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Our approach to involvement

Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group seek every opportunity to involve local people in decisions about their own health and care and in the planning and design of local services. The CCG is committed to building on their existing engagement activities in innovative and creative ways, to make sure patients and carers from all areas and from diverse communities are involved and listened to in commissioning decisions. 

NHS England’s Five Year Forward View and Long Term Plan outlines the challenges faced by the NHS and set out how the health service needs to change, arguing for a new and more engaged relationship with patients, carers, citizens and communities in order to promote wellbeing, prevent ill-health, and support people to be more in control of their own care, involving them directly in decisions about the future of health and care services.

The CCG will make sure that public, patient and carer voices are at the centre of our healthcare services, from planning to delivery. Every level of our commissioning system will be informed by insightful methods of listening to those who use and care about our services.

Our approach is based on the ten principles of participation that NHS England has developed for CCGs, based on a review of research, best practice reports and the views of stakeholders.

The principles are:

  • reach out to people rather than expecting them to come to us, and ask them how they want to be involved, avoiding assumptions
  • promote equality and diversity and encourage and respect different beliefs and opinions
  • proactively seek participation from people who experience health inequalities and poor health outcomes
  • value people’s lived experience and use all the strengths and talents that people bring to the table, working towards shared goals and aiming for constructive and productive conversations
  • provide clear and easy to understand information and seek to facilitate involvement by all, recognising that everyone has different needs. This includes working with advocacy services and other partners where necessary
  • take time to plan and budget for participation and start involving people as early as possible
  • be open, honest and transparent in the way you work; tell people about the evidence base for decisions, and be clear about resource limitations and other relevant constraints. Where information has to be kept confidential, explain why
  • invest in partnerships, have an ongoing dialogue and avoid tokenism; provide information, support, training and the right kind of leadership so everyone can work, learn and improve together
  • review experience (positive and negative) and learn from it to continuously improve how people are involved
  • recognise, record and celebrate people’s contributions and give feedback on the results of involvement; show people how they are valued