On 10 May, the Patient Liaison Group (PLG) organised a symposium which focused on patient engagement in the context of healthcare devolution.
The symposium convened representatives from BMA branch of practice committees, patient organisations, royal medical colleges and advocacy groups.
Patients living in Greater Manchester and Hackney gave their perspectives on how devolution is working there and how much public and patient involvement and consultation has taken place in these areas.
Based on these constructive discussions PLG has produced two checklists - one for devolution site leads and one for patients.
The aim of these checklists is:
- to empower patients to be better informed about access to healthcare and help them influence service delivery
- support devolution site leads by providing them with a best practice tool on how to work in partnership with patients to design services that reflect and deliver what people need.
The way in which devolution is implemented will vary across sites, however, the aim of these checklists is to highlight what patients should look out for if they live in an area which is moving towards devolved arrangements.
A checklist for patients
The way in which health and social care is delivered is rapidly changing.
On 1 April 2016 Greater Manchester became the first English region to gain control of its health and social care budget of £6 billion to look after 2.8 million people. Other English regions are also working on devolution arrangements.
These changes offer the opportunity to improve the quality of care by providing truly integrated services for the benefit of patients. However, they can also mean a lot of uncertainty for patients who are unsure about how it will affect them and the care they are receiving.
The aim of this checklist is to help patients identify what they should be looking for, asking about, and challenge if are in an area which is moving to devolved arrangements.
Devolution - a patient checklist (PDF)
A checklist for devolution site leads
Similarly it is important for those leading devolution sites to involve patients in the decision-making process.
The voice of patients should be valued. They use health and care services on a regular basis and will be able to provide vital feedback, insight and suggestions for improvement as experts of experience.
Pro-actively engaging with patients will help to design and embed health devolution, which is fit for purpose and is rooted in supporting local well being and nurtures healthy communities.
Figure 1 - Involving people and communities: the what, why, who, when, and how?
Click on image to enlarge
This checklist provides a list of actions which will help identify when and how people and communities can be involved in discussions around service design and implementation.
Devolution - a checklist for site leads (PDF)