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Thank you and season's greetings from NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group.
2020 has been a challenging year and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support during these difficult  and unprecedented times. 

You may have been involved as a health ambassador;  a patient representative on a working group;  a member of our reader panel;  patient and public involvement committee or quality visit team; as part of our GP practice patient group network; as an attendee at one of our virtual meetings or just someone who receives our updates and shares this information to those you are in contact with.

Whatever your involvement, your participation and interest is very much valued and appreciated.

We are currently updating the 'you said, we did' section of our website with examples of how your involvement and participation has made a difference to the way that services are provided but below are just a few examples. 

Thank you and best wishes for 2021.
Reader Panel
Our reader panel have reviewed, throughout the year, patient focused information to ensure it is easy to read, clear and unambiguous.  As an example, this has included a leaflet for elderly residents;  information to give out in emergency departments on NHS111 first;  changes to dry eye treatment; provision of shower and bath preparations and to insulin pens and a children's minor illness leaflet. Some amendments included:
  • Making sure that acronyms were not used or explained.
  • Clarifying some information that appeared to be duplicated or contradictory. 
  • Suggesting better layout methods, with the key messages in a prominent position.
  • More clarification on the process for any changes
We have recently reviewed the panel and based on their feedback, we have produced guidelines for both panel members, the CCG and also authors of the information being reviewed. This had included longer timescales for responding, more detail on changes made as a result of feedback and sharing the final document prior to publication.

If you are interested in helping to ensure that patient information is as clear and useful as possible and would you like to join our reader panel then please contact for more information.
GP Practice Patient Groups
Feedback from patients, GP practice staff and our patient and public involvement committee, both verbally and through a survey, highlighted the need for additional resources to develop GP practice patient group activities. 

We worked with Healthwatch Hertfordshire, a lead GP, practice managers, staff and patient group network members to launch a PPG incentive scheme in March 2020.The scheme includes additional funding for practices dependent on the level their patient groups attain.

For more information contact
Patient and Public Involvement Committee (PPIC)
Our PPIC provides assurance to our board that there is meaningful participation in the business of the organisation from patients, carers, families and members of the public. Its role also includes the review of strategies and proposals to offer views from patients' perspectives.  This means that the patient voice in integral to the way the organisation runs and commissions services for the local community.

Although it has been more challenging to meet this year our PPIC members have continued to participate through virtual sessions.   For more information on PPIC here where you can also check out the notes of meetings for a more detailed account of discussions. 
Virtual consultations
Following feedback from stakeholders Herts Valleys CCG wanted to explore how virtual consultations had worked for patients during the pandemic.

A survey was distributed to gather patient experiences of accessing virtual consultations.   This survey identified over 75% of respondents were happy with their virtual appointment.

The CCG is now linking with main service providers on evaluations of their virtual consultations including patient feedback they may have received.  They will also take into account those that may be digitally excluded.  A report will then be completed, based on all the information with recommendations on next steps. These will then be shared with our PPI Committee and wider networks. 
Keeping in touch and staying connected
Various stakeholders contacted us suggesting they had felt 'out of touch' during the early days of the pandemic, in response to this we re-established contact with our networks to provide regular information and also to help people stay connected.

We have provided a minimum of a weekly stakeholder update  with a particular focus on sharing messages and information  around COVID and including regular updates from Herts Local Resilience Forum. 

We also restarted our engagement and 'let's get connected' sessions to provide more detailed information and to gather feedback through direct conversations with local people.  Nearly 300 people joined these sessions which included topics on: 
  • Recovery after COVID
  • Memory event
  • Cardiac rehabilitation services
  • Developing GP Practice Patient Groups (PPGs) during COVID
  • Working with the voluntary sector and supporting unpaid family carers
  • Think NHS 111 First
We  are also in the process of organising a 'let's get connected session' on bereavement.  This followed feedback from an actual meeting in early 2020 which discussed 'death and dying'.  Those attending wanted to build on that knowledge and learn about how to deal with bereavement.

All our session are recorded and these, together with any supporting information are available here
For more information on how your feedback, thoughts and ideas have made a difference check out  the 'you said, we did' section of our website here.

In the meantime we look forward to working with you in 2021.
Our mailing address is:
Herts Valleys CCG, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1DN

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