Knowing me, knowing you

Written by Penny Gibbs on .

There are a couple of things my friends would say make me an obvious communications and engagement person. Firstly, I enjoy talking to people and secondly, I like attention to detail – annoying as it is I'm well known for never keeping my nail varnish on for long because after one day it isn't perfect.

Both these examples happened recently when I was working with a CCG to help engage with non-English speaking people about proposals to change interpreting services at GP and dentist appointments. My colleague and I identified our need to speak directly to people who would be affected. Our first point of call was the local Migrant Centre – they support new entrants into the area and were happy for us to present during their regular update session. They also had volunteers willing to translate the information on the day.

Empowering patients through good public engagement techniques

Written by Deborah Neal on .

Here at Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) we are always looking for innovative ways to help our clients to put the views and experiences of patients, carers and staff at the heart of the decisions made about healthcare services.

East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) asked for our help to deliver Improving Lives, a transformational, outcomes-focused contract to improve services for patients with long-term conditions and those who are older and sometimes frail. We saw the perfect opportunity to use a new approach to involving patients and carers and gathering and analysing their views and experiences, called Experience Led Commissioning.

New MP? It's time to talk

Written by Sarah Flower on .

There’s now less than a week to go until the polls open and election fever will have taken over the airwaves, billboards and street lamps near you. Whilst you might still be deciding who you’re going to vote for, now is the time to think about how your organisation is going to engage with your Member of Parliament (MP) when they take office.

With recent opinion polls suggesting the NHS is one of; if not the top priority for voters, it’s not surprising that the future of health care is a key debating point across all political parties. Regardless of their political persuasion, the MP who is elected in your area will be taking an interest in local NHS organisations so it’s worth being proactive to build a relationship with them.

Patients are helping to make the call on NHS 111

Written by Sarah Flower on .

The NHS 111 project team have been really busy over the past few weeks with the re-procurement of the service for the West Midlands region. Involving patients and the public in this process has been a big priority for all Clinical Commissioning Groups and I was delighted that the rest of the project team have been as keen as me to get patients involved right from the start of the procurement process.

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