Public Involvement (Consultation)
The experiences and views of our patients and our public are vital to us for shaping our services according to patients' needs, not just our own. A wealth of excellent patient and public involvement work is already going on in this Trust and we want to build on that.
As part of that public involvement, under Section 242 of the NHS Act 2006, we have a duty to involve patients and the public when we are thinking of doing the following things:
planning to provide services for which we are responsible;
developing and considering proposals for changes to the way services are provided;
making decisions which affect how those services operate
Public involvement is about everyone understanding each other's positions and priorities, and setting a joint agenda for discussion. By discussing and debating with patients, the public and staff, it will allow everyone's thinking to develop as the implications of proposals become clear.
Following any consultative period, we then have to make a decision on the best way forward. Even with the best possible public involvement, this will not always necessarily be an easy decision.
Once the preferred option has been agreed, we then need to put the change into practice, explaining how and why we have reached that decision.
1. We will consult widely, allowing a minimum of 12 weeks for written consultation.
2. We will be clear about what our proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are being asked and the timescale for responses.
3. We will ensure that our consultation is clear, concise and widely accessible.
4. We will give feedback regarding the responses received and how the consultation influenced the policy.
5. We will monitor our effectiveness at consultation, including through the use of a designated consultation co-ordinator.
6. We will ensure our consultation follows best practice.