In September 2016 NHS England published “Engaging local people: A guide for local areas developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans”. This document outlines the expectations on stakeholder involvement and in particular patient and public participation. A copy of 'Engaging People: a guide for local areas developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ is available here:
When there are proposals to substantially change services, the National Health Service has a duty to consult with their local community. There are longstanding rules to assure this.
All significant service change is subject to a full public consultation and proposals must meet the Government’s four reconfiguration tests. These are support from clinical commissioners, clarity on the clinical evidence base, robust patient and public engagement and support for patient choice. There is additional NHS England guidance which means that proposed service reconfigurations should be tested for their impact on overall bed numbers in the area.