Patient and public involvement (PPI)

What is patient and public involvement?

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) includes patients, family members, carers and the public in various aspects of work to help develop and improve the services we offer in a meaningful and informed manner. It is about empowering patients and the public to have a say. It is about professionals in the NHS listening and responding to the views of patients and the public. This therefore promotes a cultural change with the aim to improve patients' experiences of the NHS.


Why involve patients and the public?

There are many reasons why it’s important to involve and consult patients and the public.

The Health and Social Care Act places a legal duty on National Health Service organisations to involve and consult patients and the public in the planning of service provision, the development of proposals for change and decisions about how services operate. It is about understanding and valuing the benefits of involving patients and the public in the planning and development of health services, with the aim to provide patient-centred healthcare services that meet the physical and emotional needs of the population.

One of the more significant documents is Section 242 of National Health Service Act 2006: The Statutory Duty to Involve. This section sets out how the NHS is expected to involve and consult communities in the planning and development of services.

What we do

We work with patients and clinicians to ensure patients are satisfied by constantly seeking feedback on our services.

The PPI team works to ensure that the trust keeps in mind the experience of patients in every aspect of its work. It does this by supporting people to become engaged in a number of interesting and rewarding opportunities that are available in the trust. Becoming involved provides an opportunity to let us know what, in your experience, you think has worked well and what you feel we could do differently. This can include joining projects like the following:

Come along and use your experience to help to develop our services.

We hold a monthly, informal meeting for all those interested to come and share their views and experience. The group is open to adults who are using our services or have used them in the past, parents and carers, or members of the local community. We think that it is an interesting and rewarding experience.

Refreshments are provided and travel costs can be reimbursed.  You are welcome to join us.

If you’d like to come along or would like to find out more, please call Charlene Smith on 020 8938 2081 or email

Getting Together

“The Reference Group has a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere and is very enjoyable… I find it easy to talk to everyone there. We have lively, interesting conversations; and there’s always more to say than there is time for…”

“There’s never any pressure to do extra activities but there are opportunities to be involved in other ways and staff are always very forthcoming in their gratitude which is lovely: feeling useful is very motivating…” Author: R

The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) formed a stakeholders group in early in 2014 and has become a much valued resource for PPI. The group is made up of adolescent service users aged 12 to19 years old that are currently accessing or have recently accessed the GIDS service.

The group sessions provide a safe, non-clinical space for young people with Gender Identity Development needs to communicate, share stories, and empower themselves with the support of other people they may not otherwise get the chance to meet, let alone socialise. They have also been involved in projects that discussed media and online sharing of personal information safety issues and preliminary projects with Century Films. They have also been involved in writing blogs and sharing life stories on the new GIDS website, the recruitment of new staff and enhancing service developments for this national and specialist service.

This platform provides an opportunity to tell your story during Board or other relevant meetings to help the trust understand your experiences.

One of the ‘patient stories’ to be shared here with our Board was that of Crispin. Here is what Crispin had to say about his experience:

"I have been visiting the Tavistock Centre for nearly four years with my son, and attending a meeting of the Board of Governors gave me the chance to provide feedback, and to discuss a very few, mostly administrative matters that I thought needed looking into. It also gave me the chance to express my gratitude to everyone here who had helped us to understand my son's problems, and how to deal with them.

I found all the Board were very friendly and empathetic, and I know that they took seriously all the points I made.

Before I attended the meeting, I had a very helpful introductory discussion with staff members from here, who were also present when I spoke to the governors. I found the whole experience very positive and I hope that my feedback will be of benefit to the organisation and its very valuable work."

We would like to thank Crispin for joining us and sharing a very personal account which will help us to continue to improve our services in response to feedback.

If you are interested in telling your story, or would simply like to find out a bit more please do get in touch via

This group help us to understand and think about the data we get from a range of sources, as well as ensures that we meet local and national agreed targets of improving patient experience.

The team works closely with Clinical Governance and links to our quality improvement work through awareness raising activities and training events. It provides training on any procedural changes which may affect patients and discusses how we might make these changes clear to the patient population. They also highlight the work we need to do to achieve our CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality Indicators) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). An example of our KPI includes ensuring the patient satisfaction levels are consistently high.

The Trust made a commitment last year to involve our service users, their families and carers in having a say in who we employ.  In order to achieve this, we provide training sessions that provide you with the understanding of the recruitment process from start to finish. You in turn provide us with valuable insights from a non-trust professional about how a candidate might ‘feel’ to a patient, rather than just the candidate’s ability to meet the criteria of the post. So far the experience of including service user representatives has been interesting and exciting, and feedback from both staff and those participating in the panels have been very positive.

Some Reflections from Panel Members

“At the end of last year, North Camden CAMHS had their first service user join an interview panel. B, a young person who has been a regular user of our service joined myself and two colleagues in a half day interview process, interviewing 5 candidates for a clinical role.

“Prior to this B took part in some initial interview training provided by Anthony from patient involvement that enabled her to make an excellent contribution to the interviewing process. On top of developing new skills, it is important to add that B was paid for her time and contributions. We want young people to feel their contributions are valued and meaningful rather than tokenistic. We acknowledged that for B this was time out of her school day and we were in need of her services, therefore monetary payment was appropriate.

“As a clinician I found the experience of a young person on the panel enriching and important. It made me focus my thinking and rationale for views about candidates when as a group of professionals this can often not be challenged. It added an extra dynamic of clinical assessment; how interviewees interacted and managed the questions from B. This is of course one the most important qualities we are looking for when employing a CAMHS professional, but often very hard to evaluate in a formal interview process.”

