​Engaging Communities

Our Key Principles for Engaging with our Communities

Croydon CCG's vision for Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) is underpinned by these principles:

  • The CCG develops inclusive structures and processes: Our ambition is to embed PPI at all levels of our commissioning. This will help the CCG to ensure patients and the public become our partners in finding solutions to our shared challenges.
  • The CCG works to build capacity with commissioners and our public: Patients and commissioners develop shared understandings to help them work effectively together. And that there is support for creating environments that promote honest interactions, cultural competence, training and education.
  • The CCG value experience and knowledge as evidence: The experiential knowledge of patients, families and carer's is gathered, translated and used as a basis for developing actions by the CCG during commissioning.
  • The CCG use patient directed intelligence gathering:  We will engage patients in collaborative methods and be inclusive to a broad range of patients. Recognition will be given to the diversity of patients' needs.
  • The CCG will foster a shared sense of purpose:  Members of the CCG and our patients and public will work together towards the goal of improvements in the quality of services driven by patient-oriented outcomes.
  • Giving back: Mechanisms are in place for a continuous feedback loop in which the results of patient engagement are communicated back to patients, and that those who work with us recognise those results.

 5 pillars of excellence.JPG

Engaging Communities

Reaching Out

Members of the CCG communication and engagement team and CCG commissioners regularly visit community groups and organisations to talk to Croydon residents about their experiences of local services and hear what they think about our future plans to give them the opportunity to work with us to shape future health and care services.

Through getting out and about and meeting people across Croydon we are able to have in-depth conversations with local people who we might not usually speak to, people who do not feel their voice is heard or residents who face particular barriers which makes it more difficult to becoming involved in our work.

If you know of communities who would like to have their say on local health services, please contact us at Croydon-Get.Involved@swlondon.nhs.uk

As part of the South West London Health and Care Partnership we are working with Healthwatch Croydon to engage with local community groups as part of the grassroots outreach programme.

The programme awards organisations or community groups small grants to run a fun, social or educational event or activity for their existing users or local communities to help bring people together. The engagement team and relevant commissioners attend these sessions to speak to people we do not usually hear from about their experiences of local services.

During 2017 we went to 5 grass roots events and spoke to over 120 people. 2018 we went to 6 grass roots events and spoke to more than 150 people. You can read more about what they said here and here.

If you run an organisation or community group who would be interested in taking part in this programme, you can find out more on the Healthwatch Croydon website.

Where have we been?

During 2018 we attended:

  • 44 Outreach events
  • 14 Workshops
  • 12 Public Meetings
  • 8 Focus Groups

We spoke to over 2200 people. This year we wanted to find out more about how seldom heard groups experience our services, as well as finding out more about what they think are the priorities for our local health and care plan and what people see as good quality primary care. To find out more about who we spoke to and what they said see here 

Working with patients and public during commissioning

We are commit to involving you in the commissioning cycle.  Our engagement team actively work with our commissioners to support them to involve patients and the public.  We have an engagement guide which shows how crucial patient and public engagement is in the whole commissioning cycle, which is available here. We have also led learning events for commissioners which explains the public's role in commissioning.  You can view the presentation used, as well as an overview of the legal duty for the CCG to engage with local people. 

The NHS Commissioning Cycle

Below is an example of how local residents got involved in the procurement of Muscular Skeletal Services at different stages of the commissioning cycle.

MSK engagement during commissioning cycle.JPG


2018 was a very busy year for us. We celebrated 70 years of the NHS and our transformation programme went up a gear. We had a great time meeting over 2000 Croydon residents. Please click here to see what we got up to. 

Examples of some of the ways we engage with Croydon residents  

The table below gives a breakdown of some of the key activity undertaken by Croydon CCG in 2018 and the methods we used to learn more about patient experience and how we can improve services to better meet the needs of Croydon residents.

Please click here to read our PPI quarterly summary reports which gives details of all our engagement activities in 2018


Theme Purpose of PPI Methods used

Ear, Nose and Throat service (and several other planned care services)


(Service re-design)

To gain patient insight into current experience of the service.


To work with Patient Representatives to redesign the current patient pathways to become more embedded in the community.

