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Feedback and evaluation of participation

Patient Participation – the difference it makes

People come with different experiences, views and expectations and it is important that our commissioning plans reflect an understanding of these different perspectives.

For example, public meetings to discuss the redevelopment of hospital sites attracted a few hundred participants, many of whom had different views on the plans presented. 

Transforming adult community services

In January 2019 we announced Central London Community Healthcare Trust as the provider of a new adult integrated community health service for people acrfoss west Hertfordshire.

The specification for the new service was developed in partnership with people who used and provided services  including patients, GPs, county council services and the voluntary sector.  We ran an extensive procurement process to select the provider for the new service and patients were part of the evaluation and scoring process. 


Developing plans for future hospital provision

Herts Valleys CCG and West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust have examined a range of options for configuration and location of future hospital services.  We have held two rounds of public meetings and engagement events in each of our four localities to explain the options and invite questions and views.  A future public meeting is planned to provide further information on the options that will be evaluated in light of further guidance regarding finances. We have also met regularly with local patient and campaign group representatives.

Clinicians, independent experts and NHS managers have considered how the various options could work from a clinical and operational perspective.  This work will be presented to an evaluation panel including patient and public representatives, health and care professionals, local authority partners and voluntary sector and Healthwatch Hertfordshire representatives.  People from across west Hertfordshire had been invited to put themselves forward for the roles of patient and public representatives and seven have been selected to provide fair representation across our four localities. Following another public engagement event, where we will explain the options in more detail and invite further comment,  the panel will meet again to evaluate the options fully, including considering public opinion,  to agree the preferred option.

For more information on future hospital plans here


Opening hours for Hemel Hempstead Urgent Treatment Centre and the future of West Herts Medical Centre

In May 2018 our board reached a decision on opening hours for the urgent treatment centre (UTC) and also on the future of West Herts Medical Centre following a public consultation which attracted around 600 responses.

The board decided that the UTC should continue to operate from 8am to 10pm, however in recognition of the high level of support for a 24 hour service the board agreed to explore the feasibility of extending the opening hours until midnight.  In November 2018 following analysis of GP workforce and A&E activity the board decided that extending the hours to midnight would not be workable on staffing, financial or patient safety grounds and could not be justified in terms of demand or value for money.

The board also considered the future of West Herts Medical Centre (WHMC), following the public consultation where feedback identified that patients valued the location of the centre and the ease of access to appointment. The board worked to identify and come to an agreement with a local GP practice to run the centre as a branch surgery but ultimately were unable to secure a service that would be right for patients.  In September the board agreed to close the practice and support patients to register elsewhere.  Tp provide patients with continued GP access on the same the board agreed to pilot an expansion of the 'extended' access bookable appointments through the GP hub that opened there in July 2018.

This expanded service means that all patients in the area can book to see a GP on the WHMC site at certain times during the day, in addition to evenings and weekends.

Service re-design and procurement

Patients are involved in all our service re-design and procurement processes, very much as part of the project team,  discussing and developing service specifications, reviewing bids  and attending market events.  The patient perspective is integrated alongside clinical and managerial views and included at all levels.

Reader and website panel

Our reader panel regularly review our patient focussed information, ensuring that they are in plain English and easy to understand.  A draft leaflet (such as for dermatology or ear, nose and throat services) is reviewed by the panel and amendments, corrections and in some cases a re-write are suggested and implemented. 

Our new website was launched in October 2018 – this has been completely restructured and redesigned to make it more user-friendly.  A key criterion of the redesign, based on feedback gathered through a patient focus group and discussions at a patient engagement network meeting was to create an easy-to-use, useful and informative site, and we have had a very positive response from our audiences to date. Feedback is a key means of us ensuring that the site meet people’s needs and we welcome comments and suggestions on any improvements.   Again, based on feedback from the focus groups we developed a new feature of the website is the ‘Find local services’ section which enables west Herts residents to easily find services in their area



Feedback is gathered from public meetings, events and sessions – this is so that people who attend can influence future planning.  For our meetings discussing plans for redeveloping hospital sites, for example, many people considered that discussions were dominated by a specific patient perspective.  For future meetings a facilitated discussion approach was adopted, to ensure that everyone had the chance to have their say.

Patient Participation Group for People Affected by Cancer

A patient participation group for people affected by cancer was held by HVCCG on the 6th of December 2018, at the Stanborough Centre in Watford. The report on the outcomes and actions a s a result of the participation is here.  

Service user and carer feedback from mental health inpatient and community service

This summary report which was reviewed by our commissioning executive contains information about service specifications together with issues and feedback raised by service users and carers together with improvement plans.  To view the report here.

For further information contact: who part of the Integrated Health and Care Commissioning Team, working across Herts County Council, Herts Valleys CCG and East and North Herts CCG.

Patient Engagement network

We discuss a range of topics at our patient engagement networks (previously development sessions).  The project leader is invited to give a brief presentation, details of how people can influence the process and then feedback and actions are  taken from the group.  Recently these discussions have included:

  • GP extended hours – with patients able to influence the format, content and distribution of a patient survey.
  • Reducing medicine waste  / open the bag campaign where patients were asked to comment on the campaign, suggest ways to change perception and behaviour and share the information through their networks.
  • Social Prescribing – with many practice patient groups developing a social prescribing model within their own practice this was an opportunity to share good practice and encourage other groups to get involved.

Ongoing participation evaluation

We are developing a routine process for understanding and evaluating the difference participation makes.  All our patient representatives will receive a survey following or during their participation.  We have trialed this approach with 15 patients who have taken part in quality visits, procurement, hospital site planning, reader panel, medicine optimisation committee and networking events.  Our next steps will be to discuss the feedback with our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Committee and agree ways of improving the ratings and the outcomes.  The trial responses are here.


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