Volunteers needed to strengthen voice of patients in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

16 March 2021 9:14am

People are being urged to get involved with how health and care services are planned for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The responsibility for planning and purchasing services currently falls to two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) – NHS Shropshire CCG and NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG. From 1 April, 2021, a single commissioning group – NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group – will be created for the whole county.

Part of the CCG’s work is to ensure people from all over the county are heard – and that the wide range of views, priorities and concerns are taken into account when planning services. To help achieve this, the CCG is inviting patients from across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to get involved in ensuring how voices are heard when services are planned.

The new CCG is forming an Assuring Involvement Committee and is calling for volunteers to be involved.

“It’s about making sure that we are speaking to the whole of our communities, explained Alison Smith, Director of Corporate Affairs.

“The committee will play a key role in making sure that the CCG seeks out people’s views and listens to what is important for our local population.

“We need to make sure we are having some outside views on the plans we have for engagement and communications, and how we are reaching people.”

The Assuring Involvement Committee plays an important role in how the CCG engages and communicates with the diverse communities in the county.

“It is incredibly important that the CCG seek a wide range of views from all parts of our communities,” added Meredith Vivian, Lay Member for Public and Patient Involvement.

“The Assuring Involvement Committee will play a pivotal part in making sure that the CCG does reach out and hears from the people who know most about what it feels like to receive services – patients themselves.”

People interested in being a member of the Assuring Involvement Committee should have an understanding of the area’s diverse groups, including people with different backgrounds and lifestyles. Their views will help the CCG seek out people from those communities to ensure all voices are heard.

No medical background or knowledge is required and full training will be given to committee members.

They can watch a video about the AIC here.

Members of the AIC should be able to volunteer around four hours per month of their time. They need to be able to attend up to eight meetings per year, but these are being held virtually at present so they would require suitable IT facilities.

If you are interested, full details are in the Information Pack at bit.ly/GetInvolvedNHSTelford or bit.ly/GetInvolvedNHSShropshire, or for an informal discussion email shrccg.communicationsteam@nhs.net to arrange a call.

The deadline for registering an interest is 5pm on Wednesday, 7 April, 2021. Informal discussions will take place during the week commencing 3 May, 2021, with the first meeting of the AIC taking place on Thursday, 20 May.