Our commitment to keeping you involved

Public involvement and listening to all of our communities is an essential part of making sure effective and efficient health and care services are delivered. By reaching, listening to, involving and empowering our people and communities, we can make sure they are at the heart of decision making.

The NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria is committed to putting our population’s needs at the heart of all we do. Our vision to put people at the centre is based on the understanding that engaged and involved residents make best use of services to support their health and wellbeing and this will help to drive down health inequalities in Lancashire and South Cumbria.​

We have agreed an approach to working with people and communities as a Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Partnership which recognises the value of partners in providing a voice for communities such as local Healthwatch and voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations. 

As an ICB, we have adopted the following principles for working with people and communities:

  1. Put the voices of people and communities at the centre of decision-making and governance, at every level of the ICS.​

  2. Start engagement early when developing plans and feed back to people and communities how their engagement has influenced activities and decisions. ​

  3. Understand your community’s needs, experience and aspirations for health and care, using engagement to find out if change is having the desired effect. ​

  4. Build relationships with excluded groups, especially those affected by inequalities. ​

  5. Work with Healthwatch and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector as key partners. ​

  6. Provide clear and accessible public information about vision, plans and progress, to build understanding and trust. ​

  7. Use community development approaches that empower people and communities, making connections to social action. ​

  8. Use co-production, insight and engagement to achieve accountable health and care services. ​

  9. Co-produce and redesign services and tackle system priorities in partnership with people and communities.​

  10. Learn from what works and build on the assets of all ICS partners – networks, relationships, activity in local places.​

​The ICB approach to working with people and communities has been developed over the past six months with wide engagement and involvement with partners, colleagues and public participation group members however this is still an area where we expect to develop clearer plans and priorities over the coming months. We intent to directly involve local people in this work.

The Health and Care Act 2022 sets out the statutory duties of the ICB relating to public involvement, which previously were held by eight CCGs in Lancashire and South Cumbria. The NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria intends to not only be compliant with legislation in relation to public involvement but to exceed the duty as it is the right thing to do. The legislation requires NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB to involve the public in commissioning, planning and delivering NHS services including the need for effective involvement of those with protected characteristics in order to fulfil the required duty. ​

​It is important to add that the NHS has a clear commitment to working with wider system partners intrinsically throughout its approach to public involvement. Wider partners - such as local authorities and NHS Foundation Trusts – have similar obligations to involve the public. ​​

There is a clear commitment for the ICB to support, facilitate and co-ordinate public involvement activity which bring partners together to improve population health and tackle health inequalities in place-based partnerships. Our ambitions are to demonstrate that our local residents and communities are equal partners in the co-production of health and wellbeing services.​

Significant work has taken place across the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria and we intend to build on the positive work at all levels of the system. 

Engagement describes the continuing and ongoing process of developing relationships and partnerships. It allows the voice of local people and partners to be heard and it means our plans are shared at the earliest possible stages.

Examples of this type of engagement would include our patient participation groups and Citizens’ Panel, where we ask members to get involved in various pieces of work. It also describes activity that happens early on in an involvement process, including holding discussions with a wide range of people to develop a strong case for change.

NHS bodies will carry out ‘formal consultation’ when significant change to the development of the health service, or the way a service is provided, is proposed. It’s a statutory requirement. This means NHS bodies must do it.

When carrying out formal consultations NHS bodies will consult with local authority overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs), patients and the public, and wider stakeholders.

So, what determines if a change is ‘significant’?

Where the proposal or plan is likely to have a substantial impact on one or more of the following:

  • Access (for example reduction or increase in service due to change of location or opening times)
  • Wider community (for example economic impact, transport, regeneration)
  • Patients or users (either current or future)
  • Service delivery (for example methods of delivery or relocation of services)

The outcome of a formal consultation must be reported to the ICB Board, together with the feedback received, and must show how this has been considered in any recommendations and decision making.

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