If you are looking to get involved in shaping health services locally, here are some of the ways you can do this.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
CCGs plan and buy the majority of local healthcare services for people in your area, including those provided in hospitals and community settings. Your CCG may have a number of ways that you can get involved locally, from representing the patient voice on the CCG governing body to sharing your experiences of local health services.
If you want to get involved contact your local CCG for more information.
Patient Participation Group (PPG)
Every GP practice should have a PPG. It will be made up of patients and carers the practice manager and one or more GPs. PPGs meet on a regular basis to discuss the services on offer at the practice and how they can be improved.
If you would like to be part of your local PPG your GP practice will be able to tell you how you can get involved. The National Association of Patient Participation also provides information about the role of PPGs and how to get involved.
Your local hospital trust
Most hospital trusts have a range of opportunities to get involved, such as citizen membership, patient groups or volunteering on hospital wards. You can contact your local hospital trust and ask them how to get involved in their work. You can find contact details for your local hospital on the NHS website.
Dental, pharmacy and optometry (eye health) services Local Professional Networks
Patients and the public can be members of local professional networks (LPNs). These bring together partners to improve local dental, community pharmacy and optometry (eye health) services and ensure that they are well connected with other services. You can find out more about your local LPN on the NHS England website.
Local Health and Wellbeing Boards
These boards review current and future health and social care needs of local people and recommend health and care priorities for action on this basis. Membership includes local CCGs, the local authority (council) and local Healthwatch. Charity and community groups may also work with Health and Wellbeing boards to represent the views of people in the area. Your local authority will be able to provide you with details about the work of your Health and Wellbeing board.
Maternity Voices Partnerships
If you are interested in shaping local maternity services, you are able to join your local Maternity Voices Partnership as a service user representative. Maternity Voices Partnerships are multi-disciplinary, NHS advisory teams of users and user representatives, maternity staff and commissioners, who work together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity services. Maternity Voices Partnerships can facilitate co-production of maternity services with the people who use them. You can find your nearest Maternity Voices Partnership by going to the National Maternity Voices website.