Get involved

Accessibility to our website and our engagement activities

Information can be made available in other formats such as large print, and may be available in alternative languages or easy read on request.  Please call us on: 01924 315803 (please note this is for languages queries only) or email to request assistance.

British Sign Language (BSL) introduction

Healthcare in the Wakefield area is all about you, whether you are a local patient, member of the public, or a carer. Your views are important to us so we can be assured of commissioning the best possible services that meet the needs of all local patients and that represent the best possible value for money.

NHS organisations do internal reviews of the way in which they operate.  We have done this recently around engagement and are proud to say that the auditors gave us a rating of ‘significant assurance’.

In 2018, to support this work we developed our new Communication, Involvement and Equality Strategy. This outlines the standards by which we will engage and communicate with community. It also states our equality duties and how we will ensure we are an inclusive organisation serving even the most vulnerable people.

Please read this accessible version of the Strategy. (this link will open a Microsoft Word document.)

You can also see how engagement fits within our constitution and the way we work.

We work within NHS England's guidelines on engaging patients and the public which you can view on the NHS England website.  We encourage involvement with patients, carers and the public in all of our work by all colleagues.  To support this, we offer training and bespoke sessions.  This includes NHS England's '10 Steps to Even Better Public Engagement'.  We held a workshop in 2019 and staff carried out the 'Train the Trainer' course.  Further sessions are planned for 2020.  As the primary care networks are developing, we are supporting them with their involvement plans.  This included commissioning The Consultation Institute to provide training at a workshop in January 2020.

During 2019, we were pleased to be awarded 'green' for our engagement. We would like to thank everybody that helps us to achieve this high standard but will strive to continue to improve. One way we do this is to support staff and volunteers. This year we commissioned The Consultation Institute to deliver training to the new Primary Care Networks about engagement.


Engagement describes the continuing and ongoing process of developing relationships and partnerships, so that the voice of local people and partners is heard and that our plans are shared at the earliest possible stages. Examples of this type of engagement would include our patient participation groups and membership schemes where we ask members to get involved in various pieces of work. It also describes activity that happens early on in an involvement process, including holding extensive discussions with a wide range of people to develop a robust case for change.

We are working hard to include people in the shaping of local health services.  We want to do this because it helps us to make sure we are improving our services in ways that meet your needs.

It is really important for us to hear people’s comments, ideas and suggestions about ways in which we can make services better. 

To see how we have engaged with people in previous years and used their feedback to improve our work, read our engagement annual reports

After engagement we give feedback to those involved.  This includes sending the engagement report, or a link to it on our website, we go back out to visit the groups we engaged with.  We also give feedback or evaluate, using other methods such as video.


Formal consultation describes the statutory requirement imposed on NHS bodies to consult with overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs), patients, the public and stakeholders when considering a proposal for a substantial development of the health service, or for a substantial variation in the provision of a service.

Formal consultation is carried out if a change is ‘significant’. This is determined where the proposal or plan is likely to have a substantial impact on one or more of the following:

  • Access (e.g. reduction or increase in service due to change of location or opening times)
  • Wider community (e.g. economic impact, transport, regeneration)
  • Patients or users (either current or future)
  • Service delivery (e.g. methods of delivery or relocation of services)

The outcome of a formal consultation must be reported to the Trust Board in public, together with the feedback received, and must show how this has been taken into account in any recommendations and decision making.

There are other ways for people to get involved in local health services and sharing their views, like:


We think that it is essential that patients and the public know what has happened after we have engaged or consulted with them. 

We tell people during the process that they will be able to find information and reports on our public website, that we would like to come back to visit them again and give them feedback or that if we have contact details we can write to people and include the report where appropriate.

Patient Participation Groups (PPG)

Patient participation groups (PPGs) are groups of patients interested in health and healthcare issues, who want to get involved with and support the running of their local GP practice. Most PPGs also include members of practice staff and meet at regular intervals to decide to help make a positive contribution to the services and facilities offered by the practice to its patients.

The activities of PPGs vary but normally include the following:

  • Improving communication with the practice population through newsletters, websites and other means
  • Organising health promotion events in partnership with the practice
  • Providing strategic advice, influencing commissioning and carrying out research
  • Supporting the practice in its dealings with other bodies

To find out if there is a PPG at your GP practice please contact your surgery for more information.

Patient Participation Group (PPG) Network

Organised by the CCG, it acts as the link between local PPGs and the commissioning group. It also provides support to local groups and practices both on a one to one basis as well as via organised training. You can see more on the work of this group and what topics have been looked in our engagement annual reports.

