Engagement – Our Strategy
Section 242 of the Health and Social Care Act (2006) requires all NHS organisations to make arrangements to involve service users or their representatives in planning services, developing proposals for service changes and decisions on changes made to services.
We know how important it is that local people have a say about local services. We work with a wide range of people including patients, their families, patient groups, the general public, partner organisations and wider stakeholders to make sure that everyone has a voice and the opportunity to tell us what they think about what we are doing and our plans. The NHS Constitution also requires us to involve you when we make decisions.
One of the ways we ensure that people can influence health and care services is by continually engaging and working with our local community. We have produced an Engagement Strategy for 2019-20 which explains how we will work with the people of North Lincolnshire to share our challenges, plans and the opportunities there are to work with us.
Ways to get involved
We are committed to involving patients and the public in the design, delivery and review of our services. We have established a range of mechanisms through which patients, carers and the public can get involved.
Have a conversation with us
During our Experience Led Commissioning work in 2013, people told us that a CCG that listens well would give the community the feeling both parties were having a conversation and on-going dialogue. They told us it was important for us to get to know our local community and to keep in touch in ways that suit individual need.
They suggested we have regular communication with the local community and widely advertise opportunities to get involved.
We want to make sure people have regular opportunities to meet the CCG to share their views and experiences of health care. We now hold Café Conversation events at locations across North Lincolnshire so that people can drop in and have a chat. Details of these are shared on our website and through our social media posts.
Join our patient network – Embrace
We maintain regular communication with patients and the public who join our Embrace patient network. See here for information about how to join Embrace.
Join our Patient and Community Assurance Group
Local people are involved in our Patient and Community Assurance Group (PCAG) to help make a real difference to the way local NHS services are developed and improved by providing independent assurance on our engagement with the public. More information about PCAG is available here.
Take part in consultation and engagement opportunities
Surveys and consultations enable the CCG to gather feedback from patients, carers, partner organisations, and other key stakeholders, and use this information when making decisions about the commissioning of health services locally.
You can find links to our current surveys and consultations in the ‘Current opportunities to tell us what you think’ menu option, which includes background information and how you can get involved.
How the voluntary sector and community groups influence our work
Healthwatch is the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services. We work closely with Healthwatch North Lincolnshire to jointly host the North Lincolnshire Patient Participation Group Chairs Forum.
Healthwatch North Lincolnshire is also a member of our North Lincolnshire Health and Social Care Standards Board, which is chaired by our CCG Lay Member for Patient and Public Participation. They regularly contribute to our Quality Surveillance Group meetings and meet our Quality Team to share experiences, concerns or compliments about health and social care.
We also work together to share and promote public involvement opportunities.
We work in partnership with a number of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations across North Lincolnshire. This includes organisations such as charities, not for profit organisations, community groups and social enterprises. It enables us to build relationships and reach ‘seldom heard’ groups and communities.
We attend voluntary sector forums and events – ranging from the youth council and the older people’s forums, to carers’ advisory groups and patient participation groups.
How we hold our providers to account on patient experience and public involvement
We find out what engagement work our provider organisations are doing and we support this as much as possible.
When providers want to make a change to a service, they should let the commissioners know. We then ask about their plans to involve patients in their changes and either get involved as commissioners where that is appropriate, or ask to see the engagement reports before any decisions are made.
Here are some of examples of when this has happened:
GP practices wanting to change their services – for example when Bridge Street surgery needed to close their branch in Broughton , we asked them to tell us what consultation they had done with their patients and the local community. We were satisfied that patients had been given sufficient opportunity to comment on the proposal and a report went to the Primary Care Commissioning Committee where the closure was approved.
Changing the location of a service – for example, when relocating secondary mental health services from temporary clinics across North Lincs to a town centre site, we reviewed the provider’s plans for engagement. As a result we developed a joint approach to the engagement with the provider, developing survey materials and undertaking analysis of the findings of consultation which informed the decision to move the service.
Our Quality Team are really important in holding providers to account as they will hear about changes through quality review meetings. We work closely with them to make sure the CCG is asking the right questions, focusing most on those people who will find it hardest to access our services.