A Quick Guide to Healthcare Commissioning Meetings: How can you have your say?

Did you know that many meetings where our local health services are discussed and planned are open to the public? Find out which ones, how to attend and tips on asking decision-makers your questions.
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Meetings of the clinical commissioning group (CCG)

What is the CCG?

The CCG is a part of the NHS responsible for planning and commissioning healthcare services in the local area It is 'clinically led' - led by local healthcare professionals such as GPs - and responsible for the health of the local population. Our CCG covers the population of South East London: Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. 

Commissioning is the ongoing process of assessing local needs, setting priorities and strategies, and then buying services for the local population from providers such as hospitals, clinics and community health bodies. 

There are meetings where these important processes happen - and you can attend and ask questions. See all the CCG's events here, or find out more below.

1. Meetings of the Governing Body (GB)

What does it do? The role of the Governing Body is to oversee the work of the South East London CCG and ensure that decisions about changes to local health services are debated openly and fairly. The Governing Body sets the strategy of the CCG, keeps track of its spending, and makes sure that it's working effectively and efficiently.

Who is on it? The Governing Body has clinical members, lay members (local people who are not healthcare professionals), and executive members from the CCG. It also has representation from Healthwatch, the Local Medical Committee (LMC) and public health.

Is it public? You are welcome to attend meetings, listen to the discussions and observe the decision-making processes. You can also submit questions, and members will answer if these are related to the agenda and there is time to answer them. 

2. Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC)

What does it do? The PCCC makes collective decisions on the commissioning of specifically primary care - or GP - services for residents of South East London. 

Who is on it? PCCC members include executive directors from the CCG, lay members, and primary care representatives (such as lead GPs and nurses) from across South East London.

Is it public? PCCC meetings are held in public every month. There is dedicated time for members of the public to ask questions before each meeting.

 3. Southwark Borough-Based Board (BBB)

What does it do? The Southwark Borough Based Board deliver the South East London CCG’s plans in our borough. It brings together partners from across Southwark's health and care system to plan and provide joined up services which focus on the health and wellbeing of the local population.

Who is on it? There is borough-based director for Southwark, as well as GPs who are also part of the Governing Body, people from the local authority (Southwark Council), lay members, and representation from Healthwatch Southwark (that's us!).

Is it public? Meetings are held in public six times a year. There is a dedicated time for members of the public to ask questions at each meeting.

So, now you know all about the meetings. If you want to attend, we have some useful tips to make it as easy and effective as possible.

How do I access the meeting?

  • All the meetings are being held online at the moment.
  • Go to the Events page of the SEL CCG website (click here) and find the meeting you want to go to on the calendar.
  • Note down the date and time. On the day of the meeting, go to this page and there will be a link to attend the meeting on Microsoft Teams. 
  • You don't need to download or create an account to watch the meeting and ask questions. 
  • As a member of the public you won't be able to appear on camera or 'unmute' yourself and speak.

How do I ask a question?

  • Questions can be submitted in advance via email (selccg.questions@nhs.net) no later than 5pm the day before the meeting.
  • OR, when you click on the link to watch the meeting online there will be a Chat or Q&A box where you can ask your question on the day. 
  • In each meeting there is time set aside for public questions to be answered. You can find these timings in the agenda of the meeting - go to the CCG's website, click on the right meeting, and scroll down to find the agenda.
  • This means you can join the meeting just for the parts that you're interested in if you would like - just use the online link to get back in at any time.
  • If there's not time to answer your question, a more detailed Q&A will be published online after the meeting.

How can I make my voice more likely to be heard?

  • Link your question to a point on the agenda of the meeting.
  • Make your question as clear as you can.
  • If the CCG has said there will be a change or improvement, ask for an estimated timeline so you can follow up.
  • Inform your question with your personal experiences, and anything can read about health and social care in Southwark.

If you would like to find out more about involvement opportunities in Southwark, sign up to our ebulletin. 

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