NHS Citizen is a work in progress, but it will eventually be a participation infrastructure for NHS England, where participants can become citizens of the NHS, not just consumers of its services. Through NHS Citizen, people will be able to hold the Board to account, set the agenda for discussions, and find others with shared interests – all in an open, transparent and public environment.
Involve is working in partnership with Public-i, Demsoc and the Tavistock Institute, as well as the NHS England Public Voice team, to create a public conversation about improving the democratic landscape of the NHS and increasing citizen voice. This is a new approach to patient and public participation that seeks to broaden the public conversation on health and wellbeing, and put citizen voice at the heart of decision making in NHS England.
Why is NHS Citizen needed?
NHS England was established in April 2013 as part of the government’s wide ranging reforms of the health service. The main purpose of NHS England is to “improve the health outcomes for people in England” which it does through its responsibility to authorise the new clinical commissioning groups. NHS England is now a non-Departmental Public Body and is not directly accountable to Parliament.
There are many groups, structures and organisations who are already gathering and communicating ‘patient voice’, but it seems that this overall system is not working as well as it could and there is little opportunity for people to participate as citizens and co-owners of NHS England to shape strategies and priorities. Therefore NHS Citizen aims to become a system which connects conversations and voices, taking them to the heart of NHS England in a way that can not be ignored and leads to action.
Developing NHS Citizen in the open…
Since October 2013 NHS Citizen Design Workshops have taken place across the country to develop the structure, function and governance of the NHS Citizen system. You can read our reflections on workshops on the project blog. More Design Workshops and regional events are being held throughout 2014. These events have so far brought together people from across the health and care sectors, external experts on governance, transparency, open data and public engagement to develop ways of extending participation beyond patient and expert groups into the wider community. Events are open to all, web-streamed and all materials are shared on the NHS Citizen website. The NHS Citizen team has also been blogging about elements of design and development.
The current vision and system…
NHS Citizen will be a system that listens to citizens through both online and offline channels, curating these conversations and exploring evidence. There are four elements of NHS:
Involve has been working on what the Assembly Meeting will look like, how it will form its membership, how agenda items will be selected and what rules and structures will govern the process. The current state of discussion on the overall system is captured in the latest version of the System Document.
Find out more and get involved:
If you want to find out more, get involved, or follow progress then there are a number of ways you can do so, by:
Image credit: matsuyuki