Patient and staff opinions are vital to debate about services
The NHS consults and collaborates with patients, carers and the public in a spirit of public involvement. This means that listening to, and acting on, feedback is important during the planning, redesigning and reconfiguring of services.The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 has led to an increase in citizen empowerment and local partnerships, which have in turn given the public greater influence on decisions that affect their communities. It has, for example, imposed a duty on local authorities to involve people in the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of publicly funded health and social care services. In light of these developments, it is interesting to note the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s (RCEM) concerns about a lack of consultation with staff and patients during the recent development of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) in the NHS.