Useful links and update from LINk Devon’s CCG Sub Group

Hi, here are a few links to updated information re CCG development, particularly relating to patient and public involvement. I hope this information will be of use to you in enabling understanding of the changing structures of healthcare commissioning.  up to date info re commissioning, anyone can sign up to this bulletin.  guidance from NHS Commissioning board re the appointment of lay members NHS Confederation : Managing conflicts of interest Article re the role of elected councillors and CCGs. This issue was raised at our CCG sub group.

 We are hoping in Devon to help spread good practice for patient and public involvement in GP surgery settings by holding a network learning event for all concerned parties in October. This event will be in partnership with other organisations to help support the implementation of the DES in Devon. 93 practices in Devon carried out the DES last year. If you have any advice information or ideas about how to involve people from different groups or backgrounds, and keeping them involved, or want to get involved in a structure that “gains the views of patients and enables the practice to obtain feedback from the practice population” (taken from the Patient Participation DES Annual Report 2011/12) now is the time!

If you are interested and want to know more then please drop me a line at

Update on report progress

We have just sent out the LINk report about Patient Participation Groups at GP surgeries to all our partners for further consultation. We’ve made contact with all the GP surgeries in the LINk catchment area and in just over a month the full report should be made available to the general public. At this stage the report shows that of the respondents to our questionnaire, practices were committed to involving people in a variety of ways, all offers of help would be appreciated, with almost half of the practice managers saying that a workshop would be a good idea to share good practice. Our sub group thought it might be a good idea for patients who are group members to attend too, so we will be looking at ways of contacting patients via GP surgeries who might be interested in getting more actively involved at surgery level. If you would like to know more, or get involved with the growing numbers of people who are taking the opportunity to help shape service provision at GP surgeries, drop me a line via this page, or email me at ! It would be great to hear from you!

The bigger picture….thanks Lucy!


I was asked by a local charity whether I had details of all of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the south west and which LINk and PCT related to which CCG. The CCGs are the groups that are taking over responsibility for health commissioning as part of the ‘NHS Reforms’. (See my post here for a nice simple explanation of the reforms.)

Well I rummaged through the piles of paper on my desk but I couldn’t find all the information in one place, so I’ve put it together in a spreadsheet for you:

It’s worth remembering that the LINk that covers any area will also be the same as the Local Authority (council) that covers the area. That’s useful because of course, the Local Authorities host the Health & Wellbeing Boards, which are another part of the new landscape.

CCGs (and PCTs) in the south west all mapped…

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I just went to …

I just went to the HC2012 Patient Information Congress which was all about portable patient records, patient information and digital technology being used to create seamless service delivery and increase participation in shared decision making at all levels. How this information can be used by LINks directly remains to be seen, but its important for people to understand the information is out there. LINk participants could ensure patient centred information is used to improve services all round for individuals by “putting it on the table” so to speak, encouraging service managers and commissioners to use the intelligence from patient data to target services and increase efficiency and reduce waste.

There were many inspiring speakers, perhaps most influential for the patient voice was Mark Duman from who put in a plea for patient facing information to be accessible and intelligible. I caught up with him after his speech and he told me, among other things, he is interested in telehealth and telecare and its potential to transform lives for less outlay, and again increase efficiency. Systems which are currently being trialled across rural areas can ensure safe and timely delivery of services. patient information must be credible, correct and easy to get hold of. Another interesting speaker was Gillian Leung from NICE who spoke of the NICE guideleines and quality standards, you can now access these on an app as well as the website !

What’s happening in Patient and Public Involvement now?


What’s happening in patient and public involvement now?

Patrick Vernon, who is the Chair of the National Programme Advisory Group has said “Although, parliament, the health select committee, Care Quality Commission, Monitor and local authority health scrutiny committees are all essential, ultimately local people and communities need to be in the driving seat to call to account any failure of services, or to influence service change and better commissioning. It is not good enough that we still have to rely on whistle blowing from a frustrated professional; the death of a patient in tragic circumstances; or a fly on the wall documentary on maltreatment and abuse before the system to will respond.”

The Joint Health and Well Being Strategy, overseen by a new Board and elected members of the Local Authority Scrutiny Committee, will empower community involvement, and improve health outcomes through immediate service delivery. In Devon, the exemplar for the shadow Health and Well Being Board will be services for Children with Additional Needs, overseeing the development of new processes surrounding the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of these services, recently put out to tender. Currently managed by NHS Devon, Integrated Children’s Services are a range of health, social care and education services for children and families which aim to make services as seamless as possible for those needing to access them. Services range from the universal (for example health visiting and school nursing) to highly specialised (for example services for children with disability). Allen Bowen, the Chair of LINk Devon will sit on the shadow board, and a representative from Devon’s Joint Engagement Board.

By paying regard to the wider determinants of health,the Board will have also have a role in promoting and supporting the role of individuals and groups in shared decision making processes at all levels where health outcomes are a concern. Local Healthwatch organisations will be supported by a new national body called Healthwatch England which comes into being in October 2012.

The current purpose of the LINk in Devon is to enable community groups, organisations and individuals to participate in a network. Participants all over England are committed to widening the influence of patients, users of social care and the public in the planning of local care services. Locally, by promoting and supporting involvement, LINk Devon can encourage statutory, private and voluntary services to operate a culture of meaningful participation at all levels. This is with a view to improving services which are increasingly safe, timely, and appropriate, ensuring people get the services they need, and reducing waste at a time when public resources are operating in a period of austerity.

There are many ways to get involved in service planning. You may wish to:

  • · submit an idea to the Peninsula Clinical Research in Healthcare Centre via their website.
  • · raise a practical issue e.g. to do with opening times of pharmacies in your area
  • · research your condition and discuss self management of your condition on a more equal basis with your GP
  • · join the Patient Reference Group at your GP surgery
  • · engage with the Foundation Trust which operates hospital care in your area
  • · feed back about your service via the NHS Choices website, which is Europe’s most widely used health website
  • · have a personal budget and choose qualified services to suit your treatment plan
  • · access your patient records (some areas in Devon are already looking at how portable patient records, communications and assistive technology can be used to benefit patients, particularly those with long term conditions who use a range of qualified service providers)

LINk Devon can help you find your way round the system but it’s up to all of us to make the most of Healthwatch in the future!