Medtech leaders call for formal guidance on patient involvement in ICSs

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 6-Sep-2023

Report reveals Integrated Care Systems are failing to properly consult patients on service provision

Forty per cent of the country’s 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) have no formal patient involvement in board meetings and sub committees, new research has revealed.

A report from Medical Technology Group (MTG) reveals opportunities to address health inequalities and patient care access are being missed, with NHS regions failing to properly consult patients on how to improve outcomes.

The report also reveals the postcode lottery for patient involvement, with the worst provision in the Midlands and the South, while the North East leads the way when it comes to integrating patient insight into decision making. 

The report, which is being launched to MPs and peers in Parliament this week, highlights the best examples of patient involvement in the country, pointing to case studies that have helped vulnerable groups to access care and initiatives to improve community specific health inequalities. 

And the MTG is now calling on the Department of Health and Social Care to publish guidance that requires patient representation on ICBs as well as the annual reporting of patient involvement and representation in ICB activity. 

It also argues that the Care Quality Commission should be given more freedom to scrutinise the level of patient involvement being carried out by ICSs and ICBs. 

Commenting on the report, chairman of the MTG, Barbara Harpham, said: “Patients have a unique insight into how their care can be improved.

“Involving patients in a meaningful way to consult with managers and clinicians is an excellent opportunity for ICSs to fulfil their goal of providing more-integrated care that can address regional health inequalities. 

“While many regions are making efforts to involve patients, it’s clear from our latest report that there is work to do across the country. “Far too many ICSs have no formal procedures for involving patients and there is no uniform guidance from the DHSC on how to harness their insights.

“Implementing best practices in patient involvement will improve NHS efficiency, help us move to a more-personalised model of care, and improve patient outcomes in the long term.”

Click here for the full report.

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