NHS Wakefield and Kirklees (Meeting the Challenge Programme)

Summer 2013

The challenge

The Wakefield and North Kirklees CCGs boards needed help with their consultation on major clinical service configuration across Mid Yorkshire: ‘Meeting the Challenge’. They wanted to demonstrate an inclusive process that met statutory requirements as well as involving a disparate community in a series of important decisions on health care in their areas.

How we approached it

We provided independent reporting on consultation activities during a 12 week statutory period. This provided transparency and legitimacy to the process. We also provided specialist engagement with underrepresented groups to ensure equalities duties had been fulfilled, while undertaking a representative poll to ensure that the public voice was heard.

Health service reconfiguration are emotive issues and it was important that process reflected good consultation. In this case, for example, the process was referred to the Secretary of State before the decision was approved.

What happened

The project demonstrated that within the context of a controversial, high stakes public decision-making process, solid consultation and engagement principles could ensure integrity was maintained. The process received an award from the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketers for its application of consultation principles.

During the Meeting the Challenge consultation we gained feedback from all sections of the community, this would have been far more difficult without the help of The Campaign Company. Their help in interpreting this for the CCG boards was invaluable. I would definitely recommend them for this type of work

Jeanette Miller Transformation and Engagement Lead Wakefield CCG