Those of you who follow us regularly or on Twitter will probably be aware of a project that we are working on called NHS Citizen. This NHS England project, which we are working on with partners Involve, The Tavistock Institute and Demsoc, aims to answer one simple question: What is the best way for NHS England to take into account the views of all the public when making decisions?
We have been working on the project for quite some time, but the past month has been particularly busy and has seen the culmination of a pretty intense period of work. First, we had the NHS Citizen Assembly test on the 18th September. This was the biggest test to date for the NHS Citizen project, and involved 250 people coming together to discuss five subject areas before reporting their recommendations to members of the board of NHS England. Delegates included members of the public, voluntary sector representatives and patients. The five areas discussed were gender ID services, mental health, personalised care, access to services and young people’s health care. These five discussions were joined by members of the NHS England board, who were able to hear first-hand the thoughts of the delegates. We also trialled a “virtual table” which enabled participants to contribute to the conversation remotely. The feedback we received on the day from delegates was overwhelmingly positive; and the board members made commitments to respond to what they had heard. As a team, we all left the event feeling utterly exhausted, but really optimistic and hopeful about the next stages of this exciting project. You can watch the webcasts of the main session and the discussion rooms at the event here.
Finally, we have just concluded our Birmingham design workshop. The event was designed to discuss how NHS Citizen can work effectively with local organisations and health providers. Although much smaller than the assembly meeting, this was nonetheless another important event in the NHS Citizen project. The conversations at the event were really lively and it has been really productive to meet some local advocates. We also used the online discussion tool to enable virtual participants to contribute to the room discussion. This was a great success with over 700 comments on the forum. Discussions included: problems faced by NHS Citizen, blocks to and enablers of success and looking at local challenges. You can watch the webcast of this event here.
We are now working towards the next design workshop which will be held at the end of January. It’s set to be another busy few months!
You can find out more about the NHS Citizen project here.