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Three ICBs singled out for community engagement plans

Three ICBs singled out for community engagement plans
By Jess Hacker
15 February 2023

NHS England has singled out three ICBs for their ‘excellently produced’ strategy plans for working with the public.

The three Boards were highlighted as producing exemplary reports which other ICBs could consider emulating when including working with people and communities in their first annual reports NHS England suggests in new guidance.

Under the NHS Act 2006, commissioners including ICBs have a legal duty to involve the public in the planning and commissioning of services, with that engagement detailed in their annual reports.

ICBs have not yet had to produce their first annual report.

The new guidance, published this week, sets out core principles for producing these reports, alongside highlighting three ICBs – North Central London, Coventry and Warwickshire, and Humber and North Yorkshire – where their strategies on working with communities aligned with the new guidance.

NHS England said their plans were ‘visually engaging’, accessible, with clearly communicated commitments and  good use of case studies.

ICBs can choose to publish this report as part of their main annual report or as a standalone, as was done by several clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

NHS England said CCGs that took this approach demonstrated ‘the full breadth of ways they work with people and communities’.

It suggested ‘ICBs should make the whole annual report people-focused and bring it to life where possible by including stories from people and communities and from staff’, and that it should be delivered with ‘diverse communication styles’ including audio.

According to its new guidance, the report should:

  • Detail communications or campaigns that have helped engage the public
  • Outline its work with VCSE organisations and local Healthwatch, and financial support the ICB offered them
  • Highlight any connections the ICB might have with partner organisations who have helped connect with ‘diverse communities’
  • Set out what has worked well and what has not
  • Flag work by social media and marketing teams that has supported partnership working.

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