Stakeholder engagement to support NHS Southwest London’s Better Value, Better Services Review


Better Services Better Value (BSBV) is a review of NHS health services across south west London and Epsom and the surrounding area, led by local doctors, nurses and health professionals. The BSBV review is looking at ways to improve the quality of patient care and health services in South West London, and to make sure the local NHS spends its money as effectively as possible. With this in mind OPM was commissioned to run a series of engagement events with members of the public and other stakeholders. The events were designed to allow participants to:

  • Reflect on the challenges facing health services in South West London, and consider how far these challenges justify a review of how services are delivered;
  • Explore initial options for change being considered by the clinical working groups in relation to the five service areas; and
  • Agree on a broad set of principles and/or criteria to guide further option development and decision making.

What we did

OPM ran four events with local residents and stakeholders from across South West London in July 2011. The two public events involved 153 members of the public, representing all the boroughs in South West London and in line with the demographic profile of these communities. Many participants had recent experience of the specific health services under discussion. The two stakeholder events brought together 48 stakeholders, including patient representatives, local councillors, local authority officers, clinicians and voluntary sector representatives.

The events were independently evaluated by the Consultation Institute who concluded that “all four events met our criteria for Best Practice”.

Following on from the public engagement events, OPM was commissioned OPM to run a large deliberative engagement event with GPs from across south west London to allow them to engage fully with these strategic issues, and to help shape the future of health services in south west London.

OPM designed and hosted three engagement events during January 2012 involving over 100 stakeholders. The aims and objectives of the events were to:

  • Brief the public and other stakeholders on the options appraisal process for the Better Services Better Value review and develop confidence in and understanding about it;
  • Seek feedback on the possible different approaches for the options appraisal process; and
  • Assess levels of support for and areas of concern about the different options appraisal approaches (and participants’ views about how to address any concerns).


We set out some of the learning from this process in an article for the Health Service Journal. Ultimately engagement in service reconfiguration makes a difference, because it accepts some form of change needs to take place. Therefore, when consulting, the parameters of dialogue are set so conversations do not focus on “if” services should change, or indeed ‘why’, but ‘how’ provision can be reorganised to better meet our needs in future.