You Said... We Did

Listening to your experience as a patient, carer or family member is very important to us. In this section you can see some of the stories that you have told us about and how we have acted on them, as well as the outcomes of our engagement and consultation activities.

West Cheshire Maternity Network

Please find below, the latest update from West Cheshire Maternity Network

Update from West Cheshire Maternity Network 

Patient Insight and Intelligence Reports

We collect all of the information about your experiences of care and put them into a single report to inform our decision making. 

2013/14 Insight and intelligence Report

Consultation with the Third Sector

We have done some work with voluntary and charitble organisations in West Cheshire who want to work more closely with us. We held a Masterclass in February 2013 and produced a report of our learning. 


Patients say they like shared decision-making

The National Patients’ Survey told us that you wanted to be more involved in your care. As part of our contract with the Countess of Chester hospital we asked them to get patients more involved in decisions about their care. Over the last twelve months, The Countess of Chester hospital’s Appointments Hotline team have been sending out a patient information leaflet encouraging patients to feel more involved by asking three questions during their hospital appointment ( this is known as “shared decision-making” when patients and their doctors jointly discuss their best treatment option):

  • What are the options available to me?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option?
  • What is the likely outcome of each option?

In November the hospital asked patients what they thought about the leaflet and whether it helped them in their consultation:

  • 116 patients responded to the survey
  • 113 patients answered “YES” to whether they found it useful = 97%
  • Only 3 patients did not find it useful
  • 101 patients answered “YES” to the question about would they use the leaflet as part of their consultation = 87%
  • 11% of patients, or 13 patients, said they would not use it as part of their consultation with a further 2 patients undecided.

This will be an on-going commitment as one of the ways we are involving patients in their care.

People using mental health services ask for more information about their medication

You told us through the 2011 national survey of people using mental health services that you weren’t always given enough information about your medications.

Working with our local mental health care provider, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, we agreed some changes in what information would be given to patients when prescribed any new mental health medicines.The same national survey this year showed that a higher number of Cheshire and Wirral Partnership patients reported having have had their medicines explained to them fully and in a way that they understood; they felt their views were taken into account when deciding what medication to take and were told about side effects of their medications and why they had been prescribed.

More patients receive copies of letters written by their GP and hospital consultant

You told us that you were not always getting copies of the letters sent about your care between hospital doctors and your GP. In fact national survey results told us less than half of you who wanted to receive a copy of the letter sent to your GP following your last appointment actually got one. We decided to check this out and during 2011/12 people using the out-patient department at the Countess of Chester were asked about their experience. In this local survey you told us that over the 12 months we had improved greatly with 70% of those completing the survey saying they had received a copy of their GP letter.

West Cheshire Patients' Panel Update    September 2012

Many local people have worked with us over the last few months to develop our existing membership scheme to become a bigger and better West Cheshire Patients’ Panel – thank you for all of your ideas and comments. It was clear from your feedback from our two “Stakeholder Workshop” events earlier in the year that there are lots of areas that you would like to get involved in. As a result we have written (by email or post) to all our existing membership members and asked them to tell us which areas they are particularly interested in. We are making sure that we ask the same questions of new members when they join too. Find out about how to join our West Cheshire Patients’ Panel.

Following on from our two workshops:

  • We have designed a logo which we hope captures what the panel is about – talking and listening to one another. We’re asking some of you to let us know what you think.
  • We have drawn up draft terms of reference – these are a set of guidelines which sets out what the West Cheshire Patients’ Panel is about, what we want to achieve and who can join. We’re asking some of you to let us know what you think about these too.
  • We are going to develop our West Cheshire Patients’ Panel page on our website so that you can leave your comments and ideas as well as read the latest news from the Clinical Commissioning Group.
  • We are going to re-design our West Cheshire Patients’ Panel leaflet so that people can join online or by sending the form through the post. We are going to need your help on this.
  • We are going to develop our calendar so that you know in advance when we have events happening that you might want to join – and make sure that we cover all geographic areas of our “patch”.
  • We are talking to local hard-to-reach groups to make sure that they feel they can have a voice on the Panel.
  • We are going to set up Citizens’ Juries. These will be small groups of people looking at a particular area that we need your views on. By telling us that you have a particular interest in an area such as diabetes, or young people’s health for instance, we may invite you to join a group to look at that subject. We won’t be offended if you don’t want to join; it really is your choice!
  • We have written to all of our existing members confirming their contact details and asking them to tell us if there are any of our clinical priority areas that they are particularly interested in. Whenever possible we will contact you by email as this is quick but don’t worry if you would rather stay in contact by post. We’ll do that too.
  • Our membership is going up – we now have 682 members!
  • You can see our presentations from our workshop in July at St Marys’ Centre by selecting each presentation. If you don’t have easy access to a computer and would like a hard copy of any of the presentations get in touch with us at the details below.

Dr Huw Charles-Jones Introduction to West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Alison Lee - Update on our Strategic Commissioning Plan
Dr Claire Westmoreland - Developing our Membership Scheme into a Community Panel
Dr Catherine Wall - NHS 111 Service

We try very hard to make sure the ve nues we choose for our events are accessible as possible. Thank you for your suggestions about what could be improved for future events. We welcome any ideas about suitable venues to gather groups of people together.

