Published on March 6, 2014

Even more reflections on NHS Expo 2014

NHS Citizen

By Houda Davis

Houda Davis is a Research Assistant at Involve interested in participation in health, the environment and science and technology.

Photo credit TJBlackwell

Photo credit TJBlackwell

As part of the desire to design in public, NHS Citizen Team members were asked to reflect on #Expo14NHS, a two day exhibition and conference on innovation in the NHS.  Here are my thoughts…

  1. Conversations were thought provoking and often deeply personal and moving. It was particularly satisfying to hear people I had spoken to on Day 1 publicly express their views in the test Assembly Meeting on Day 2.
  2. Advocates from Change were inspiring – I look forward to being challenged by these usually hidden voices as we develop the system over the coming months.
  3. We were lucky enough to share the centrally located Community Space, complete with real daffodils, community café, speakers’ corner, visual graffiti artists and webcasting hub – it really was vibrant and buzzing with interesting conversation (although space and layout was a bit restrictive for the Assembly session).
  4. The number of contributions to Gather exceeded expectations and ‘access to information’ was chosen for the Assembly test run session. I was particularly impressed with the diversity of experiences and peoples’ ability to hold a conversation in the context of a much broader issue.
  5. People certainly saw potential in NHS Citizen Discover- Gather-Assembly model. In particular, people representing marginalised voices seemed most enthusiastic about the opportunity it offers.
  6. I met a few sceptical people – but not many. I am not sure if this is good or bad. I expected to be challenged more.
  7. NHS Citizen is spreading by word of mouth through networks of connected individuals- we need to act now to make the most of this wave.
  8. Many people promoted the need for more holistic views of the ‘human’ and the need for integrated services e.g. respite for carers = ‘a health issue’, but I did not meet anyone from social services
  9. Some people asked how NHS Citizen will connect local issues to the Board’s national responsibilities to really make a difference in the way services are delivered – we need to start working this out.
  10. was on peoples’ minds but no one seemed to be challenging or creating real conversation on this topical and important issue

Lastly, it almost goes without saying, the efforts of Team NHS Citizen, made up of individuals from five organisations (Involve, Tavistock Institute, Demsoc, Public-I and of course NHS England) made the two days both successful and immensely enjoyable.

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