In 2016, CrossCity CCG (Birmingham) recognised that they needed a change of approach, and commissioned OPM to review their public and patient engagement structures and to propose ways they could be strengthened. As the CCG was aware, the existing public and patient engagement structures were not working as well as they should. Patient councillors, for instance, felt they weren’t able to make the active contribution that they had envisaged, and that too often, meetings didn’t achieve anything tangible.
After talking to a range of people involved, OPM fed back to public and patient representatives at a workshop. People in the room were asked to help shape some new approaches to engagement that could overcome the tensions and frustrations that everyone acknowledged were getting in the way. OPM and the CCG then turned those reflections and suggestions into a new possible model, which stakeholders came together again to discuss and refine further. The new structure which resulted from this work has been coming into effect since the summer.
Three months on from the last design workshop, the CCG is very happy with the way things are now working. Relationships between the CCG and its most involved community stakeholders – the newly recruited SPPs – are much healthier and much more collaborative. The engagement team and the SPPs are in regular contact, in most cases at least once a week, with SPPs often spending time in the CCG offices working alongside staff on the topics they’ve come forward to support.