Patient and public voices informing Specialised Commissioning

Jason Stamp, Lay Chair of the Patient and Public Voice Assurance Group, shares why becoming involved as a specialised commissioning patient and public voice (PPV) partner is a chance to have real impact.

Patients and the public are at the heart of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s work to ensure healthcare is designed and delivered to best meet our needs as patients. Within Specialised Commissioning, PPV partner roles bring the experiences of patients, their families and carers to the forefront of decision making around care for people with rare or complex conditions.

Specialised services often involve treatments provided to patients with rare cancers, genetic disorders or complex medical or surgical conditions. They deliver cutting-edge care and innovation, supporting pioneering clinical practice in the NHS.

As chair of the Patient and Public Voice Assurance Group (PPVAG), I have seen first-hand the impact that PPV partners have in the process for commissioning these vital services. The group provides assurance that effective public engagement informs the commissioning process, and that the voices of those who receive specialised care, and those who represent them, inform decision making. It’s a fascinating area of healthcare that I thoroughly enjoy being part of.

Beyond the group I chair, there are a wide range of PPV roles across Specialised Commissioning groups that offer a chance to become involved in various aspects of the work. PPV partners appointed to these groups play an active part in regular meetings, advocate from a patient perspective and make sure that the focus of the work remains on achieving better outcomes for people using specialised services. PPV partners work closely alongside clinical representatives and NHS England and NHS Improvement staff, acting as a critical friend and looking at ways in which services can be improved.

As a PPV partner you are supported through inductions and have access to ongoing training opportunities so that you can further develop skills, knowledge and experience. Additionally, Specialised Commissioning PPV roles attract an involvement fee for the time, commitment and skills required. NHS England and NHS Improvement is genuinely committed to supporting PPV partners so we can fulfil our roles effectively and have a positive and productive experience doing so.

Throughout my time as chair I have seen patient and public voices bring critical insight to help specialised services be the highest quality they can be. Being involved can sometimes be challenging but is always rewarding in the knowledge that our involvement and experiences of healthcare, both good and bad, makes a real difference to specialised services.

It is really important that our PPV partners represent the wide range of people that the NHS serves, from different backgrounds and with varied lived experiences. I would really encourage anyone who has an interest, but hasn’t tried a role like this before, to take a look at current vacancies and consider applying.

See all PPV partner roles in Specialised Commissioning currently open to applications.

Jason Stamp is the independent Chair of the Patient and Public Voice Assurance Group for Specialised Commissioning. He is a lay member and Vice Chair of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and is currently Chief Officer of a voluntary sector support and development charity, working across Yorkshire and the Humber. Jason has a long history of supporting patient and public involvement on both a national and local level, with a particular focus on improving outcomes and patient experience.