Get involved

The NHS belongs to all of us. That’s why we’re committed to involving you in making decisions about your healthcare.

Under section 13Q of the National Health Service Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012), NHS England has a statutory duty to ‘make arrangements’ to involve the public in commissioning services for NHS patients. The Statement of Arrangements and Guidance on Patient and Public Participation in Commissioning sets out the  13Q duty for CCGs in more detail.

Consultation and Engagement

Differences between engagement and consultation

Involving local patients, members of the public, carers and patient representative groups is important to the CCG so that we can be assured of commissioning the best possible services that meet the needs of local patients and that represent the best possible value for money.

What is engagement?

Engagement describes the continuing and on-going process of developing relationships and partnerships so that the voice of local people and partners is heard and that our plans are shared at the earliest possible stages.  Examples of this type of engagement would include our patient participation groups and membership schemes where we ask members to get involved in various pieces of work.

It also describes activity that happens early on in an involvement process, including holding extensive discussions with a wide range of people to develop a robust case for change.

What is a ‘formal consultation’?

‘Formal consultation’ describes the statutory requirement imposed on NHS bodies to consult with overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs), patients, the public and stakeholders when considering a proposal for a substantial development of the health service, or for a substantial variation in the provision of a service.

Formal consultation is carried out if a change is ‘significant’. This is determined where the proposal or plan is likely to have a substantial impact on one or more of the following:

  • Access (e.g. reduction or increase in service due to change of location or opening times)
  • Wider community (e.g. economic impact, transport, regeneration)
  • Patients or users (either current or future)
  • Service delivery (e.g. methods of delivery or relocation of services)

The outcome of a formal consultation must be reported to the CCG Governing Body, together with the feedback received, and must show how this has been taken into account in any recommendations and decision making.

Who we engage with

The diagram below gives examples of the methods and key audiences included in CCG engagement.


examples of the methods and key audiences included in CCG engagement

Stakeholder map

The diagram below gives an example of our stakeholder map:


stakeholder map

NHS England involvement opportunities

To become involved in the work of NHS England and their Patient and Public Voice programme please visit

Here you will find information on the Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners Policy which sets out how NHS England supports PPV partners to be involved in its work. PPV partners include patients, service users, carers, families and other members of the public who are involved in NHS England’s work in different ways. The policy sets out the support and governance arrangements in place to enable PPV partners to be effective in their roles.


How we engage and communicate with our local population is set out in our communication and engagement strategy.

Communication and Engagement Strategy 2018 2020

There’s a few ways that you can get involved in the decisions that are made at HAST CCG, and help us to really make a difference to the health of our local communities.

Ways to get involved:

For more information on how you can get involved, or if you’d like to send us your views or feedback, contact the communications team at North of England Commissioning Support on 01642 745401 or email

Community Health Ambassadors:

Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees CCG (HAST CCG) has developed the Community Health Ambassador (CHA) programme to help it effectively engage and involve local people in the planning, development and commissioning of health services – with a particular focus on engaging people from minority, marginalised and disadvantaged groups and communities.

Since 2015 the CCG  has worked in partnership with Catalyst and Xivvi to recruit and manage a team of CHA volunteers who represent a wide range of communities from across all areas of the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees localities including those with learning difficulties/disabilities and their carers, BME community, deaf community, blind community, homeless community, over 50’s/ageing population, ex-offenders, faith groups, mental health and more.

Ambassadors are encouraged to provide feedback and recommendations that are solution focussed, allowing the CCG to provide a practical response to concerns and issues; whilst also providing a real opportunity to improve patient experience when accessing health services.

We currently have 9 ambassadors for Hartlepool and 12 for Stockton-on-Tees and we are actively recruiting. The CHA volunteers represent or are involved with a range of organisations/groups detailed below;


  • Age UK
  • HALO
  • Lifeline
  • Stockton United for Change (SUFC)
  • Thornaby Community Partnership
  • Healthwatch Stockton
  • Little Sprouts
  • Water Aid
  • Groundwork
  • LGBT Matters Stockton Voices
  • Over 50’s Assembly
  • Christians Against Poverty
  • Big Life Families
  • NHS North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals
  • Patient Participant Group – Norton Medical Centre
  • Lighthouse Mental Health Peer Support


  • Hartlepool Blind Welfare Centre
  • The Heart Community Centre
  • Epilepsy Outlook
  • Hartlepool Families First
  • Home Group
  • Wharton Trust
  • Hartlepool Deaf Centre

The CHA’s are a mix of employees and community volunteers who both make the most of their existing relationships via personal and professional networks to provide feedback to the CCG on key priorities as required. The role is often described as very flexible without a strict time commitment expected (other than Quarterly Peer Support meetings) and therefore the level of input from individual volunteers can vary massively.

The CHA Programme was nominated for the NECS Commissioning Awards 2016 and was Highly Commended in the ‘Excellence in Public Involvement’ category. A range of inclusive communication methods are used to ensure ambassadors and the wider publics’ diverse requirements are accommodated including

Internal – Support, feedback and guidance:

  • Quarterly peer support meetings – 5 held.
  • Monthly coffee mornings – 14 held.
  • 1-1 meetings
  • Social media groups
  • Email/telephone
  • Smartphone app ‘CHAmbassadors’

External – Communication, feedback and promotion:

  • Surveys
  • Printed/digital materials including leaflets, business cards, pens, banners, ID Badges etc.
  • Website and public Twitter/Facebook pages
  • Streetlife Social Media posts
  • Public events/stalls
  • Local printed press
  • Radio slots with Ignition Community Radio and Hartlepool Radio
  • Smartphone app ‘CHAmbassadors’
  • Catalyst mailing lists including weekly e-bulletin (500+ VCSE members)
  • CHA Volunteers’ networks, friends/family and community groups

Throughout the past year the CHA volunteers have attended a number of events/forums including:


  • Health Information Day – Hartlepool
  • Stockton Central Library Stall
  • Thornaby Library Stall
  • Thornaby Family Fun Day
  • North Tees Hospital Stall
  • TEWV Mental Health Information Showcase
  • Catalyst Conference
  • Billingham Community Centre Good Mood Food Café
  • Billingham Council Health & Wellbeing Event
  • SUFC Information Day
  • Big Life Families Family Fun Day
  • Stockton-on-Tees Locality Forums (Eastern, Western and Central)
  • Stockton-on-Tees Voice Forum
  • LGBT Stockton Voices

Please see outline report below of CHA activities in 2018.

CHA summary of Activities 2018

Interested in becoming a member? Please contact Nathan Duff via e-mail at or call 01642 733906

Accessibility Statement

NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG has events and opportunities throughout the year which enable local people to become involved in shaping local services.

These can include topic-specific focus groups, workshops and online surveys alongside stands and activities and events throughout Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees.

The CCG’s Governing Body and Primary Care Committee meetings are open to the public, as is the CCG’s Annual General Meeting.

The CCG is committed to ensuring that any public involvement event it holds caters for the needs of all local people and therefore provides:

  • British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters on request
  • Hearing loops within event venues
  • Wheelchair accessible venues
  • Halal / vegetarian catering where possible/ required
  • Language interpreters on request
  • Papers/ agendas in accessible formats including large print on request