NHS Citizen is all about involving the public in NHS England decision making, and it is great to see so many citizens’ actively taking part and raising issues through the Gather forum.
Since Gather opened in early July, we’ve seen over 2,000 people sign up with 182 discussion threads on a variety of topical healthcare issues such as over-prescription of antibiotics, better support of young people into adulthood, access to wheelchairs, diabetes and mental health, to name but a few.
The Gather forum continues to be open for the public to suggest ways to improve NHS England services and join in current conversations on healthcare issues. However, at midnight on Friday 11 September there was a cut-off date for issues to be selected for discussion at an upcoming Citizens Assembly meeting in November. Any issues raised after this date will be considered for the next Citizens Assembly in 2016.
All issues raised before the 11 September have been reviewed by an independent panel to ensure they meet the necessary criteria: that is, they are they a national issue and do they fall under NHS England remit.
A total of 32 issues are now open to a vote – with voting closing today (5 October) – where the top ten issues voted for will be chosen to go to a Citizens’ Jury next month. You can read more about this process here.
Key upcoming NHS Citizen milestones
- 28 Sept – A public vote commenced. Everyone who registered on Gather before 11 September is eligible to vote.
- 5 Oct – Voting closes.
- 6 Oct – The final scores will be published and top 10 issues voted on will go forwards to Citizens’ Jury at the end of October.
- 27/28 Oct – A Citizens’ Jury will take place. 15 members of the public will review the ten issues and select five to go forward to a Citizens’ Assembly in November.
- 25 Nov – A NHS Citizens’ Assembly meeting will take place. The five issues will be discussed and debated between senior NHS England leaders and members of the general public.
The next few weeks are going to be very busy for the NHS Citizen team, as we manage the voting process and prepare for the upcoming Citizens’ Jury and Citizens Assembly. This is a valuable opportunity for us to connect with the public and to address the issues that matter to them. Please look out for more updates on the NHS Citizen website.