On 02 September 2020 at 7pm we will be holding a live virtual event to share the feedback on the mental health public consultation which took place earlier this year.
The event will present the feedback but not comment on it.

Frequently asked questions:

Why are you holding this event?

We believe it’s really important that we openly and honestly give the people of Somerset the opportunity to hear what people said in response to the public consultation.
We hope that by presenting the report in a public event (albeit a socially distanced virtual event) we will be able to share the information with many more people. We will not be commenting on the feedback – we are simply presenting it.

What can I expect from the event?

The event will be hosted by David Heath, Non-Executive Director, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, who will welcome all attendees, set out the purpose of the event and how it will run, outline how the Q&A function will work and introduce the presenters.

Dr Peter Bagshaw (GP and clinical lead for mental health, autism and learning disability services) and Andrew Keefe (deputy director for mental health, autism and learning disability commissioning) will present the independent analysis of the consultation feedback.
This will include:
• the consultation proposals
• how we ran the consultation
• how the feedback was analysed
• potential equality impacts
• key themes from the feedback – for and against the proposal
• suggestions for amending or enhancing the proposal
• other issues people suggested were important
• feedback on the consultation itself

David Heath, the host, will then feedback back a summary of the questions and comments received during the event, with clarification and answers where available. The next steps will then be outlined and the event will finish.

How do I access the event?
Click the link here at 7pm to view the live event.

Will I be able to ask questions or give feedback during the event? 

The event will be hosted on MS Teams Live. Just like many television or radio programmes you will not be able to speak to the presenters direct but you can send in your comments and questions using the Q&A function.

Any questions or comments posted to the Q&A function will go to the moderator who will be a member of our staff. They will collate all the questions and comments and at the end of the presentation they will share a summary with the host who will feed these back to the audience along with any answers or clarification that we are able to provide.
Please note that we will only be able to answer questions about the process we have followed and the next steps.

We can’t answer questions about the decision-making business case as this is currently being developed. It will be published with the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body papers approximately a week before the CCG Governing Body meeting on 24 September.

All questions and comments will be captured and recorded as part of our consultation record and will form part of the appendices of information provided to the CCG Governing Body meeting on 24 September.

You can find out more about the CCG Governing Body at: www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/about-us/our-governing-body/

What weight will the consultation feedback have in terms of the decision making process?

Whenever we make a decision about improving or changing our services, we need to be confident the decision is properly informed by public opinion.

We consult the public on service change in line with our consultation strategy. While we can’t guarantee they are always going to agree with our proposals and service changes it is important that we hear their views and include them in our decision-making.

Of course, our decision-makers will always need to weigh the views shared through consultation against a wide range of other factors. These will include government
guidance and legislation, data which shows us the needs of our different communities and populations, financial costs, environmental impact, staffing and sustainability.
Consultation also rarely identifies a single opinion or view from the public. So each member of the CCG Governing Body will have to make their own judgement about the weight to be given to each of the views expressed. The CCG Governing Body will also have to consider carefully whether the needs of future generations – who may, in some cases, be most affected by any change in service – might differ significantly from those who currently use them.

Put simply, the results of consultation do not replace the role of the CCG Governing Body in decision-making. Public consultation does, however, help inform good and responsible decision making and make sure that, as far as possible, the decisions and the actions that arise from them reflect and respond to the needs and views of the people of Somerset.

How will the consultation feedback be used?

The feedback we have received is already informing the development of our decision-making business case. A dedicated section of the decision-making business case will review each key issue raised in the response to the consultation, a discussion and evidence and the conclusion and response.
The decision-making business case will be considered by the CCG Governing Body.

What happens next?

A decision-making business case on the proposal is due to be considered by the CCG Governing Body at our meeting in public on 24 September 2020.
These meetings are being held virtually at present (in line with national guidance) but any member of the public is able to attend and listen to the discussion (and raise any questions in advance through the public questions agenda).

The papers for the CCG Governing Body meeting are posted on our website a week before the scheduled meeting. Visit: https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/publications/governing-body-papers/

Will the decision-making business case be published as part of the papers online and when?

Yes, the decision-making business case will be published online on the CCG website one week before the Governing Body meeting is scheduled to take place. The meeting is scheduled for 24 September 2020. You will be able to find the papers here: https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/publications/governing-body-papers/

How will the Governing Body make a decision? Do they vote?

Yes, the Governing Body will vote on the decision. The CCG’s constitution states that every question put to a vote at a meeting shall be determined by a majority of the votes of members present and voting on the question. In the case of an equal vote, the person presiding (i.e. the Chair of the meeting) shall have a second and casting vote.

If I disagree with the outcome of the Governing Body’s decision, how do I appeal this?

Decisions taken by the NHS on the reconfiguration of services can be challenged through two different and entirely separate processes:

• an application for a judicial review (made by a private individual (although may be funded/supported by campaign groups))
• a referral to the Secretary of State for Health and Social care for a review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (made by a Local Authority overview and scrutiny committees)
Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. Judicial review is a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made and is focused on whether the right procedures have been followed, rather than with the decision made by the public body.