CCGs “hungry for metrics” to measure engagement

metricsWhat do you get from in-depth interviews with clinical, management and lay leaders of six 2nd and 3rd wave CCGs about embedding patient and public involvement in their work and what they need to achieve this?  Here’s the answer we  came up with when we did just that in tandem with InHealth Associates.  This work was supported by the Department of Health, undertaken on behalf of the NHS Commissioning Board and published this month.

Lay members role lacks clarity

We found a lack of clarity about the role of CCG lay members (and “lay representatives” generally) and some concern as to the degree they are ‘insiders’. They might support a Board’s decisions and thus risk external legitimacy amongst their “community constituency”.

Special support to lay members was identified by a number of interviewees, not just by lay members. What people wanted was support for lay members (and other patient representatives) to build the skills to be effective. There were some mentions of specific skills, such as analytical skills, insight and metrics, and also some calls for a network of lay members to be developed.  We hope a support network will happen quickly.

Practical support (resources, logistical support, training) for lay input was hugely variable. Some lay members have contracts and are paid expenses, while others remain pure volunteers. One CCG lay member reported having been promised expenses and/or pay and had not received either. We heard that there was a need for guidelines about how to support lay people in these roles.

Locally in Wandsworth, our lay board members are paid £12,000 pa for a specific role, why isn’t everyone rewarded at least at this level?

Measurement of engagement effectiveness 

Overall, these CCG leaders know that embedding engagement in everything they do is essential if they are to make commissioning decisions and service changes with broad user and carer understanding and community support.  They are hungry for metrics to measure the impact of their engagement efforts.  Let’s hope they get some measurement tools very soon and put them to good use.

Hope for the future 

From what we heard, CCGs acknowledge a need to scale up communication with huge numbers of people. They are keen to focus on what’s important to the population and to ensure local perspectives feed in to commissioning decisions. Interviewees seemed ambitious, wanting to work with seldom heard groups, such as children and young people, people from diverse communities and those who don’t often access GP services.

No one pretends this will be easy, but with the right support and encouragement they should quickly become local organisations that listen and engage well.

The Moore Adamson Craig Partnership supports user and public participation,  trains lay representatives and develops responsive  health, care and education organisations.  Feel free to contact us to discuss the opportunities.  Follow MAC on Twitter @publicinvolve



  1. Hilda Yarker says

    A point well made above with regards to the lack of strategic direction currently for PPI Lay Representatives within CCGs. In an attempt to start to build a strategy for the overall PPI agenda in health and social care, in addition to bringing together (for the first time probably)CCG Lay Representatives for PPI, NHS North of Engalnd are hosting the event below on 13th Febraury, 2013. The NHS Commissiioning Board are keen to engage with and begin working collaboratively with appointed lay representatives in providing a virtual platform which brings them together as a collective network. Please feel free to register at the event below if you are able to attend. Please circulate amongst known lay representatives. Please copy and paste the link below or contact

    NHS North of England present
    A Civil Society Network –
    Building Patient and Public Involvement in the NHS

    Keynote speaker – Tim Kelsey, NHS National Commissioning Board Director for Patients & Information.

    On the 1st April the way that the NHS operates will change.
    The NHS Commissioning Board has embedded improved patient outcomes at the core of its vision and believes a new and improved model of patient and public involvement in the NHS is fundamental to the successful delivery of this vision.

    Our event will focus on bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, including those working in the field of patient involvement, clinical leaders, diverse patient groups, 3rd sector partners and lay members of the newly formed clinical commissioning groups as advocates of patient and public participation to discuss the way forward to build a civil society network for patient and public involvement in the NHS.

    Please click on the link below for more information and to register for this event.
    Due to expected demand for places this will be an invitation only event

    Date: Wednesday 13th February
    Time: 9.30 arrival – close at 16.30
    Venue: The Palace Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester
    Event Number:
    Please contact Chris Joseph if you have any questions:

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