Exclusive: Call for patient representatives on CCGs to be paid

Patient representatives on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should be paid for their time and offered training, the Patients Association believes.

Representatives should also be given administrative support to help them carry out the role and a clear job description, it argues.

But the GPC warned that paying patients to take part could lead to people applying for the wrong reasons.

Together with 20 CCGs, the Patients Association has developed 10 recommendations on how patients should be involved in commissioning.

In a report setting out its advice, the association said commissioners should be proactive in seeking out public views on key issues.

The document also advises groups to embed patient engagement in all levels of the commissioning process and to establish indicators against which performance on engagement can be judged.

Commissioning groups must demonstrate how they will inform local people of any changes to services and how and publish patient feedback on services, the report says.

'Any action taken or not taken as a result of this feedback should be reported and justified to the public in a transparent and easily understandable format.'

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said it was 'very variable' as to whether reimbursement was available for patient representation work

He believes patient representatives should not be out of pocket. 'Anyone involved with a CCG should not be doing it at their own expense,' he told GP.

However, he warned that issues of payment beyond expense reimbursement would require contractual agreements and complicate arrangements.

Dr Vautrey believes proper reimbursement could help encourage a wider pool of patients to become involved in commissioning.

But he added: ‘We need to avoid people applying because they are paid.’

Patients Association recommendations

1. CCGs should undertake active engagement with the public when determining the local public’s healthcare needs and planning or designing new pathways or services.

2. CCGs should use effective local engagement structures and other channels to actively connect with a diversity of groups including community networks, local authorities, Healthwatch and third sector groups.

3. Members of the public involved in commissioning should be offered training and a role profile so that they understand the issues being discussed, the processes and procedures, and so can engage fully.

4. CCGs should involve the public in the development of the CCGs’ public engagement strategy.

5. The CCGs’ public engagement strategy should define Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for public engagement which must demonstrate how they support the KPIs defined for commissioning.

6. CCGs must demonstrate how they will communicate with the local population on a regular basis to inform them of any changes to services and how they will actively gain and publish patient feedback on the services they are providing.

7. There must be public representation at every level of the commissioning process within the CCG.

8. There must be a clear accountability structure for public engagement within the CCG and this must be defined in the CCG’s governance.

9. CCGs must be transparent; keeping accurate records of previous actions, publishing their findings and reporting back to patients how they have decided to action feedback or recommendations and clearly outline the reasons behind this.

10. CCGs are accountable to the NHS Commissioning Board, HealthWatch and health and wellbeing boards.

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

The CQC has inspected five GP practices a week in England since the second wave of...

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women, children and under-18s will not be recommended for routine COVID-19...

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

The second of two articles on audit during GP training looks at how the quality improvement...

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

In the first of two articles on how to write up an audit, a typical e-portfolio entry...

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

The UK has increased its order of the 95% effective Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 7m...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...