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How we involve people

How we involve the public and how you can get involved in health service developments

Patient and public involvement is at the heart of the CCG. Our Governing Body has a membership that includes three Lay (Patient) Members – one of whom has a specific brief for patient and public involvement and one of whom has responsibility for ensuring that the organisation has a focus on equality and inclusion

Governing Body Members receive reports to assure them that the CCG is achieving its objectives, and this includes reports and reference in reports to patient and public involvement and equality and inclusion.  The front cover of reports has an assurance check list that ensures that patients and public are involved.  An example of a specific patient and public involvement report is here.

Our constitution means that our Governing Body is held in public, and members of the public can submit questions for the Governing Body to answer. 

We work to a set of principles for engagement. These are not final - we are always learning - but they provide a good basis for engagement and let patients and the public know what they can expect when we carry out engagement. 

The Governing Body also hears stories from patients about their experiences of health service, and living with their condition.  Recent stories have included alcoholism and military veterans.

The Governing Body also receives assurance and oversight from a sub-committee called the Patient Partners Board. You can find more about the Patient Partners Board here.  It’s members are representatives from each of the five Patient Participation Group (PPG) networks in East Lancashire, as well as Lancashire Healthwatch, and other patient groups. The Patient Partners Board reviews and evaluates our patient and public involvement plans and activities.  

The planning cycle for the CCG starts with the issuing of national planning guidance by NHS England. You can see the latest round for 2019/20 here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/nhs-operational-planning-and-contracting-guidance.pdf .  The guidance is published for CCGs in early January, the final operational plan for CCGs is submitted to NHS England by 4th April 2019.  The plan sets out expectations for clinical commissioning and we use this to shape our work plans each year. This includes Patient and Public Involvement.

Our last operational plan was a two year plan and you can see it here: eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/about-us/our-missions-aims-priorities-plans.  Over the last year we have engaged and involved patients and the public on key aspects of this plan.  Examples of this include primary care and urgent care.

GP practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) are an integral part of our engagement with patients and the public. They are established with each GP practice and if you are registered with a GP practice you can join your PPG.  To join your practice PPG just contact the Practice Manager or the reception staff.  PPGs support GP practices through health awareness campaigns, surveys, Care Quality Commission inspections. They also support the CCG helping us to promote engagement we are doing across East Lancashire or within their locality.

We also have a membership scheme called Patient Partners. Anyone who lives or works in East Lancashire can join. We send regular bulletins to Patient Partners and we invite members to take part in commissioning projects and developments by sitting on project groups, or by reviewing documents and marketing materials, or by participating in surveys and promoting engagement. When you join Patient Partners we ask if you have any particular interests such as mental health or asthma, for example, and we use this information to match you to any relevant projects or work in those areas.

East Lancashire consists of 5 localities: Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribblesdale and Rossendale. Each of these localities has a locality manager and they support the locality Health and Wellbeing Steering Group. Each of these groups has representatives from neighbourhoods, including primary care networks, local councils, GPs, the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector, and local patient representatives. Councillors, and patients all bring strong community perspectives the groups and influence developments and plans. Summaries of the work being undertaken in each locality are reported monthly to the Governing Body in a Locality Summary which can be found in the Governing Body papers here.

Commissioning managers and teams at the CCG actively involve patients and the public in much of their work. For example they may wish to redesign a service or consider whether a service needs to be redesigned or changed. Some commissioning involves procurement (buying) new or different services and patient representatives are involved in procurement. Good examples of this are the work we did around care navigation, and extended GP access.  Our “matching service” for Patient Partners means people can contribute their expertise and insights as expert patients.

We have three systems that enable us to hear the views of patients and the public. The first one is connect where patients, GPs and others can tell us about their experiences of health services. The second one is the complaints, comments and compliments system which we commission from Midlands and Lancashire CSU – details are here. These are reviewed by our Quality team act on them and report on this to the Pennine Lancashire Quality Committee. These reports are covered in reports that are presented to the Governing Body each month - here. Finally we have a system called “Health Matters” – it is our way of gauging what matters to patients and the public about their health and health services. We have established it as a form of continuous dialogue. It involves online feedback and the use of social media as well as outreach in each of the local areas.

We also go out to meet people and groups. We call this “outreach”.  Good examples of this are the engagement we conducted on gluten free prescribing where we attended the East Lancashire Coeliac Society meetings as well as the East Lancashire Diabetes Groups where we have shared our proposals but also listened to their views.

We also work closely with partners in the communities we serve. We work closely with Healthwatch Lancashire who are the voice of patients in our area. Whenever they produce reports from “enter and view” inspections or specific projects we review the project and consider its findings at the Patient Partners Board.  Any recommendations that arise from Healthwatch reports are shared with commissioners who use this information to improve services in the area.

We work with specific partners such as BME Lancashire, Burnley Youth Theatre Amplify and LearnLive to engage with groups and communities. We describe how we work with them in our closed and open engagement pages