Under section 13Q of the National Health Service Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012), NHS England has a statutory duty to ‘make arrangements’ to involve the public in commissioning services for NHS patients. The Statement of Arrangements and Guidance on Patient and Public Participation in Commissioning sets out the 13Q duty for CCGs in more detail.
Consultation and Engagement
Differences between engagement and consultation
Involving local patients, members of the public, carers and patient representative groups is important to the CCG so that we can be assured of commissioning the best possible services that meet the needs of local patients and that represent the best possible value for money.
What is engagement?
Engagement describes the continuing and on-going process of developing relationships and partnerships so that the voice of local people and partners is heard and that our plans are shared at the earliest possible stages. Examples of this type of engagement would include our various methods of connecting with patient representatives in our Patient Groups section of this website.
It also describes activity that happens early on in an involvement process, including holding extensive discussions with a wide range of people to develop a robust case for change.
What is a ‘formal consultation’?
‘Formal consultation’ describes the statutory requirement imposed on NHS bodies to consult with overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs), patients, the public and stakeholders when considering a proposal for a substantial development of the health service, or for a substantial variation in the provision of a service.
Formal consultation is carried out if a change is ‘significant’. This is determined where the proposal or plan is likely to have a substantial impact on one or more of the following:
- Access (e.g. reduction or increase in service due to change of location or opening times)
- Wider community (e.g. economic impact, transport, regeneration)
- Patients or users (either current or future)
- Service delivery (e.g. methods of delivery or relocation of services)
The outcome of a formal consultation must be reported to the CCG Governing Body, together with the feedback received, and must show how this has been taken into account in any recommendations and decision making.