Patients given chance to be an NHS clinical commissioner and have a say in their difficult decisions

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Patients are to be given a unique experience into the work of local NHS clinical commissioners and will have an opportunity to input in how and why they think services should be prioritised.

Commissioners from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups have the task of “buying” health services for local populations on behalf of the NHS. It means constantly having to make difficult decisions that benefit patients and are consistent with national and local priorities while keeping services affordable.

Now a series of interactive workshops are to be held to give people an opportunity to experience how these decisions are made.

Dr Lorna Clarson, GP and Chair of Stoke-on-Trent CCG said: “Commissioning is one of the least talked about areas of the NHS, and we want people to understand more about it.

“As a clinical commissioner I need to wear two hats – I am a GP who would instinctively like there to be a service to meet every patient need,  I am also a commissioner who is involved in difficult decisions about what the priorities should be when we think about how to use our finite resources.

“These events will give members of the public an insight into the dilemmas we face as we try and do the best we can for our patients with the limited resources we have available.”

The events have been carefully devised to be as realistic as possible without participants needing to have expert knowledge or clinical qualifications. The events will be using example services to get people discussing why and how they would prioritise services.

“As clinical commissioners, the most important thing is that we base our decisions on the scientific evidence about which treatments are most effective and get the best results for the most patients,” said Dr Clarson.

“People will be able to take part in an exercise of prioritising a set of example services and consider what factors are important to them during the exercise.  We hope as many people as possible will be able to come and join in and support us with making difficult decisions.”

Each of the sessions is expected to last around two hours and will take place as follows:




29th January 2020

Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek, ST13 6AD

6.15pm – 8.15pm

3rd February 2020

Aquarius Ballroom, Hednesford, WS12 1BT

6.00pm – 8.00pm

6th February 2020

Branston Golf Club, Burton, DE14 3DP

6.00pm – 8.00pm

11th February 2020

Entrust, Stafford, ST16 3TH

6.00pm – 8.00pm

12th February 2020

South Staffs District Council, Codsall, WV8 1PX

1.30pm – 3.30pm

24th February 2020

George Hotel, Lichfield, WS13 6PR

6.00pm – 8.00pm

26th February 2020

Bridge Centre, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 8DD

6.00pm – 8.00pm

Please reserve your place online here or call 01785 854482.