Delivering effective Patient and Public Engagement

At the heart of the NHS lies their core values, the first of which is ‘working together for patients’, which includes patient and public engagement. Beyond health services and healthcare facilities themselves, listening to and engaging with patients and the public is vital to inform change and make improvements.


In October 2018 The King’s Fund held an online webinar exploring ‘where next’ for patient and public engagement, which two members of our team (Anne Forshaw and Tim Markham) listened-in to. The webinar followed an August 2018 King’s Fund briefing paper which argued that patient and public engagement is still seen by some in the NHS as something that ‘has to be done’ rather than being a way of providing key insight and understanding into local populations and their needs.

In 2016, NHS Nottingham City CCG developed an innovative Engagement Framework Pilot in response to an earlier review of existing patient engagement and to take account of the latest national requirements for patient engagement. Working alongside NHS Nottingham City CCG, we have recently completed an evaluation of this Pilot.

The aims of the evaluation were to measure and demonstrate the impact of the new engagement model on:

  • The quality of engagement undertaken by the CCG
  • The CCG’s decision making and commissioning activities
  • The CCG’s understanding of the health needs of the population.

We were also commissioned to determine whether the engagement model provided value for money.
The Pilot was evaluated firstly to support any future funding for this type of approach to patient engagement. Secondly, as this has been a period of considerable organisational change for the NHS, the evaluation findings highlight the implications for the scale-ability of the Engagement Framework Pilot for the new Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership.

To enable the scale-able elements of the Engagement Framework approach to have wider resonance within the Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership, we are nearing completion of another piece of research for NHS Nottingham City CCG. This research explores engagement approaches in the other CCGs that make up the wider Partnership and will identify ways to align patient engagement structures whilst retaining a local population focus in each area.

To discuss a Patient & Public Engagement project with M·E·L Research, please contact Anne Forshaw or call 0121 604 4664

MRS Evidence Matters