In April 2017 NHS England published revised guidance entitled: “Patient and public participation in commissioning health care: Statutory guidance for clinical commissioning groups and NHS England”.
The guidance contains 10 key actions for clinical commissioning groups to embed involvement in their work:
- Involve the public in governance
- Explain public involvement in commissioning plans
- Demonstrate public involvement in Annual Reports
- Promote and publicise public involvement
- Assess, plan and take action to involve
- Feedback and evaluate
- Implement assurance and improvement systems
- Advance equality and reduce health inequality
- Provide support for effective engagement
- Hold providers to account
At NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group overall accountability for the delivery of effective communications and meaningful engagement is retained by our Governing Body. Two dedicated Governing Body Lay Members for Engagement, Involvement and Experience are responsible for ensuring patient and public involvement is considered and demonstrated at all stages of the commissioning cycle.
There are three further lay members on our Governing Body and we invite attendance, questions and comments from members of the public both at our Governing Body and at other key decision-making meetings such as our Primary Care Commissioning Committee.
Independent patient champions Healthwatch Cheshire are also active members on a number of our decision-making committees and our monthly Governing Body meeting is webcast and rotated to venues across the Cheshire geography to encourage and increase opportunity for patient and public involvement.
Involvement in planning
When developing our commissioning plans, we consider patient feedback received across the organisation – including via our Patient Experience and Communications and Engagement teams. An annual Patient Insight and Intelligence Report, which collates patient feedback, is received by our Governing Body and shared across the organisation to help inform our commissioning priorities and approach.
Patients and the public are at the heart of everything NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group does. Our approach to supporting patient and public involvement is spelt out in our Communications and Engagement Strategy.
Regular feedback about the clinical commissioning group’s approach to Patient and Public Involvement is sought from workshops and the patient forums we attend and co-ordinate.
You Said, We Did
Our ongoing engagement with patient groups across Cheshire remind us of the importance of ensuring we are explicit about how the feedback we receive is utilised.
Our You Said, We Did framework simply illustrates the many ways that feedback is received by our organisation and how that feedback is then collated to help inform and influence our work.
The clinical commissioning group also monitors public involvement activity across partner organisations - primarily via contract and quality schedules which ensure statutory duties are met. We also work closely with partner organisations on joint patient and public involvement work, including formal public consultations.