back before the request. I’m stubborn that way…..
But, I was asked if I’d write this blog, and I have agreed to.
Because The Quality in Care Diabetes team are looking to invite some people with diabetes to be part of the judging panel for this year’s QiC Diabetes programme.
I was lucky enough to be a judge last year and I would like to tell you what is involved.
Here we go….
First thing I need to clear up is the title that they gave me on the web site.
“Patient Representative and Blogger”
The only person I could, or would ever want to represent me, is me. I was there to give my opinion based on my experience of my diabetes. The fact that I blog is irrelevant. You don’t need to have a blog to be a judge.
So learning point number one is that we need to find a more accurate title. For me it would probably be “Grumpy looking bloke with Type 1 Diabetes”
Personally I do think that it is a good thing to have people with diabetes on the judging panel, and indeed parents of children with diabetes too. I would of course love to see a large number being able to attend from cross sections of diabetes type, age, gender, etc, and I think that expanding the number by a few this year is a good progression and step in the right direction. This is why I am supportive of this and agreed to write this blog.
In March, applications were opened and HCP (or teams) are encouraged to enter their projects or initiatives in the appropriate category via the QiC web site – www.qualityincare.org/awards/diabetes – until the entry deadline day of 28th May.
Once applications have closed, the entries are collated by the guys at QiC and sent out to the judges for scoring, via big file links on email.
Judges are split into 3 groups, so no one judges all entries, just a third of them.
Scoring is carried out by each individual judge against a list of criteria and a defined scoring system that the QiC team will provide you with.
You get a few weeks to go through and score the entries assigned to you. Boy did I need those weeks!
Volume to start with. I wondered why we didn’t judge all entries, but as soon as I started printing them all out I realised why….
They can be very detailed and take a while to read through. That’s not a bad thing as they need to be detailed to describe the initiative or project fully with objectives, outcomes etc.
The biggest challenge for me though was the medical language used. Of course having lived with Type1 Diabetes for a few years it was not all new to me, but my formal medical education in the form of watching both Casualty, Holby City and (for those of you old enough to remember) The Flying Doctors was clearly not enough…..
So I did have to spend a fair amount of time on the internet making sure I understood what the terms mean.
So, I now know that “et al” does not mean that all submissions were written by a small alien with a glowing finger and his mate The Pub Landlord…….
After scoring is completed, the scores are sent into the QiC guys to be collated (they do a lot of collating) and individual first round scores are circulated amongst the three judging groups. This gives you the opportunity to see how your scores match up against your fellow judges, before the formal judging day.
Final Judging in the form of moderation is done in a full day and face to face with the other judges on your panel.
This was really interesting from my point of view. The first thing that stood out was that in many cases, my scores were directly opposite to those of the HCPs that had judged the same entries.
As discussions progressed throughout the day the reason was clear (not that it was a massive surprise). Simply that the HCPs in general were looking at the clinical benefit to the patient and running of the hospital, but I was looking at it from the “how would I feel if this was happening to me” perspective.
My view is that the whole day was a two way learning experience between my fellow judges and myself and that if just one of them went away from the session thinking even more about how the patient would feel, then it had been a worthwhile day.
By the end of the day, winners and commendations had been agreed and I had to keep my mouth shut (managed it for a change) about who had won. The results are announced at the awards ceremony in October, which as a judge I was lucky enough to be able to attend.
Basically it is a lot of work, you have to hit the deadline for returning your scores and commit to a full day’s judging so it takes a fair bit of time, but I found it an interesting and rewarding experience and I am pleased that QiC are looking to involve new people this year.
Like I said these are just my views about my experience, but if you think that you may be interested in being a judge this year then please apply via the Quality in Care website – http://www.qualityincare.org/awards/diabetes/qic_diabetes_2015_patient_blogger_judge
Live Long and Bolus.