Get involved

get involved

What is Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Patient and Public Engagement (PPE)?

Lots of different terms are used and these are often combined– for example ‘Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement’ (RCN); ‘Patient and Public Voice and Information’ (NCB); ‘Patient and Public Experience and Engagement’ (a network). Terms seem to be piled up like this because none of them quite expresses what people are seeking to do.

Patient and Public engagement (PPE) is active participation of patients, carers, community representatives, community groups and the public in how services and policy are planned, delivered and evaluated. It is broader and deeper than traditional consultation. It involves the ongoing process of developing and sustaining constructive relationships, building strong, active partnerships and holding a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders. It refers to a wide range of activities, methods and techniques which aim to give a voice to service users and the local community in improving and developing health services and policy.

It means proactively seeking and building continuous and meaningful engagement with the public and patients, to shape services and improve health.

Patient and public involvement is as important to the health service as good knowledge management or tight financial control.

Engaging with patients and the public can happen at two levels:

  • individual level – ‘my say’ in decisions about my own care and treatment
  • collective level – ‘my’ or ‘our say’ in decisions about commissioning and delivery of services.

Effective patient engagement means involving patient cohorts (patients with common conditions) in helping to get the service right for them. It is also about engaging the public in decisions about the commissioning, planning, design and reconfiguration of health services, either pro-actively as design partners, or reactively, through consultation.

Effective engagement leads to improvements in health services and is part of everyone’s role in the NHS.

We include patients whose experiences are seldom heard, for example patients with communication difficulties and people with learning disabilities. A useful approach is to identify people who are already part of the patients’ trusted networks.

Patient Experience is what the process of receiving care feels like for our patients. Understanding patient experience can be achieved through a range of activities that capture direct feedback from patients, service users, carers and wider communities.

See The Patient Experience Book: A collection of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement’s guidance and support, for more information.

Whether you are a member of the public getting involved in the work of the NHS for the first time or a doctor who is new to commissioning; you might need a bit of help to guide you. NHS England have put together a range of toolkits and resources to help you carry out effective patient and public involvement, as well as policies and background information to support you. Click here to find out more.

Further clarifaction for staff involving patients and the public in their work in a meaningful way to improve services, including giving clear advice on the legal duty to involve, can be found here.


The three most important parts of our patient and public involvement work are:

Listening – We listen to your feedback about the care we provide. You can let us know your thoughts by filling in a Friends and Family Test, by contacting our PALs team or by sharing your story with us and our Board.

Involving – We involve you in decisions about your care and in service design and evaluation. To get involved you can become a member, become a Volunteer, join our Equal Partners Assembly or be a Governor.

Improving – We improve services based on your valuable feedback. We have developed an Engagement & Co-production Group with carers, service users and staff to ensure we have diverse input into service redesign and decision making. 


Co-Production

"A relationship where professionals and citizens share the power to plan and deliver support together, recognising that both have vital contributions to make in order to improve the quality of life for people and communities." National Co-production Critical Friends

Co-production is doing things with people rather than for or to them in addition. As a Trust, we are working on models of co-production through our Recovery and Wellbeing Academy. We are creating space for shared learning and decision making, in all capacities, through an equal and transparent partnerships and recognizing and valuing the unique skills that people possess.

co-pro