Dorset’s integrated care system has won national recognition for the work of its Public Engagement Group.

Our Dorset PEG won the Improving Patient and Community Engagement category of the Healthcare Transformation Awards 2018.

The awards were hosted by the Local Government Association, NHS Clinical Commissioners and National Association of Primary Care and presented at the Health Plus Care conference at London’s Excel Centre on 27 June 2018.

Our Dorset PEG brings together 25 individuals from diverse backgrounds who share a wide range of lived experience.  Collectively, they act as a critical friend and guide and advise the ICS partner organisations on public engagement.

PEG evolved from the former Patient (Carer) and Public Engagement Group which was set up at the start of Dorset’s Clinical Services Review to:

  • Provide oversight, advice and guidance from the patient, carer and public perspective across the review, consultation and implementation stage of the CSR
  • Enable rich and informative conversations with, and gather feedback from the group of about 25 people with a wealth of life-experience and expertise from across Dorset’s geography, demography and diversity
  • Consider how and when to discuss the progress of the review with patients, carers, local people and their representatives and being assured that this takes place.

When the CSR decisions were made by the CCG’s Governing Body in September 2017, the PPEG agreed that its work had come to a natural conclusion.

However, we did not want to lose the learning from this group nor the challenge and rigour it brought to our engagement processes.

Therefore, a decision was made to set up a new group that would perform a similar but broader role across the integrated care system.

The group, which is made up of local people with a wealth of life-experience and expertise from across Dorset’s geography, demography and diversity.  meets every two months.

Like its PPEG predecessor, the role of the Our Dorset PEG is not to carry out the extensive public engagement work required across Dorset, but to provide advice, guidance and challenge to inform this work.

All the members of the group are volunteers and receive only expenses, except for the chair, who has a contract and receives a modest annual remuneration, in the same way the PPEG chair did.

Expressions of interest for membership of the group were invited from patients and the public via various channels across the nine ICS partner organisations in Dorset.  A rigorous selection process involving all partners was used to ensure that we got the best balance possible across the group in terms of lived experience and characteristics.  The appointment of the chair followed a competitive interview process before a panel of ICS partners.

Between September 2017 and March 2018, the group met four times so far providing feedback on a variety of projects including a new public health website, a new health and care signposting service, emerging plans for dementia services, Improving Access to GP services, and plans for developing Digital services across Dorset.

It has also reviewed and revised the patient-centred approach to care originally developed by the PPEG.  This is in the process of being launched across the NHS in Dorset.