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.