CCG staff will involve patients and those who may use services in the future. This includes carers and families where relevant. Taking an asset based community approach the CCG can identify the range of partners who may have an interest in involvement and a useful contribution to make. This could include members of self help and support groups Healthwatch, faith groups, patient and carer groups, local neighbourhood action groups or charities. In our Communication and Engagement Strategy we have mapped our stakeholders and the most effective way to communicate with them. The CCG will strive to engage directly with the population affected by the commissioning activity. But in some circumstances, some aspects of public involvement can take place by representatives, for example, our recent public consultation for Future Fit, was designed to maximise engagement with as many parts of the population as possible, on the basis that they were either existing patients or patients of the future. However, this was supplemented with very focused engagement activities around specific groups in our community, who would suffer a more adverse impact of the proposed changes, for example, elderly people, people in deprived areas where public transport is limited and carers. Further with our engagement on discontinuing Gluten Free prescribing the CCG actively asked for feedback from leading charities representing this group of patients.
Examples of ways that we engage patients and the public include:
- Through their elected representatives (MPs and councillors).
- Letters or emails to affected individuals.
- Information on notice boards in local community facilities such as GP surgeries, libraries, leisure centres and supermarkets.
- Suggestion boxes.
- Leaflet drops.
- Dedicated events to enable discussion.
- Focus groups
- Surveys and feedback forms
- Seek views at local events or venues such as faith centres, community celebrations, festivals, markets, schools, leisure centres, libraries, shopping centres, neighbourhood gatherings, etc.
- Work with local VCSE organisations, local Healthwatch and the PPG at GP Practices.
- Provide opportunities for the public to meet staff (not just during office hours, which could exclude people who work and children and young people who are at school).
- Formal public consultations.
- Social media, for example Twitter, Facebook.
- Public and patient advisory or reference groups
- Patient and public representatives who provide regular input to committees/groups/boards.
- Co-production with experts by experience.