“A mission that is close to my heart”, like helping health system users to make themselves known

5 ideas to improve your user representative function

1. Accentuate training

Article L1114-1 of the public health code provides that user representatives in hospitals or public health organizations follow the training given by recognized associations of user representatives. Training is not sufficient to understand the technicality of the subjects covered. In the audience, Mireille Siroussi, RU of the Kantys group, suggested including user representatives in the training of public health authorities. “To create a moment of exchange and significantly increase skills. “

2. Get visibility

Although their role is governed by the law of March 4, 2002, user representatives are not well known and their support is not always well appreciated, even in the bodies in which they sit. “A survey by the Ministry of Health, dating back to 2018, reveals that almost 70% of French people do not know their rights to health and 82% have never heard of user representatives, regrets Laurence Champion, quality director and Risk coordinator of the Lacassagne Center. However, the role of the RU is essential. National public health information action would be desirable. Nathalie Fournet, UK and member of the League Against Cancer, also notes that information – on the existence of RU – are “completely drowned in the information provided to patients. On the ground, Véronique Capel, of the risk and quality management unit of the Kantys group, also notes that user representatives have a hard time enforcing their mission.” However, within the health facilities, there are poster campaigns and a relay race on the website. The communication channels, oral and written, serve to give them visibility. undoubtedly a lack of interest on the part of health care teams. »For Guillaume Boiroux, student health director, the role of the RU deserves to have a more important place in education.
“During my studies I must have heard of them, but a booster shot would be really needed to give them more visibility. “

3. Strengthen legitimacy

User representatives do not necessarily come from the medical world. But ignorance of the functioning of the profession, for those who are not part of it, can pose a problem of legitimacy. Former user representative of the University Hospital of Nice and patient expert of the François-Aupetit Association, Eric Balez admits that he had a hard time imposing his ideas on him. “I wanted to launch video sessions for therapeutic education; I have tried several times to come up with this idea, without success. At times I have felt a certain reluctance, related to the fact that I am not from the medical world. “
Where it gets complicated is that user representatives from the medical world would be rather frowned upon … by users. “Patients can worry about possible acquaintances. It is not easy to find the right balance to ensure the transparency of the UdR ”, publicly acknowledges Mireille Seroussi, HR of the Kantys group. For Aline David, general manager of the Hôpital des Sources de Nice, it is up to the healthcare facilities to support healthcare representatives and bring their voice. “Those who report are rarely well seen. It is up to us to promote the associative and general interest culture. “

4. Attract more candidates

Representing the interests of users requires personal involvement that is sometimes incompatible with a professional activity, particularly a paid one. “We have great difficulty in finding volunteers, confirms Thierry Pattou, president of Ligue contre le Cancer 06. We need to find people who are available, trained and well informed. But also people facing real problems and not just saying trains were late. In fact, this reality leads to an over-representation of retired users. During the discussions, the idea of ​​paid representation leave emerged, in order to attract other candidate profiles. But this idea collides with reality on the ground. “The associations – on which the UK depends – will not have the means to finance them. In fact, they live off donations and aid, ”says Gérard Van Den Bulcke, director general of the League Against Cancer. Another room for improvement: simplifying the application, which is an obstacle course. “I know a user representative who took nearly 8 months to complete his file, it is too long and discourages potential candidates,” regrets Laurence Champion, director of quality and risk coordinator of the Lacassagne Center.

5. Refine the profile

This voluntary function requires great rigor and it happens that the profile does not match. “One person had been appointed by the ARS as a user representative. Unfortunately, she never replied to our messages and didn’t show up. We had to wait three years, that is the end of his mandate, to change people “, explains Noémie Fay, from the Sainte-Marie hospital in Nice. And Thierry Loirac, director of IM2S in Monaco, to add that the UK must be a real mediator: “I am quite shocked to see vague, clear and unfounded views on healthcare facilities at times. The user representative must know how to make sense of things and seek respect, dignity and quality of care in order to provide real and concrete solutions. “
For Dr. Renaud Ferrier, member of the liberal doctors of URPS Paca, the ARS should “appoint people whose profile he knows best”, to guarantee their seriousness.

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