How we engage

How we engage

The NHS belongs to us all. It is your health service, so who better to help shape how it should look and work? So, we want to make it easy for you to get involved.

We do this through our ‘In Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre’ involvement programme.

There are many ways you can get involved, from providing feedback on what you think about this website to attending our Governing Body meetings or joining a Patient Participation Group (PPG) at your GP practice. Whatever your interest, your views are always welcome.

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Influence - public membership scheme

Anyone living or working on the Fylde Coast can join our Influence scheme.  Members receive regular updates as well as invitations to events and focus groups which support planning and service redesign.

It’s easy to join. Just fill out the form.

Influence Panel

We also hold a regular Influence Panel which meets monthly. This is based on a citizens’ jury model with panel members providing feedback, views and suggestions on specific proposals. We always aim to feedback to the panel how their views have made a difference. Each year a recruitment drive among Influence members takes place for new members of the Panel.

In Fylde and Wyre, the Influence Panel was established in 2014 and has helped in the development of many services and policies. 

The Blackpool Influence Panel will launch in April 2019. Recruitment to the Panel will take place soon.

To read more about what the Influence Panel has achieved, visit the ‘What you have told us’ page.

Insight - patient experience

Insight is the mechanism by which we collect patient experience data and soft intelligence. We use a system called Datix to record the 4Cs (comments, compliments complaints and concerns) and monitor themes and trends across services.

We record patient experiences and suggestions for improvements and, where possible, communicate back to the people what has happened as a result of their feedback. Primary care colleagues use this system to report any incidents or concerns they may have in particular areas which can be cross referenced to the feedback we receive from patients.

We have developed the functionality of this system over the last 12 months and we now capture data which is gathered through our online survey, feedback from PPGs, the friends and family test, data from other national forums, for example, and intelligence we gain from working with MP enquiries.  Soft intelligence reports are shared with the committees and to CCG staff via team meetings to inform commissioning decisions.

Involve - volunteering

Our volunteers include members of the public who give their time through the Influence programme, providing their views and ideas about health and care developments. It also includes growing numbers of people who are supporting their communities (e.g. through our community development programme) by setting up groups and projects to improve community health and wellbeing and making a big difference to the lives of others.

We believe anyone who wishes to volunteer with the CCG to improve local health services should only have to volunteer their time and not money. We aim to ensure patients and the public are not financially out of pocket when they support our work. Our volunteer expenses policies (Blackpool: Volunteer Expenses policy (pdf | 0.2 MB) / Fylde and Wyre: Volunteer Expenses policy (pdf | 0.3 MB) ) sets out what financial support is available to patients and the public who are involved in our work.

Patient participation groups (PPGs) are another way patients can volunteer their time to work with their GP practice to enable improvements to be made.

PPGs play a vital role in working with GP staff, talking to patients to improve access to services and helping to improve primary care. They are responsible for helping to develop an annual patient survey, analyse the results, support the practice in developing an action plan and to monitor its implementation. Groups can be large virtual groups or smaller groups which meet face to face.

The CCG continues to support the development of PPGs, which now form a substantial network across the Fylde Coast. As part of this we coordinate a PPG network group, which provides mutual support and enables the sharing of best practice. Once a year we bring all of the PPG members together at a PPG conference, again, to share best practice and ideas. PPGs formally link to the Governing Body through our Patient and Public Engagement group, which is part of our engagement infrastructure.

On the Fylde Coast our PPG members go above and beyond the expectations of their role. With our support, many work proactively with their practices to support primary care activity, for example promoting flu clinics, updating notice boards, promoting GP online access and self-care and providing information stands for patients in waiting rooms.

In addition, PPGs have set up a number of projects to support health and wellbeing. These include:

  • an Art for Health competition with an exhibition held in the GP practice,
  • an award-winning scheme to encourage children and young people to talk about their wellbeing through art,
  • a dementia sing-a-long event – held twice annually – invites local care home residents, students and music bands, dementia training run by PPG members for practice staff and the wider community,
  • community garden projects, and
  • walking and friendship groups.

Fylde and Wyre CCG lent iPads to PPGs as part of a campaign to raise awareness and increase usage of GP online services such as Patient Access. In order for the campaign to be effective, PPGs were given training and guidance by the CCG on how to operate the iPads and the Patient Access platform, as well as how to approach the subject with members of the public in practices.

To find out about your local PPG and how to get involved, please speak to your GP practice.

Include - embracing diversity

The CCGs make a firm commitment to ensuring patients have a representative voice and that hard to reach and seldom heard groups are afforded the same opportunities to have their say. The CCG has an equality and inclusion strategy, which is supported by and links to the communications, engagement and development strategy. In addition, we both publish an equality and inclusion annual report on our activities around diversity.

The CCGs continue to work with protected characteristic groups, for example Lancashire LGBT+, to ensure services meet the needs of a diverse population. We are currently developing our engagement approach with children and young people.

Inspire - patient stories

Patient stories, testimonials and inspirational videos are shared with the Governing Body and wider CCG staff to highlight patient experiences, improve services and help NHS professionals learn and develop.

We have captured some compelling stories showcasing the extensive care service, musculoskeletal services, and how neighbourhood care teams have changed people’s lives.

We use scenario-based animations to explain how services are being developed and how new services support patient needs. We regularly share these via our communication tools as well as making use of partner channels and our network of GP practice websites.

If you would like to share your experience of using local health services we would like to hear from you. Email us at to share your story.

Inform - news and views about your NHS

The CCGs aim to provide clear information to patients that is relevant and easy to understand. This is available through our joint website, social media, stakeholder newsletter, press releases, meetings in public and summary Governing Body reports. We also use our growing communications network, which includes practice websites, social media and TV screens, and the channels of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and other partners such as councils and the voluntary sector.

We aim to use plain English in the information we produce and avoid the use of jargon as far as possible. For some of our more widely distributed pieces of information we work with the Plain English Campaign to get their ‘Crystal Mark’ of approval. We aim to make all of our information accessible, and adhere to the Accessible Information Standard as set out in the equality duty and we provide translation services where appropriate.

This website has Browsealoud, which provides spoken word interpretations of web content in multiple languages. We offer our written information in other languages and formats and we use a signer at our annual general meeting and other large events, such as the Guinness World Record attempt in July 2018.

Last updated on 20 February 2019 at 14:10 by communications manager