King's College London

Research portal

Patient and public involvement in priority-setting decisions in England's Transforming NHS: An interview study with Clinical Commissioning Groups in South London sustainability transformation partnerships

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1230
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number6
Early online date14 Aug 2019
Accepted/In press16 Jul 2019
E-pub ahead of print14 Aug 2019
Published1 Dec 2019

King's Authors


Background: Patient and public involvement (PPI) in health-care commissioning decisions has always been a contentious issue. However, the current moves towards Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) in England's NHS are viewed as posing the risk of reducing the impact of current structures for PPI. Objective: To understand how different members in clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) understand PPI as currently functioning in their decision-making practices, and the implications of the STPs for it. Design: Thematic analysis of 18 semi-structured interviews with CCG governing body voting members (e.g. clinicians and lay members), non-voting governing body members (e.g. Healthwatch representatives) and CCG staff with roles focussed on PPI, recruited from CCGs in South London STPs. Results: There are contestations amongst CCG members regarding not only what PPI is, but also the role that it currently plays and could play in commissioning decision making in the context of STPs. Three main themes were identified: PPI is ‘going out’ into the community; PPI as a disruptive power; and PPI as co-production, a ‘utopian dream’?. Conclusions: Long-standing issues distinctive to PPI in NHS prioritization decisions are resurfacing with the moves towards STPs, particularly in relation to contradictions between the rhetoric of ‘partnership’ and reorganizations that foster more top-down control. The interviews reveal pervasive distrusts across a number of levels that are counterproductive to the collaborations upon which STPs rely. And it is argued that such distrust and contestations will continue until a formalized space for PPI in STP priority-setting is created.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454