Patient and public engagement

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“We must put citizen and patient voice absolutely at the heart of every decision we take in purchasing, commissioning and providing services” Tim Kelsey, National Director of Patients and Information, NHS England

Taken from, Transforming participation in health and care – the NHS belongs to us all’ NHS England, 2013

NHS England suggested action plan for commissioners to engage individual patients (1)

According to NHS England (1) ‘Evidence suggests that engaging and involving communities in the planning, design and delivery of health and care services can lead to a more joined-up, co-ordinated and efficient services that are more responsive to local community needs. Public participation can also help to build partnerships with communities and identify areas for service improvement.’

Suggested action plan for commissioners to engage with groups of patients and the public (2)

Ultimately – the NHS is legally obliged to undertake patient and public involvement under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (4)

How to engage with patients and the public? (3)

There are a wide range of insight and feedback tools available. Each one will be applicable in different situations, depending on which audience you are trying to reach and what information you are trying to obtain. These tools fall into two main categories:

– Qualitative – more suitable for answering questions about why something is happening and what we could do to change things;

– Quantitative – tells you the extent to which something is happening.

NICE Quality Standard 15 – patient experience in NHS services (5)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) develops and publishes Quality Standards that underpin the outcomes frameworks. Quality Standard 15 covers patient experience in NHS services

This NICE quality standard defines best practice within this topic area. It provides specific, concise quality statements, measures and audience descriptors to provide the public, health and social care professionals, commissioners and service providers with definitions of high-quality care.

The aim of this quality standard is to provide the NHS with clear commissioning guidance on the components of a good patient experience. The quality standard gives evidence-based statements for commissioners that provide the foundation for an ‘NHS cultural shift’ towards a truly patient-centred service.

Giving feedback to the NHS

Patient Opinion was founded in 2005 and is now the UK’s leading independent non-profit feedback platform for health services.

Patient Opinion is about honest and meaningful conversations between patients and health services. We believe that your story can help make health services better.

How it works:

  1. Share your story of using a health service
  2. We send your story to staff so that they can learn from it
  3. You might get a response
  4. Your story might help staff to change services


(1 -3)  Patients and information directorate, NHS England, 2013. ‘Transforming participation in health and care – the NHS belongs to us all’, or to download from the tookit below.

(4) Health and Social Care Act 2012

(5) NICE


Toolkit Sections