Making sure that patients and the public are involved in the services we commission

Working in partnership 

We work closely with our local health and care service providers to ensure that patients and members of the public have opportunities to give feedback on current services and be involved in developments for the future.

Increasingly our work across south west London is developed in partnership, with commissioners and providers of health and care services working together to coordinate our effort to involve local people. You can see this as we develop our Health and Care Plan for Merton 

Using our contracts

In our contracts we set out requirements that services must meet in relation to communicating with and involving service users, the public and staff.  We use the standard NHS contract for all services we commission, other than primary care, which is covered by separate contracting arrangements.

The contract covers: 

  • involving individuals in decisions about their own care and treatment, providing them with information they can readily understand and responding to questions in a timely way
  • actively seeking feedback from service users and the public about the services they are using or have received; this includes using patient surveys and the Friends and Family Test
  • involving service users and the public when considering and implementing developments to services, and providing evidence when required of how they have done this and its impact

We use our monthly Clinical Quality Review Group (CQRG) meetings to monitor performance and progress and to engage in active and friendly discussion with our provider colleagues about some of the challenges of involving diverse groups, acting on feedback and demonstrating where people's views have had an impact. We also routinely hear patient stories from providers which focus our discussions on putting patients at the centre.

This year we have also had presentations from providers to our Patient Engagement Group to seek advice around improving their patient and public engagement.

For the future, we are thinking about how patient and public engagement and equalities are discussed at CQRG meetings. We are developing a set of 'prompt' questions that can be used by chairs or other meeting participants, and hope to schedule regular involvement presentations across all providers.

Quality accounts

NHS Trusts produce an annual Quality Account, which has some information on work they have done to listen to and improve the experience of their patients and the public. You can see them on our Trusts' websites:

Find out how you can give feedback or get involved with your local hospital, community health service or mental  health service.