Patient and public participation in commissioning

NHS England has published Patient and public participation in commissioning health and care: statutory guidance for CCGs and NHS England.

This guidance aims to support CCG staff to involve patients and the public in their work in a meaningful way to improve services.  It sets out ten key actions for CCGs on how to embed involvement in their work,  includes advice on the legal duty to involve, and links to resources, good practice and advice.


Patient and public participation in commissioning

NHS England has published four new documents to strengthen patient and public participation in the services that it is responsible for commissioning.

The documents cover the commissioning of public health, armed forces, health and justice and specialised services.  They provide practical guidance on the best ways to involve patients and the public and include good practice examples and links to resources.

Early benefits of delegated commissioning

NHS England have produced a series of Delegated commissioning case studies to show how CCGs are using delegated commissioning to improve care for local people. 


CCGs have reported that delegated commissioning is leading to:

  • The development of clearer, more joined up visions for primary care, aligned to wider CCG and STP plans for improving health services;
  • Improved access to primary care;
  • Improved quality of care being delivered to patients;
  • Improved CCG relationships with member practices, including greater local ownership of the development of primary care services;
  • Increased clinical leadership in primary care commissioning, enabling more local decision making;
  • Greater involvement of patients in shaping services;
  • A more sustainable primary care system for the future.

NHS England have produced a series of case studies to show how CCGs are using delegated commissioning to improve care for local people:

Patient insight guides


NHS England has published two further bite-size guides to patient insight to help CCGs and providers make better use of national surveys and feedback data:

  • How and when to commission new insight and feedback – explains the role of insight, the different kinds that can be used to build a reliable picture and how to commission new insight work through suppliers
  • Insight – what is already available – provides an overview of the different types of information available and brief explanations of how they can be used.

Commissioner Guidelines for Responding to Requests from Practices to Temporarily Suspend Patient Registration

These guidelines have been published to assist commissioners in responding to practices wanting to suspend patient registration on a temporary basis | NHS England

Image source: NHS England

It recognises the duty on commissioners to secure services for patients as well as the pressure on practices in providing services linking with support arrangements described in the general practice forward view.

The GMS and PMS contracts allow for a Practice to request permission from its commissioner to close its list to new patients (Paragraph 29 of Schedule 6, Part 2 of the NHS (GMS Contracts) Regulations (as amended). This option exists to give practices a degree of workload control over the management of their services, particularly when there is unusual and sustained demand from patients or in situations of workforce or recruitment difficulties that affect a practices ability to provide services to an acceptable and safe standard.

Read the full document here

Experience of Primary Care Services Among Early Adolescents and Association With Health Outcomes

Yassaee, A.A. et al. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: 2 December 2016


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate adolescents’ (11–15 years) experience of their general practitioner (GP), whether poor reported GP experience was associated with worse physical and mental health measures and whether poor previous GP experience was linked to lower utilization of these services.

Conclusions: Nearly half of this large, national study of adolescents did not feel able to discuss personal matters with their doctor. There was a consistent, strong association between reported lack of good GP experience and poor health measures.

Read the full abstract here

Making patient groups part of the team

volunteers-601662_960_720People are rarely told how to become patient representatives. They are just expected to get on with it. No wonder CCGs sometimes struggle to get the most out of patient groups they set up.

Worse still, groups established to meet the statutory requirement to involve patients and the public in commissioning can become difficult to manage.

This article, in the latest edition of Commissioning Excellence, describes how these problems can be overcome by giving patient groups a basic understanding of the NHS and the role of commissioning supported by training on how to work as an effective team.