Project aims to improve engagement in NHS commissioning

Wessex Voices is a new partnership between the five local Healthwatch in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the local office of NHS England.

They are working together to support, develop and share good practice in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in the commissioning of services.

To date, the partnership has produced a new Good Practice Guide for PPI and organised a series of learning events for local people across the Wessex region.

In the first stage of those events, people have the chance to increase their understanding of the NHS and how it works, how different parts of the system are connected, how services are arranged, how much money is spent, and how people can get involved in the design, commissioning and delivery of services.

In the second stage, people learn what getting involved as a patient or member of the public might entail, and what skills are needed to be an effective participant and influencer.

Funding from NHS England has meant that the partnership has been able to appoint its first member of staff, a Project Manager, who will be starting work at the beginning of March.  They will act as a central point of contact between the different organisations in the partnership and other stakeholders, and co-ordinate Wessex Voice’s work plan for the next twelve months.  That plan will be focussing on Cancer Services and Primary Care across the region.

For more information, see Wessex Voices’ blog here and follow them on Twitter (@wessexvoices).

You can download the Good Practice Guide here.

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