The views of local people matter to us and we want to involve them in the decisions we make. By working with patients, carers and the public, we are able to develop services which meet the needs of our community.

Patient and public involvement in commissioning is about enabling people to share their views, needs and wishes, and to contribute to plans, proposals and decisions about local services.

We have a legal duty to involve patients and the public in our work in a meaningful way to improve health and care services.  This legal duty is relevant to designing and planning services, decision making and proposals for changes that will impact on individuals or groups and how health services are provided to them.

Patients and the public can often identify innovative, effective and efficient ways of designing, delivering and joining up services. By involving and listening to people who use local health services, our teams can better understand their needs and respond to what matters most to people.

Read more about our work in our latest Annual Report (2020/21).

Public participation and our commissioning cycle

Patient and public involvement is a vital part of what is known as our commissioning cycle.This describes the various steps in planning and purchasing health services. There are a number of stages where public involvement can inform our work, from planning services, to commissioning (buying) them and monitoring their performance.

As part of the process of identifying people who may be affected by a proposed change, equality impact assessments are completed to ensure that all people and communities, including those with protected characteristics such as age or disability, are fully considered.

Approaches and accessibility

Different participation approaches may be appropriate depending on the nature of the commissioning activity and the people we would like to seek feedback from. Approaches may include surveys, public meetings (face to face or virtual) and focus groups, along with the use of social media and the local press.

When considering participation, accessibility is very important, for example the accessibility of venues to ensure that individuals are able to participate In addition, we have the ability to provide interpretation services and to make printed materials available in alternative formats or languages.

Find out more about getting involved in our work, here.