The CCG has clear structures, processes and assurance methods in place to support patient and public participation. This is illustrated in the diagram below:

Governance process

Patients’ views are at the heart of the CCG’s decision making. Patients who are actively involved in shaping local health services are supported to develop their skills and knowledge, whereas patients who would like to become more involved are empowered to do so. The CCG uses a number of innovative ways to connect with people who are ‘seldom heard’, but who’s views are of equal importance.

How participation works at different levels of the organisation

Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) are an integral part of our member GP practices and help practices to understand the needs of their patient populations, as well as act as a critical friend to identify what aspects of the practice are working well and what areas could be improved. They also support practice to raise awareness of health campaigns and services, fundraise, and represent the patient voice as members of the CCG Patient Council.

Patient Council is an established group made up of representatives from PPGs, Healthwatch, and local health related support groups. The council acts as a forum for:

  • the CCG to discuss its current priorities and future plans, and empower members to raise awareness of these amongst their own patient population;
  • Sense-check proposals, surveys, consultation documents, or patient information prior to them being published;
  • Members to feed back any positive or negative experiences from their respective groups.

Quality and Patient Experience Committee (QPEC) receives a wide range of soft and hard intelligence, including the quality of NHS services being delivering to patients and the experience patients have of these services. Intelligence is gathered from a range of sources including feedback from Patient Council, Healthwatch reports, local and national surveys and NHS services performance data. Updates from QPEC are discussed at CCG Governing Body meetings.

CCG Governing Body has an elected Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI), meaning that the patient’s voice is properly represented at senior level within the CCG. When members of the Governing Body are requested to make decisions, they are provided with detailed evidence of how clinical, patient, public and wider stakeholders were engaged and the outcomes of this engagement.

Susan Edge, Lay Member for PPI:

Susan Edge“I have seen a quantum leap in the volume, quality and impact of the CCG’s communications and engagement activities during the year from April 2017 to March 2018. Feedback from patients, carers and families, as well as members of the public, has come through all sorts of channels, high tech and traditional. Importantly this has had a direct and immediate influence on how our consultations have become more inclusive of a broader range of voices. And these responses and suggestions have also proved a rich source of information about how our residents want to see health and social care delivered, and as well as being an opportunity to share their concerns and anxieties.

As the members of our Patients’ Council have settled into their role, this forum has shown its worth as sounding board when future developments and service reconfigurations need the realism and perspective of those who are users of health and social care services. But the Patients’ Council is just one way of getting involved.

In this period of expanding communications and engagement we have benefited from help offered by organisations such as the East Midlands Academic Health Sciences’ Network and their Patient and Public Involvement Senate, and the National Association for Patient Participation. This is supporting us develop patient leaders locally and grow the network that can support involvement across NHS Lincolnshire West CCG and the county. We would welcome hearing from any resident who would like to find out more about patient leader roles.”

Other forms of participation

For each programme of work undertaken by the CCG, a robust engagement plan is developed to ensure there are clear opportunities for patients, communities, and other key stakeholders to be involved in shaping decisions made by the CCG. Examples of this can be found throughout this section.

The CCG has established a Health Involvement Network consisting of patients and representatives from local organisations who actively support the CCG when key decisions are being made about planning and improving services, but who do not have time the commit to becoming a member of a PPG or the CCG’s Patient Council.

The CCG also takes on board feedback provided from patient surveys and key stakeholders as part of the annual CCG 360 Stakeholder survey. The CCG are currently awaiting the results from this year’s survey.