The ‘Patient and public participation in commissioning health and care’ guidance aims to support NHS staff to involve people in work to improve services and provides advice on the legal duty to involve.
The document also sets out 10 actions CCGs and NHS England can take to embed involvement in their work.
Responding to the new guidance Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England, said:
“Engaging and involving people in how NHS services are designed and refined is an essential part of ensuring they deliver what patients both want and need. This is even more important at a time when the NHS is having to make some tough decisions about how care is provided.
“Good engagement is about much more than carrying out formal consultations. It’s about a mindset that puts people’s experiences at the heart of decision making every single day. What this guidance does is make it easy for every CCG to adopt this approach.
“It’s positive to see the Healthwatch network highlighted as a key ally in helping create a culture of continual engagement across health and care services, and all around the country local Healthwatch are already helping their local NHS leaders reach out and work with their communities to shape a health service fit for the future.”