A stronger voice? The role of patient and public involvement in health and social care commissioning and provision in the East Midlands
Patient and public involvement (PPI) in the commissioning and provision of services is central to ensuring that patients and the public have a say in what is delivered by the NHS and social care. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act made changes to the NHS and social care, including processes for involving patients and the public, but to date, there has been little study of the effects of these changes to PPI. This study will consider how well the new system delivers patient and public involvement on health and social care in the East Midlands and how far it secures influence for PPI in major decisions around the translation of evidence into practice. The research comprises two work packages; this application relates to the second package. In the first package, we will interview people involved in PPI across the East Midlands. These interviews will focus on how respondents put PPI into practice, and the opportunities and challenges they face. In the second package of work, to which this application relates, we will undertake ethnographic fieldwork (involving non-participant observation, discussions, interviews and collecting documents) in up to four areas around the East Midlands, selected to reflect promising approaches identified in the first part of the study. This will allow us to understand how PPI works in more detail. The findings will provide insight into what is working well and less well in the current system. They will be communicated in different formats for practitioners, policymakers, patients and the public. We will consult two advisory groups—one comprising patients and the public inside and outside the current system, the other comprising ‘professional’ stakeholders such as paid employees of Healthwatch and others. The team comprises researchers with expertise in qualitative research methods, health policy and PPI.