Croydon CCG planned to redesign urgent care services to give local people better access to services and longer opening hours. In some parts of the Borough there were high levels of urgent care service use: with a wide variety of languages spoken, and different levels of understanding of how to access local services, it was essential to engage widely with local people in order to design a solution tailored to the needs and preferences of the community.
Our patient and public engagement experts supported the CCG to capture local views via online and paper surveys and face to face consultation.
Our creative engagement approach broadened from traditional patient participation groups so that we could seek out a wide range of public opinion, targeted towards groups that were known to make higher use of existing urgent care services. As well as posters and leaflets in GP practices and public places, public meetings and drop-in clinics, the engagement team reached out to parent and toddler groups, user-led groups for mental health service users, youth clubs for young people with learning disabilities, and a football match and community event run by Crystal Palace FC.
Some parts of the community were resistant to the proposed changes, and it was important to build relationships and sustain momentum with these groups.