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Engaging with Patients and Public - The Village Medical Centre

Working with NHS England, Bedfordshire CCG needed to re-procure and appoint a new provider to deliver GP services at the Village Medical Centre, Great Denham.

Focus Groups and Survey
Between March and May 2018, we engaged with patients registered at the practice to find out how they would prefer to access services at the Village Medical Centre and how they felt services could be improved.

We held focus groups and conducted a patient survey. A report was produced outlining what we did and the findings from the survey and focus groups. The Village Medical Centre - Focus Group and Survey Results Report can be viewed here

Using the feedback from the focus groups and survey results, the commissioners developed a service specification and invited providers to bid for the contract.

Involving patients in the procurement
It was important to us that patients were involved throughout the whole process, so we invited a patient representative from the Village Medical Centre’s Patient Participation Group (PPG) to join NHS England and Bedfordshire CCG representatives on a procurement panel. The procurement panel is a team of people with a range of specialities, including a clinical lead, financial lead, contracts lead, quality and safety lead, commissioning lead and, when possible, a patient capable of providing that very important perspective.

To ensure the patient understood the procurement process and their role within the process, they underwent training that was delivered on a one-to-one basis. This allowed the patient time to digest the information and ask any questions they wanted.

Following the training, the patient was asked to score the answers that bidders had provided relating to patient experience. The scores the patient representative awarded, together with the scores from the rest of the panel were used to determine the most suitable provider.

Keeping patients informed
Once the new provider starts delivering services at the Village Medical Centre, we will organise a meeting with patients so they can meet the provider and see how their suggestions have been incorporated into the new service. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for them to learn how they can further engage with the practice.

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