Engaging patients

Engaging service users and the public in sustainable health and care

The SDU has been working with patients and carers to improve sustainability across the NHS, Public Health and Social Care system.

We have produced a practical guide to help organisations think through how they build staff, service users and public engagement into their work on sustainability - see bottom of page.   

This is an important focus for us since service users and patients’ support for sustainability is crucial to the agenda.

To consider how best to engage we held a workshop with leaders, voluntary organisations and patient representatives to discuss the issues.

We found sustainability is important to service users and carers because getting issues such as transport, parking, waste and  medication right for them affects their lives.  

Engagement pays - it makes good business sense to involve users and the public and take account of their individual experiences:

  • Involving service users in decisions about their own health and care has the potential to boost outcomes, reduce unnecessary consultations,
  • reduce unwarranted variations, improve patient experience, improve concordance with treatment and makes the best use of limited resources
  • Understanding peoples experience of services can help you identify areas of waste and inefficiency and how to make services better
  • Service users and the public can you help redesign care pathways so that they are more user friendly and efficient


The law requires you to engage service users and the public and take account of their experience. Check the following:

  • Health and Social Care Acts 2006, 2012
  • Equalities Act of 2011 and the Equality Delivery System
  • Authorisation criteria for Clinical Commissioning Groups

The documents below were developed for the NHS in 2012.  They will be updated to reflect the recent changes to the health and care system.