Healthwatch Portsmouth welcomes the opportunity to be involved in public engagement on the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

The responsibility for consultation on the STP rests with the NHS organisations and guidance on how this should be undertaken was published by the NHS in September 2016.

Healthwatch Portsmouth seeks to ensure that the public have an opportunity to shape and influence health and care services and we can advise on plans for engagement and link with other local Healthwatch in the area of the STP to support engagement activities where appropriate.

We are independent of the STP process and we believe there must be adequate time for any consultation to be credible and that proposals need to be communicated clearly so that people can understand them and be able to respond in a meaningful way.

We would welcome further clarification on the role we can play, on the timescales for any public engagement and on what aspects of the proposals are open to being influenced and changed.

The Health and Wellbeing Boards in Hampshire will form a joint committee to provide strategic oversight and governance of the STP and we are very willing to work with them to ensure public engagement influences the shape and direction of health and care services over the next five years of the STP.