The Patient and Community Panel

The Public Involvement and Patient Experience Committee (PIPEC), which is a formal committee of the CCG Governing Body has been unable to meet formally during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the need to adhere to social distancing measures.   

The Patient and Community Panel had been established as an interim measure to enable NHS Wakefield CCG to continue to obtain patient and public feedback and assurance on patient experience and public involvement at this time.  

Members of our Equality Health Panel, PPG Network and PIPEC have been invited to take part in the Panel. Training had been put in place ahead of these meetings to ensure that members were supported. This was both group and one to one sessions.

The Patient and Community Panel is an informal group established as a temporary solution to enable NHS Wakefield CCG to stay in touch with ‘critical friends’. It is acknowledged that the process is dependent on the use of technology and as such, is not accessible for people who do not have access to a computer. PIPEC and EHP members who are unable to access meetings online are sent copies of the meeting papers and invited to comment via the engagement team in writing or phone.  

The Patient and Community Panel

The Patient and Community Panel is our public assurance group which evolved from the CCG’s previous public assurance group, PIPEC (Public Involvement and Patient Experience Committee). By bringing together the membership of the PIPEC and the Equality Health Panel, we strengthened our arrangements for the Governing Body to receive advice and assurance on issues relating to public involvement and equality. The Panel provides a single recognised structure to oversee the delivery of patient involvement, patient experience and equality, diversity and inclusion activity, and ensure impact and change is demonstrable both internally and externally.

The Panel meets every six weeks and members are drawn from across Wakefield district to represent citizen views. Their role is to inform commissioning decisions and identify possible improvements. The Panel provides a single recognised structure to oversee the delivery of patient involvement, patient experience and equality, diversity and inclusion activity, and ensure real changes that benefit patients are delivered.  

The Panel has been crucial in the contributions and development of the governance arrangements for our local Health and Care Partnership, setting up a dedicated subgroup which will continue to support the topic of governance as we work towards the introduction of Health and Care Partnerships.

Reimbursement, Reward and Recognition Policy

We use this policy (the link will open a Microsoft Word document) to ensure that patients and their representatives are supported by the CCG.  Colleagues have a consistent approach to support, for example reimbursing travel expenses, parking and carers where appropriate.

Public events

We organise a range of public events throughout the year. These are open to all and include the opportunity to find out more about the work of the CCG, meet staff, and have your say. Please read copies of reports from these events.

Governing Body meetings

Our Governing Body meetings are held in public.  Come along and listen to the discussion and find out more about what we do.  During meetings there will be an opportunity to ask us questions.

We open each of our governing body meetings with a patient story. This opportunity to hear about the experience of our patients and service users ensures that the commissioning decisions we make have real people at the heart of them.


Healthwatch Wakefield is the independent champion created to listen to and gather local people’s experiences of using health and care services. This includes services like doctors, chemists, hospitals, dentists, care homes and community based care. They work to help people get the best out of local health and care services by:

  • providing people with the advice, information and signposting they need
  • gathering the views and experiences of local people along with other information
  • giving local people a voice to influence the design and delivery of services

Local Healthwatch has eight statutory functions, or activities by law, to perform, such as promoting and supporting the involvement of local people in health and care services and gathering the views of local people. They also have a seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board, making sure that the views and experiences of patients, carers and other service users are taken into account when local needs assessments and strategies are prepared. This helps to make sure that they have a role in promoting public health, health improvements and in tackling health inequalities. Local Healthwatch laws also make sure there is a complaints advocacy service to support people who make a complaint about health services.

Healthwatch Wakefield is an independent charity. They employ a small staff team and are helped by volunteers. Their Board of Trustees oversees and steers the work, and members of the board are not paid for their role.

Representatives from Healthwatch Wakefield are members of many of our committees, for example the Probity Committee, the Integrated Care Partnership and our public assurance group, PIPEC. They are also involved in other groups and committees across the district.

For more information visit

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

We are an active partner in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership integrated care system and are committed to meaningful conversations with people, on the right issues at the right time.

We believe that this approach informs the ambitions of our partnership - to work in an open and transparent way with communities.

More information on the partnership's engagement can be found on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership website.

Comment on local services

Care Opinion and the NHS Website - Care Opinion is a feedback platform for the public so they can share their story or experience of healthcare services. Anyone can post an opinion on the website. The NHS website also provides a similar facility. We search these facilities by provider to pick up what patients are saying about NHS services and use this feedback to see what patients are saying. You can find out more more about our patient experience work.

A BSL video is available on the Care Opinion website if you prefer signed information about this site.

Friends and family test (FFT) – This test aims to gather as real time patient feedback as possible with every patient being given the opportunity to give feedback. NHS England publish information on a regular basis.

Find out more about the friends and family test.