Engagement and participation in service change and redesign in response to COVID-19
We provide advice, support and assurance to NHS boards and health and social care partnerships on their statutory duties for public involvement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required NHS boards and health and social care partnerships to rapidly reconfigure services and provide care in new and different ways. During the initial emergency response, quick decision making was needed to increase capacity and maintain essential services, and the urgency of the situation did not allow organisations to involve or engage the public as they would normally be expected to.
However, the statutory duty to involve people is as important as ever.
During this next phase of the pandemic, and through the re-mobilisation planning, there is an opportunity to understand and build on the benefits brought by changes during the initial phase, and have these informed by people who are using services.
We wrote to NHS boards and health and social care partnerships in June 2020 to set out our expectations regarding the restarting of public engagement work. These key considerations will help inform the planning of activity and support a proportionate approach to meaningful engagement.
Our latest guidance note from July 2020 provides further details and should inform boards' and partnerships' approach to effective community engagement moving forward. The guidance note sets out a collaborative approach to understanding and responding to:
- changes made as a result of COVID-19
- changes that were put on hold due to COVID-19
- forthcoming changes that now need to be considered