We are committed to working with local people and for them to play a central role in shaping the services we commission. Our experience shows that when we involve members of the public in designing services, the end product is more relevant and appropriate to people's needs. Representatives of our local population have helped us to create services that are better suited to supporting local people to stay fit and healthy.

Here are some examples of how we have acted on the wishes of local people.

Easy Read

One of our Community Ambassadors has criticised the lack of easy read materials available across many local health services, including our own.

We have created an Easy Read page on our website to serve as a one-stop shop for easy read materials, both for services we commission and for national campaigns. We will also link to this page from other sections on the website and invite local people and organisations to share other easy read materials with us to place on the page.

Equality objectives

You wanted us to make our commitment to equality more obvious, to highlight more clearly the work we have been doing to improve health service access and experience for everybody. We worked with members of the public and our staff to develop a set of equality objectives that underpin our work.

Innovation Conference

The Innovation Conference is a scheme through which we invite local people and organisations to bid for what are relatively small amounts of money (up to £2,000 per project) to help them launch or develop a community project aimed at improving people's health and wellbeing.

There is public involvement throughout the Innovation Conference programme: It was the brainchild of a local Community Ambassador that was picked up by the CCG; Local people/patients are on the panel that shortlists the applications and Healthwatch and the voluntary sector are also involved; Funding is allocated according to how many votes each project receives from members of the public and community representatives at a public event.

We have a separate section dedicated to our Innovation Conference programme. Please click on the links on the left to open the pages and to find out more about the programme and some of the local projects to benefit.

GP receptionist training

Patients contacting their GP surgery for help and support for a range of minor ailments could access treatment faster thanks to receptionists receiving special training.

People visiting or calling their surgery to request appointments for certain health concerns could now be asked some extra questions by surgery staff. The responses received will enable staff to guide patients to the most appropriate service.

NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and funds the majority of health services for the area’s 225,000 registered patients, has been working with GP surgeries to improve patient access. Starting under the Happy, Healthy, at Home programme, training was provided for staff at GP surgeries so that they are able to ask patients questions on some common ailments, in order to be able to direct them to the right service.

Dr Peter Bibawy, acting Clinical Chair of the CCG, said: “When a person is ill or injured, we want them to be able to get the treatment or support they need as soon as possible, to help them recover more quickly and to be able to control their own health and wellbeing.

“People will not always need to see a GP and there will be times when another healthcare professional, for example a pharmacist, is best-placed to help them. In this instance a receptionist will be able to check some details with the patient and direct them to the most appropriate health professional.

“This is about making better use of existing resources to create a more efficient local health system that gives our patients a high-quality service, a great patient experience and positive results.”

The 10 chosen ailments are:

Head lice Coughs and colds
Conjunctivitis Sprains and strains
Hay fever Bites and strains
Urinary tract infections and cystitis Dental pain
Vomiting and diarrhoea Verrucas and athlete's foot

Extended GP access

As part of the Government's commitment to extending access to primary care services, we conducted a public survey over the summer of 2017 for local people to express their preferences on days and times of appointments and what sort of services they would prefer to be more widely available.

The CCG wanted to ensure that any model of extended access that was put in place locally was appropriate to the needs of the people of North East Hampshire and Farnham. Through considerable effort by us, our partners and stakeholders and particularly local patient groups and member GP practices, we were delighted to receive 4,400 responses.

As a result of the survey responses we have prioritised Saturday morning surgeries rather than the entire weekend, in line with people's wishes. Respondents also said they wanted to be able to have blood tests, NHS health checks and smear tests at the new appointment times, as well as normal GP appointments. We are working with local GP practices to see how we can meet the demands of the local population.

To download a copy of the full report click on the image on the right.

Farnham Integrated Care Centre

A local resident, who is also a Patient Participation Group member at her GP practice, a member of the Farnham Locality Group and a North East Hampshire and Farnham Community Ambassador, created a newsletter to update local people on the Farnham Integrated Care Centre.

The newsletter outlines the creation of the centre, from a public engagement event in January 2017 through to opening in June 2017, as well as outlining the services being provided there and the different way in which the service works, catering for urgent, same-day primary care needs.

To view the newsletter, click on the image on the right.

Mental health

Our mental health crisis services across North East Hampshire and Farnham were all designed with local people to meet the demand that they had expressed.

The Safe Haven in Aldershot was created as a result of local people with mental health problems telling us what they needed and why the services available at the time did not meet their need. We created a groundbreaking new service, in a non-clinical setting, with an emphasis on peer support and non-clinical methods. Since it opened there has been a levelling-off of acute psychiatric admissions to local hospitals.

The Young Person's Safe Haven was created as a result of poor educational attainment among children experiencing mental health problems. Surveys and other engagement work was carried out to identify what type of service young people wanted to see to be able to support them at their time of need.


The CCG commissioned Healthwatch Hampshire to undertake a cycle of engagement events with carers and other partners to identify the support that carers would want to receive to enable them to maintain their caring role for as long as possible.  This was from January 2016 to April 2017.

This engagement gave us rich information which helped to inform and shape our commissioning plans, based on what carers have told us they want.

The Carers Action Group considered the results and a service specification for adult carers support and advice services were developed and procurement of the service took place during the latter half of 2017.  The Princess Royal Trust for Carers successfully bid for the contract and commenced services from April 2018.

Visit the Carers pages to find out more. 

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