Patient and Public Voice

NHS England published Transforming Participation in Health & Care in September 2013 and the national Patient and Public Voice Team selected Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) to deliver this programme across their region.

The programme is expected to:

  • Provide a channel through which to pioneer new approaches;
  • Share good practice and upscale approaches that work; 
  • Enrich commissioning support services through strong community connections, especially strong engagement with the voluntary and community sector; 
  • Create expertise to ensure that support is available (beyond the period of funding) that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can commission to deliver in these areas; 
  • Network effectively: creating a national conversation about this agenda and embed a local/regional impact for national approaches

The aim is for the CSUs to provide bespoke support to CCGs and NHS England Sub-Regions (formerly known as Area Teams) so they can begin to reap the positive outcomes and benefits associated with both putting patients in control and patient and public participation.

Divided into two elements, CSUs were invited to bid and devise innovative solutions to meet the brief.

Patient and Public Participation (PPP):


Patients in Control (PIC):

Every part of our health and care system is shaped and improved by involving those who use and care about our services. Everyone contributes their distinctive perspective, especially those who face the greatest health disadvantage and the poorest health outcomes.Progressing from listening and understanding to collaboration and responsiveness, we all benefit from a rich understanding of what is needed and how to co-design and deliver services that meet these needs.

People have a voice at different levels throughout our structures, from board level to front-line services. Our approach recognises, works with and strengthens the assets in our communities; and takes a collaborative approach to working with partners.

Skills, resources and connections across the system are harnessed through effective partnerships including local HealthWatch, health and wellbeing boards, CCGs, local authorities, patient groups, patient leaders and the voluntary and community sector.

NHS England will work with partners to develop the Patient and Public Voice Commissioning Support Programme. This will build networks of specific expertise to offer practical support to develop greater participation, provide support to CCGs and NHS England Sub-Regions and engage effectively with the voluntary sector to provide high quality commissioning support.


Patients and carers are involved in managing their own health, care and treatment. This means being involved in decisions about their care and having choice and control over the NHS services they receive. From booking an appointment, or choosing which hospital to attend, to receiving 24 hour nursing care, the NHS will offer patients as much control over the services they receive as they want.

The amount of control an individual wishes or is able to take may vary according to their background and experience as well as their current circumstances. For example, someone with a long term condition may work collaboratively with health professionals to develop a care plan which helps them achieve their own goals and self-manage their health.

Someone with complex needs requiring 24 hour care may want to take full control and employ their own carers using a personal health budget. People who need to make episodic decisions about treatment or care (for example, whether they should have an operation) will be supported to make shared decisions with their health professionals.

NHS England will work with partners to build a field force of practical support and help for commissioners, through the Patient and Public Voice Commissioning Support Programme, to introduce and roll out personal health budgets and approaches to personalisation so that anyone who can benefit will be able to have a personal health budget and care plan by April 2015.

Successful CSUs in the Patient and Public Participation programme:

Read more about Involvement as part of the PPP Programme


Successful CSUs in the Patients in Control programme:

  • NORTH: North England Commissioning Support Unit and North West Commissioning Support Unit
  • MIDLANDS & EAST: South East Commissioning Support Unit
  • LONDON: South East Commissioning Support Unit
  • SOUTH: South East Commissioning Support Unit and South and West Commissioning Support Alliance

Read more about the PiC Programme in Midlands and East


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