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The government has been encouraging the development of choice for people with Long-Term Conditions (LTC), but there are questions about whether they have a voice and are able to engage in the commissioning process. There is little evidence about what processes and mechanisms patients and the public use to make their voice heard.

CHSS Director Stephen Peckham is currently leading a four year NIHR funded project assessing how commissioners can best support and engage with people with LTC to develop the most responsive local services. Working with patient groups, voluntary organisations, commissioners and service providers, the team are undertaking case studies of different approaches NHS organisations take in funding services, and how three LTC patient groups (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and neurological disorders) engage with health and social care agencies.

Stephen Peckham said ‘We are working closely with local NHS staff organisations to explore the key problems in developing services that patients can make choices about, tracking developments over two years to help identify the true impact of patient involvement on service design and patients. We will develop guidance for funders highlighting the most effective approaches to supporting, enabling or regulating involvement across health and social care funders and providers to ensure the best patient outcomes’.

The project, a collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will report its findings later this year.

NIHR website link

Start date: 17/07/2012 End date: 31/07/2013

Funder: Department of Health

Funding: £14,158

Publication: Commissioning for long-term conditions: hearing the voice of and engaging users - a qualitative multiple case study

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Last Updated: 07/01/2015