Author: Antonia, Senior CAMHS Nurse

“I felt able to contribute on an equal level to others on the panel.”

“It was valuable to see what goes into the service you use.”

“It was my first experience of any sort of interviewing: as a candidate or on a panel. It felt a useful experience to be on the other side.”

“It was good to be paid.”

“I hope all teams will embrace the opportunity to have service users on their panels in the future. It is an important way of including the people that use our services in how our services are formed.”

Author: B, PPI panel member

Download our PPI interview panel leaflet.

We are a leading independent special school with a fully integrated specialist clinical team. For over 40 years Gloucester House has pioneered therapeutic educational work with children. We are a very small school working with up to 19 children aged between 5-14.

Gloucester House provides a model of good practice that fits the new Education, Health and Care Plans implemented in September 2014. Therapists, specialist nurses and education staff work closely together to support the learning and development of children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, their families/carers and the professional network around them. We foster involvement in a number of ways:


Children democratically select individuals to represent the wider student body:

  • Food representative
  • Community meeting co-chair
  • Nurture room committee representative
  • Building committee representatives

School Council

We model the inclusive and democratic process of our wider society. Children can bring their choice of subject for consideration to School Council. Many of their suggestions have been acted on and incorporated. 

  • Pet day
  • Scooter day
  • Pyjama day
  • Playtime games
  • Curriculum input study and topics
  • Clubs; we could not offer extracurricular so put it into curriculum as an experience
  • Fundraising for charity, they choose who and how. Fund raising: Sport relief, RND, Children in Need etc.

 “In school council I suggested to make cakes for Red Nose Day.” AD

 “I put forward pet day as an idea to school council. We had a pet day, I thought it was good.  On pet day my friend from the pet shop came in to show her dog.  The dog was called Coco.” LH

Invite parent/carers into the unit 

When we work with parents formally or informally we are engaging them with the unit to strengthen relationships, seeking thoughts and opinions on the work of the unit and modelling good practice and ways of working.

  • Parent  / carers group
  • Trips with children: London river trip
  • Celebrations - Winter celebrations party
  • Cultural diversity
  • Well being
  • How to help your child with homework

 “I did maths with my mum.”


Children and Parent carer representative involved in selection process:

  • Parent Representative on interview panel
  • Children’s Panel with questions generated through Community meeting

Target settings

When we set targets children and parents/carers are central:

  • Children set daily targets
  • Targets in annual reviews
  • Termly goal based outcomes target setting/review meeting 
  • Questionnaires three times a year
  • Whole unit meetings
  • Social skills circle time

Parent Carer Day

On the 10th November 2015, Gloucester House ran a parent carer day with the subject of “Health and Nutrition.” The day was organised by teacher Claire Lynskey and Clinical Nurse Specialist and involved various members of the multi-disciplinary team, as well as guest nutritionist Keighley Hylton and school nurse, Serena Roberts, from Gospel Oak Health Centre.

The response from parents and carers was overwhelming, which made for a fantastic day for all involved. Parents and carers came into school at the same time as their children and whilst the children had their lunch, they were invited for tea and sandwiches with each other and staff. This was followed by their joining the community meeting and the children’s playtime, before the day’s activities began.

The activities were done in two groups, with everyone having the opportunity to join each group. In one group, Keighley and Serena did a presentation on nutrition, after which, lead nurse Kirsty Brant led the group through mindful eating. In the other group, Claire did a presentation and quiz on oral hygiene, followed by John promoting exercise, including a 5 minute workout. It was very heartening to see the children, parents, carers and staff all working together and having fun. Newer children’s parents and carers also fed back that it was incredibly helpful to meet those whose children have been at the school a little longer.

It is important to all of us at Gloucester House that we involve children, parents and carers in so much of what we do and that everyone feels that they have a voice as part of our community. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of those involved in the day and we look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events. We would also like to say thank you to Keighley and Serena, who fed back how nice it was to see the Gloucester House community working together so closely.

John Forrester - Clinical Nurse Specialist
Claire Lynskey - Teacher

How else can you get involved in our work?

If it is not possible to engage in a project, you can also provide feedback through the following means:

  • Verbal comments, or written letters and emails
  • Experience of Survey Questionnaires
  • Visual straw polls across our services
  • Small scale surveys
  • Comments book
  • Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) enquiries
  • Attending focus groups
  • Attending feedback fetes
  • Linking with national events such as Time to Change, Mind and holding Tea and Talk days

Meet the team

Louise Lyon – Director of Quality and Patient Experience

Claire Kent – Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Team Manager - Adult and Forensic PPI Lead

Vicky Illingworth – Acting Children, Young People and Families Lead

Anthony Newell – Senior Patient Involvement Coordinator

Alex Jackson – Team Assistant

Debbie Lampon – Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Officer

Intisar Abdul-Kader – Patient Involvement Coordinator

Olu Oduntan – Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Team Administrator

Patient and public involvement strategy review August 2019

This strategy builds on the work of the previous PPI strategy (2003) and subsequent reviews. It has been produced by the PPI team based on their learning and experience.

Read or download our 'Patient and public involvement strategy review August 2019'

Contact PPI

If you’d like to come along or would like to find out more, please call the team on 020 8938 2059 or email

Our acronyms explained

Acronyms explained