  • Provider patient insight data
  • Friends and Family Test data
  • Working groups of Patient Representatives, clinicians and commissioners to redesign the ENT service

Development of 5 year local Place Plan


(Strategy and planning)

To gain guidance, comment and feedback on the development of the CCGs 5 year plan from partners, stakeholders, patients and members of the public.


Develop key outcomes for the project, based on Croydon resident's needs and wishes.

  • Large public and stakeholder event.
  • Outreach work with specific populations e.g. people with severe and enduring mental health issues, children and young people.

Diabetes service



To redesign the current diabetes patient pathway in Croydon with Croydon residents and community and voluntary sector groups.
  • Outreach events in areas with high prevalence of diabetes.
  • Targeted work with BME communities.
  • Open space learning event for patients, public, providers and stakeholders.
  • Steering group involving patients and public

Talking Therapies


(Improvement programme)

To work with targeted groups of local residents to understand why some communities in Croydon were not taking up the offer of Talking Therapies despite an identified need.


To help Croydon CCG and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) to promote the service more effectively 

  • Four insight focus groups comprising of:
  • Older people (Men)
  • Older people (Women)
  • Men (aged 18-30)
  • Men (aged 31-50)
Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme To train CCG Volunteers to run the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme for local residents with long term conditions as part of the CCGs self-care work. 
  • Training programme for 4 local Patient Representatives
  • 1 x pilot 6 week self-care programme to support local residents  on the Steering Group

Muscular Skeletal Service




Working directly with patients and the public to develop a new model for community physiotherapy services by shaping the options presented for the re-design of services and developing patient led service standards.


Patient representatives were engaged in the bidder evaluation process to ensure that the patient and public voice was heard throughout the process.

  • Procurement training
  • Targeted one to one work with seldom heard groups (through CVA).
  • Steering group meetings
  • Participating in Healthwatch Croydon Meet the Change Makers event.
  • Patient representatives supported the development of the service specification.


What you told us and what we doing about it

We have had hundreds of conversations with Croydon residents about the service we commission. During these conversations we have heard lots of ideas and suggestions for how we can make services more responsive and better able to meet the needs of local residents. You can see a summary of what you have told us and how this has helped us, or is helping us, to make positive changes to the work the CCG does on our page You Said – We Did (Are Doing)

During 2018-19 CCG Commissioners, Project Managers and the Engagement team have talked with hundreds of residents of all ages, people who work in Croydon health and care services, community and voluntary sector representatives, stakeholders and partners about the services we currently commission and how we can make them better so that they are more responsive to local people's needs and can support them to meet their ambitions for their own, and their families, health and well-being.

The table below gives a very brief summary of what people told us about the services we currently commission and how we can meet the challenges facing health and care services across Croydon in the future.

A detailed breakdown of who we spoke to as well as where and when are available here


Feedback from some more of our engagement events in 2018

Please see below for some more feedback on our events in 2018. Details of past events are also available on our engagement events page

Shaping Diabetes services – January 2018 

Meet the Changemakers – Planned Care Services (hosted by Healthwatch Croydon) – March 2018 

Meet the Changemakers – Mental Health Services (hosted by Healthwatch Croydon) July 2018 

Black, Asian and Minority Asian Grassroots Mental Health workshop – July 2018 

Black, Asian and Minority Asian Grassroots Mental Health workshop – November 2018 

Croydon Health and Care Place Event Summary of feedback – November 2018

Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme – January to February 2019

Croydon Voluntary Action – Making Every Contact Count – Asset Based Commissioning Annual Report 2017-18

Talking Therapies Patient Insight Focus Groups Report - September 2018

Feedback and Improvement

The CCG want to learn and continually improve how we engage with local residents. To help us do this we know it's important that we provide timely feedback to the people who have taken the time to talk to us, which is why we ask commissioners to tell us how they will feedback to participants when they are planning to engage with people and use the Joint Impact Assessment process to help us to ensure that this has happened.

An example of an engagement plan is here

We have also worked with south-west London Health and Care Partnership to develop an evaluation checklist to help us to learn what we did well and what we could do better in the future. Please see here for the checklist.