Patient and public involvement

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:

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 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.

The Bid for Better membership engagement scheme offers awards ranging from £50 to £400 to support activities or equipment which will:

  • improve patient experiences
  • make services more accessible
  • promote mental wellbeing

Every Spring we welcome ideas from Trust members and anybody who works with patients, including Non-NHS organisations in the Camden Borough. 

Winners are allocated an amount of money and supported in making their idea a reality.

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:

Meet the team

Director of Nursing & System Workforce Development: Chris Caldwell

PPI Team Manager and PPI AFS Lead: Claire Kent

PPI CYAF Lead: Vicky Illingworth

PPI Coordinator: Anthony Newell

PPI Coordinator Intisar Abdul-Kader

PPI Coordinator: Tara Blake-Harbord

PPI Administrator: Olu Oduntan

PALS Officer: Debbie Lampon

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