Report of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
The Accountable Officer 6 Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent CCGs outlined the process to develop proposals and business cases relating to Maternity, Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC), George Bryant Centre, Difficult Decisions, Community Diagnostic Hubs, and interdependencies between programmes. It was explained that feedback from this sense check phase and other relevant data would take the long list of proposals to a shortlist of proposals for consultation.
Concerns were raised relating to NHS guidance relating to no face to face engagement. It was confirmed that CCG were working in accordance with the NHS England and consultation institute guidance and that CCG was working with Healthwatch and other voluntary sector groups in the community to carry out face to face meetings, feedback from which would be included in feedback to this committee. It was suggested that CCG pass the committee’s concerns on to NHS England.
The Chief Executive, Healthwatch Staffordshire advised that he championed the resident’s voice at meetings with Integrated Care System ICS colleagues. He clarified that not all people wanted face to face meetings some wanted digital consultation and that a Healthwatch survey was been undertaken to find out more about what people want.
The following comments and responses to members questions were noted:
· In terms of engagement with public in a pandemic, CCG highlighted that it was important to find a balance to provide easy access without putting people at risk and fulfil statutory duties when consulting on Major transformations.
· In 2019 Pre-pandemic engagement took place using face to face mechanisms, the current process was to sense check the feedback from that consultation through surveys and digital means. In the next stage of consultation a hybrid approach would be taken.
· In relation to engagement matters discussed:
o Access to digital consultations: there were concerns about digital exclusion.It was considered that digital consultation was better attended, more accessible for many and covered a wider audience.
o Face to face: Members wanted to speed up processes to engage in face to face meetings. There were concerns that some of the public felt excluded and that hard to reach groups may be excluded.CCG had learned a lot and reached communities that may not have taken part before. Partners and Healthwatch were working together.
o Face to face consultation was considered essential for Elderly people who have difficulty using digital for consultation or appointments. GP Access was a top priority nationally and Committee would consider the matter in more detail on 13 December 2021.
o Terminology: the term ‘difficult decisions’ may be confusing to people.
· Finance: All proposals consulted on had to be financially viable optionsunder the NHSI guidance for them to go forward. Cost benefit analysis would consider the benefits from a population perspective against the financial requirements.
· Data: It was confirmed that records of how many people were consulted, how they were contacted and where getting responses from were maintained. CCG carried out targeted work with partners and work included protective characteristic groups as well as those with digital poverty. The data on digital and face to face involvement would be useful and would be included in the report of findings back to committee.
· GDPR: Access to service users, it was confirmed that CCG work with partner colleagues (service providers) on all consultation to consult past and present service users, partners can access records and make contact.
· Comments on the slides:
o Amend ‘improving life expectancy’ to add the word healthy ‘improving healthy life expectancy’.
o It was suggested that other consultations be included on the timeline slide for consultation, to demonstrate the amount of transformation work planned.
· Important to get the balance right between digital and face to face consultation.
The Chairman thanked officers for the detailed report and responses to questions.