Techniques and approaches for patient and public engagement (PPE) can differ, depending on particular circumstances and audiences, but it needs to be integral to everything that NHS organisations do, both as commissioners and providers of services.
Patient and public engagement in the new commissioning system
This NHS Confederation discussion paper, published in October 2011, draws upon a round-table discussion and examines the main challenges faced by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as they seek to ensure they offer effective PPE. As part of the Health and Social Care Bill proposals, all CCGs must be able to demonstrate they have appropriate mechanisms in place to involve service users and their wider communities before they can attain authorisation.
The report highlights that robust PPE is an integral element to being an effective commissioner and provides a number of case studies to showcase good practice around the country.
Other key points from the paper include:
- CCGs will need to give consideration to how they will engage broader groups than merely their practice lists.
- While good PPE can help organisations to enhance their accountability and add value, poor PPE practice can have adverse consequences such as damage to trust.
- PPE has an important role to play at each of the three points on the 'commissioning cycle' - strategic planning, procurement and management.
- PCT clusters can support pathfinder CCGs in the development of PPE architecture.
- The ways in which patient representatives can act as 'critical friends' and community 'conduits' for CCGs.
Duty of Candour
The Department of Health consulted in autumn 2011 on proposals on implementing a Duty of Candour; a contractual requirement on NHS providers to be open with patients when things go wrong with their healthcare.
We support the principles and agree with the importance of being open and transparent, but rolling out a meaningful and effective approach will be challenging for all sectors.
Read our response to the consultation (February 2012).
The heart of the matter
An NHS Confederation report, published in February 2010, says that PPE must become integral to the operation of every NHS organisation. In a year where the NHS faces considerable change and challenges, it has never been more important for NHS organisations to demonstrate that they have listened to, and acted on, the concerns of patients and public.
The heart of the matter: patient and public engagement in today’s NHS asks questions about the future of PPE in an ever-changing NHS and sets out:
- what good engagement looks like
- the legal framework for PPE
- the importance of having a culture of engagement
- where the NHS has got to on PPE
- how Local Involvement Networks (LINKs), membership schemes and working with local government contribute to PPE.
The report poses a number of questions for debate including:
- What do you think stops the NHS from integrating effective engagement into all that it does?
- What needs to change to embed the culture and commitment to support effective engagement?
- What is needed to strengthen capacity?
- How should PPE adapt in response to system changes and the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies and techniques?
- Are current formal review and scrutiny structures right?
- Are there lessons to be learnt from foundation trust membership schemes that can be applied more widely across the NHS?
- Does the current framework provide appropriate ways of ensuring the NHS is accountable to patients and the public?
- Is there more the NHS Confederation could be doing to advance this agenda?
There are also a range of further case studies from across the service available to view via this page:
Patient and public engagement seminars
The NHS Confederation ran a series of three patient and public engagement seminars with the Department of Health in March 2010.
Use the related document links on the right hand side of this page to download the presentations.