An independent review of the current patient and public involvement practice of the merging Birmingham South Central, Birmingham CrossCity and Solihull CCGs was produced in partnership with Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Healthwatch Solihull.
Areas of good practice have been identified in the report. These have included the CCG websites displayed good information with regard to PPI opportunities, links to sign up pages, current consultations and were easy to navigate. Recording patient engagement activities was also of good standard as the number of patents, their comments and the venues were all detailed. It was also found that CCGs effectively used social media to promote the PPI activities and public consultation planning and communication with patients was also of a high standard. Staff members expressed good knowledge of their PPI objectives and responsibilities whilst also working well in partnership with third sector organisations.
Nevertheless, a number of recommendations were made in the report where action is needed. For example, the CCG websites need to consider how information is written, such as using plain English and publishing the outcomes to surveys and feedback. It was noted that demographic data of people who attend engagement activities could be recorded to ensure they can receive fully representative feedback as well as increased promotion of activities to elevate numbers of those who attend. Two thirds of the people participating in the review have highlighted that they do not receive regular policy updates, which would be useful to patients and the public. Steps need to be put into place to reassure the public and staff that their feedback is used to influence decisions around commissioning or service developments.