Why engage?

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All clinical commissioning groups have a legal duty to involve the public (individuals and communities) in their commissioning activities and feedback on the impact the engagement activity has had. This includes designing and planning services, decision-making and proposals for change that will impact upon individuals or groups and how health services are provided to them.

Both Fylde Coast CCGs (NHS Blackpool CCG and NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG) have active and robust infrastructures to ensure patient and public involvement lies at the heart of our business and the commitment to do this is detailed within each CCG’s constitution.

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Blackpool CCG Constitution

Blackpool CCG Constitution (pdf | 2.7 MB) stipulates the following:

The Group will make arrangements to secure public involvement in the planning, development and consideration of proposals for changes and decisions affecting the operation of commissioning arrangements by:

  1. Working in line with the Group’s engagement strategy
  2. Working in partnership with patients, the local community, and as wide as possible cross-section of the people who use or may use the services provided to secure the best care
  3. Adapting engagement activities to meet the specific needs of the different patient groups and communities
  4. Publishing information about health services on its website, through other media, and in a variety of ways tailored to the needs of the local community
  5. Encouraging and acting on feedback
  6. Having a lay member with a role to oversee public involvement
  7. Having the Quality and Engagement Committee to oversee and give assurance of compliance

Fylde and Wyre CCG Constitution

Fylde and Wyre CCG Constitution 31 July 2019 V5.7 (pdf | 3.5 MB) stipulates the following:

The Group will make arrangements to secure public involvement in the planning, development and consideration of proposals for changes and decisions affecting the operation of our commissioning arrangements by:

  1. Establishing strong working relationship with our local health-watch; using their knowledge to strengthen our approaches to public involvement in our planning decisions
  2. Publishing information on how members of the public can contribute to the Group’s plans and development of services and reflecting their views in our commissioning plans
  3. Establishing mechanisms that enable us to routinely and systematically canvass patient and public opinion to inform the Group’s commissioning intentions
  4. Placing emphasis on appropriate leadership, through the appointment of a chief nurse to lead on patient and public engagement, who is a member of the group’s Governing Body, as well as appropriate strategies to secure public involvement in services
  5. Working with the local overview and scrutiny committee, who will scrutinise our proposals for any substantial development of health services or for any substantial variation in the provision of such services and ensure that public opinion has been appropriately canvassed

Embedding engagement

The CCGs’ constitutions, the legal documents that define how the CCGs operate, commits to involving the public in the planning, development and consideration of proposals for changes and decisions affecting the operation of our commissioning arrangements.

Our approach to engagement is outlined in our communications and engagement strategies below.  We are in the process of developing a shared communications and engagement strategy for both CCGs and this is published in draft below.  The strategy is built on the guidance and principles set out in NHS England’s Patient and Public Participation in Commissioning Health and Care.

We believe there are five main reasons for undertaking communications and engagement:

  • To improve health and wellbeing
  • To support health service improvement and development
  • To improve patient and public confidence in their local NHS
  • To improve patient and public satisfaction in their local NHS
  • To ensure an engaged and motivated workforce

We provide six-monthly updates to the CCGs’ Governing Body or committee to provide assurance on the progress being made against the strategies.  The most recent updates are available to download below:

Each CCG has a Governing Body member responsible for championing people and public engagement at the highest level.  For Blackpool CCG it is Helen Williams and for Fylde and Wyre CCG it is Kevin Toole. Their role is specified in their CCG’s constitutions (see above) and is to make sure the voice of the local population is heard and that opportunities are created and protected for patient and public empowerment.

The diagram below shows how engagement supports the CCGs to commission services for the people on the Fylde Coast.  Click the image to open a larger version.

This diagram is taken from Patient and Public Participation in Commissioning Health and Care, NHS England (April 2017)

We produced a Communications and Engagement Assessment Tool (pdf | 0.4 MB) to support the planning and embedding of communication and engagement activity across the CCGs in plans and projects.

Engagement principles

We aim to adhere to Healthwatch’s five principles for public engagement, which include:

  1. Setting out the case for change so that people can understand the current situation and why things might need to be done differently.
  2. Involving people from the start in coming up with possible solutions.
  3. Understanding who in your community will be affected, and find out what they think.
  4. Giving people enough time to consider the plans and give feedback.
  5. Explaining how you used people’s feedback, the difference it made, and how the impact of the changes will be monitored.

Involving people in decisions

Provider engagement

As clinical commissioning groups we use the NHS Standard Contract for all our provider service contracts, other than for primary care which is covered by separate contracting arrangements. This includes service condition 12, which outlines contractual requirements in relation to communicating with and involving service users, the public and staff.

NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts have their own legal duty to involve the public (section 242 of the National Health Service Act 2006, as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012).

Quality indicators within providers’ contracts require reporting on how they gather and act upon feedback from service users and other stakeholders. Performance against these indicators is assessed through contract monitoring processes and informs risk profiling tools to focus remedial action.

Last updated on 27 January 2020 at 11:17 by communications manager