We are committed to meaningful involvement of the citizens of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and in actively involving them in our plans for change. The Together We’re Better programme has looked at all the feedback that has come out of patient and public engagement during the past two years that relates to the transformation work we’re doing. We’ve also noted what activities local health and care organisations are doing at the moment or are planning for the near future.
We’re gathering as much information as we can related to each of the workstreams, including reports, notes from meetings and newsletters, and will continue to do so. This helps us understand exactly who we’ve engaged with and what they said to us.
We’re also doing ‘gap analyses’ of the information to spot groups of people we haven’t yet heard from. This will help make sure that they are included in future engagement about transformation and when we consult on any proposed service changes.
It is a good start but we need to keep actively engaging with people about all the workstreams and the detail of individual projects. Whatever engagement we do should take into account different groups within the population and geographic locations. It is likely that we will need to involve ‘seldom heard groups’ and a range of people with a particular interest in health and care, such as informal patient and carer support groups. We will make sure that we involve specific sets of people covered by the Equality Act 2010, and find ways for them to make their views known, especially if they need extra support to do so.
A steering group has been formed to manage and inform the communications and patient and public involvement enabler workstream. Members of this group include Healthwatch Staffordshire and Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, VAST (representing voluntary and community groups, charities and social enterprises) and the Communications Executive (on behalf of communications and engagement leads from all public sector organisations in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent).