Our role as commissioners is to identify the health needs of our population and ensure these are met by commissioning high quality and effective health and care services.

To do this well we review the local health needs regularly and work in partnership with the public, colleagues from other NHS organisations, Surrey Health & Wellbeing Board, Public Health Surrey, local authorities and the voluntary sector.  

Involving the public helps us to better understand people’s needs, and to prioritise those people who experience the poorest health outcomes – enabling us to improve access and reduce health inequalities.

In April 2017 NHS England published revised guidance entitled: “Patient and public participation in commissioning health care: Statutory guidance for clinical commissioning groups and NHS England”.

The guidance contains 10 key actions for clinical commissioning groups to embed involvement in their work. We aim to:

  1. Involve the public in governance
  2. Explain public involvement in commissioning plans
  3. Demonstrate public involvement in Annual Reports
  4. Promote and publicise public involvement
  5. Assess, plan and take action to involve
  6. Feedback and evaluate
  7. Implement assurance and improvement systems
  8. Advance equality and reduce health inequality
  9. Provide support for effective engagement
  10. Hold providers to account

At NHS Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group overall accountability for the delivery of effective communications and meaningful engagement is retained by our Governing Body. Caroline Warner, our dedicated lay person is responsible for ensuring patient and public involvement is considered and demonstrated at all stages of the commissioning cycle.

We seek regular input from the public, our Community Representatives and our Public Engagement Group into the services we commission. We also make sure to feedback what we have done as a result of this input. This information is gathered and disseminated in a variety of ways which is highlighted in our communication and engagement approach.