How to contact us:
West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group,
1829 Building, Liverpool Road, Chester, CH2 1HJ
email: (please put “FAO Patient and Public Engagement Team” in the subject box)

Vascular Services    Spring 2012

Vascular Services are health services that look after people with disorders of the veins and arteries including narrowing of arteries, blocked vessels and varicose veins, (but not diseases of the heart and vessels in the chest).

We want to make sure that patients have the best possible care and ensure that specialist doctors are available at all times and so across Cheshire and Merseyside there were proposals for patients who need more complicated operations (we think about 550 patients a year across the whole area) to come to one of two specialist centres. Currently, a number of local hospitals carry out vascular surgery, but the most complex surgery (about 20% of the current procedures) should be carried out in specialist units to ensure that surgeons are able to develop the highest skills. This means that we need to concentrate the specialist surgery in fewer centres – something widely agreed on amongst the clinicians across the region.

The Boards of NHS Merseyside and NHS Cheshire Warrington and Wirral have now approved the final decisions on the Vascular Services Review. The Boards each agreed the following decisions:

  • that there should be 2 Arterial Centres for Cheshire and Merseyside
  • that the North Merseyside centre should be based at the Royal Liverpool Hospital
  • that the South Merseyside centre should be based at the Countess of Chester Hospital
  • that for those patients in mid-Mersey who would previously have been referred initially into Whiston Hospital, there will be options to be referred to either centre.

Read the full press release from The Boards of NHS Merseyside and NHS Cheshire Warrington and Wirral.

Patients Unclear About Hospital Transport     May 2012

Patients told us it is not always clear about whether they qualify for use of ambulance transport to get to their hospital appointments.

We did some investigation and learned that practice staff weren’t always fully aware of the criteria for deciding if patients were eligible for the transport. As a result we alerted North West Ambulance Service (who provide patient transport services) and they have re-issued the guidance to GP practices to clarify the arrangements.

GP Practice Websites    February 2012

Following feedback from our members and patients, we supported GP Practices to help them develop more user-friendly websites.

As a result, in all 37 GP Practices now have websites that:

  • Have details about their GP Practice Patient Participation Group (PPG), including details of how to join, notes of meetings held, and the results of patient satisfaction surveys
  • Include information on how carers can receive support and advice
  • Include a section on “having a baby in West Cheshire”
  • Include information about the choices they have as a registered patient

Any Qualified Provider consultation    October 2011

The Department of Health has committed to working alongside the NHS to support the phased roll out of extended patient choice of Any Qualified Provider (AQP). The roll out will start with selected community and mental health services from April 2012. By choice of Any Qualified Provider (AQP) the Department of Health means that when patients are referred (usually by their GP) for a particular service, they should be able to choose from a list of qualified providers who meet NHS service quality requirements, prices and normal contractual obligations.

As part of the Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral NHS Cluster we recently asked you to help identify which services local people would like to see opened up to wider choice of clinicians. A survey was distributed electronically through a variety of networks to gain responses to the consultation. The survey was divided into three groups, responses from the General Public, General Practitioners and Stakeholders (specifically shadow Health and Well-being Boards).

Read the result of the consultation and the recommendations.

Real Accountability - Annual Report on Consultation    April 2010 - March 2011

Over the past twelve months West Cheshire Health Consortium and NHS Western Cheshire have worked with local people on various issues affecting the decisions we make about local health services. Many of the experiences and intelligence we’ve heard about from patients, carers, public, local voluntary and third sector organisations and our public sector partners have helped us to shape our plans for local health services.

The various events and activities are documented in our annual report: Annual Report on Consultation 1st April 2010 – 31st March 2011

Unplanned Care    Summer 2011

During the summer of 2011 we have been consulting with you about your use of health services in the event of an urgent health problem.

One out of every four people who go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) don’t need to be there, at a cost of over £79million a year and the cost is rising. The NHS in Western Cheshire offers a wide range of services, from advice and information to a face-to-face appointment with a GP, yet many people still turn to Accident and Emergency with minor problems they could deal with outside of hospital.

We therefore wanted to harness "people power" in a bid to solve the problem. We asked you to fill in a simple survey –online or at your GP surgery- which tested what you know about local services and asked what you would do in a range of situations. Please check back soon to find out more about the outcome of this exercise and how your feedback will be used to plan services in future and drive how they will be promoted to the public.

Making Challenging Choices about Health Care    Spring 2011

In January 2011 the Consortium embarked on an engagement programme to hear what local people had to say about their personal health priorities and in particular their views about suspending temporarily funding for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), so it could take their views into account as a fundamental part of its decision-making process.

This report highlights the outcomes of the engagement process and the next steps that will be taken in the engagement programme for the West Cheshire Health Consortium.

Read the whole report and its appendices.

“Question Time” Event    Autumn 2010

The new NHS White Paper “Equity and Excellence, Liberating the NHS” set out ambitious plans for reforming healh services and therefore we offered local people the chance to put their questions to an expert panel which consisted of two GPs from the Consortium (Dr Huw Charles Jones and Dr Andy McAlavey) and our interim chief operation officer, Alison Lee as well as representatives from the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The event took place in October 2010 and was chaired by Roger Phillips from BBC Radio Merseyside.

Read the feedback summary or the full report. To listen to an audio recording of the event please visit our interactive zone.