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One giant step for NHS Citizen – Tim Kelsey

The NHS Citizen project has reached its initial aim – developing a design for how NHS England can improve citizen participation and accountability.

This design is a huge step forward for NHS England.

As we have said before, the NHS is more than a care-and-repair organisation; it is a social movement. It relies not just on the professionalism and hard work of staff, but also on the love that many millions of people feel for this great institution.

For the NHS to survive and flourish in the future, it is this love and dedication that will drive the organisation forward. That’s why NHS Citizen is important: it sets out a blueprint for how everyone – patients, staff and the public – can take part in decision making and help hold the NHS to account.

This blueprint is now delivered and can be seen on the NHS Citizen design microsite. It describes how citizens can have a genuinely active voice in NHS England decision-making. Once built, citizens will have a way of raising their healthcare issues, concerns and ideas with NHS England and a say in how they are addressed by the NHS.

We have only just started this journey. So far NHS Citizen has been a relatively small project. The design was carried out in the open with events and other opportunities for people to take part in shaping and testing the blueprint. But now NHS Citizen will need to be made real, building the technology and starting a new national conversation about taking part in the NHS. This far more ambitious stage will require greater resourcing – and, immediately, some time to develop and plan.

Work will continue on NHS Citizen during this time, but over the next few weeks there will be less activity while this planning and funding is resolved.

That does not mean that NHS Citizen will be silent. At our hack days – on the 5 and 6 of June – developers, designers and technologists will compete for funding on two NHS Citizen technology challenges. There will also be more work on the NHS Citizen local development sites.

We also look forward to the publication of an evaluation report on this first stage of NHS Citizen, helping to mark the end of an important first step in this exciting project.

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One comment

  1. Sylvia Trevis says:

    Where is the need for this ?attended the Oxford meeting where this organisation first talked about themselves and the body of audience were not impressed or felt that there was a need. We do have Healthwatch locally who support the patient groups as well as the practices. The surgeries and GPs also have money to make sure they have a PPG and should all be active in their support. We also have Healthmakers, Healthmakers and facilitators, Peer Groups, PPGs etc as well as all the charities, so how much more networking and sharing should we do as patients?
    Surely the GPs and the NHS have so much experience that they should be sharing what they know with us as patients and pass this on. However, it seems that we are all to manage ourselves (as it should be) and stay fit and healthy but why do we need so many organisations to do it. The main port of call for any patient is the GP practice or the hospitals and so there is the main education centre etc and although these are businesses and in deed need to make money they also have our tax money to help us. We are all being asked to volunteer for more and more. I fear that in the end there will be very few volunteers and many more patients who need help as we are all living longer. The idea of ‘self-care’ is a good one but lets use the resources we already have with a little additional money and people to do the work.