The System Transformation Group at NHS England is working with Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to strengthen their communications and engagement. The System Transformation Group has developed an initial overview of what they think a good public engagement approach looks like for an ICS. This draws on a mix of existing guidance, stakeholder feedback and emerging good practice.

The following ten areas have been identified as forming part of a good public engagement approach:

  • Transparency on decision-making: ICS, local partnership/place, organisation level
  • Public information about vision, plan, progress and performance
  • Regular flow of communication updates across channels
  • Proactive and systematic dialogue with public representatives
  • Voluntary sector and Healthwatch involved as key partners and enablers
  • Understand existing information on public and patient experience and aspirations
  • Redesign services in partnership with citizens and communities
  • Reach out to the unengaged to properly understand communities
  • Focus on patient and community empowerment.

In October 2018, a self-assessment survey was conducted with a system wide group of stakeholders to gather feedback on how the Integrated Care System in Dorset is performing in these ten areas. The survey was primarily conducted online via Survey Monkey, with a further 11 surveys conducted via telephone. A total of 57 stakeholders participated in the self-assessment. All survey responses were qualitative in nature; for example, in the online survey, respondents were given ‘free text’ boxes in which they were asked to write their responses.

Within the self-assessment survey, stakeholders were asked to reflect on the public engagement within and across the ICS in Dorset, reflecting on what they think is working well and what they think could be done better.

DJS Research, an independent market research agency, was commissioned to analyse the findings from the stakeholder survey. A thematic analysis of the survey responses was produced (the ‘Self-Assessment report’), looking at the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each of these ten areas; identifying where respondents feel there is most scope for improvement and where there is most good practice.

This report was used both for the event and activity planning and for feedback during the improvement workshop.

How can I get involved and influence change?

Listening to your views and experiences will help us build better healthcare services. There are a number of ways you can get involved with the work we do.