Peer Leadership Academy opens for applications

NHS England’s Personal Health Budget Team and the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme are currently welcoming applications from patients, carers and families to join their Peer Leadership Academy for 2016/17.

Run in conjunction with Peoplehub, the academy will provide an opportunity for people who have experience of social care personal budgets, personal health budgets, or joint funded personal budgets, either as a direct recipient or as someone who has significant involvement in managing a personal budget on another’s behalf, to become more closely involved in the national programmes.

NHS England’s business plan for 2016/17 recognises that “harnessing the energy of patients and public remains a huge untapped resource.”

Across the organisation, a number of initiatives are underway to ensure services are created in partnership with citizens and communities, making sure that all voices are heard, and the Peer Leadership Academy is one example of putting this commitment into action.

Successful applicants to the Peer Leadership Academy will join a six day programme, spread across a number of days beginning in July 2016.

The academy will support people to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to play an important role in programme development and delivery at a national level.

Working closely with people who have lived experience is recognised as fundamental to the work of both Personal Health Budgets and Integrated Personal Commissioning balancing system level priorities with things that matter most to people.

Previous attendees of the academy have gone on to speak at high profile events about their experiences, and continue to shape the programmes as ambitions for personal health budgets and Integrated Personal Commissioning are scaled up.  A number of attendees are also involved in the national peer network, which works closely alongside the programmes to develop new policy and good practice.

James Sanderson, Director of Personalisation and Choice at NHS England, added: “Putting patients at the centre of their care is fundamental to our work. This means putting patients at the centre of health service delivery at every level, including national, regional, local, and at individual level.

“The Peer Leadership Academy ensures that people have an opportunity to gain the skills and confidence they need to make an impact on a national level, and genuinely work in partnership with us at NHS England to lead work to redesign care for people with complex needs in England”

Jean, who took part in the Academy in 2014, said: “The academy gave me a good understanding of personal health budgets, a much better understanding from the professionals side of ‘roll out’ and the confidence to challenge and question all procedures. I felt the training was very worthwhile and I could not have done the amount of work I have done without it and I hope many more family members come forward to be trained.”

  • For more information about the opportunity, and to download an application form go to the Peoplehub website. You can also speak to Jo Fitzgerald, Lived Experience Lead at NHS England by emailing
  • Applications must be received by 9am on Monday 6 June. Interviews will take place on the Thursday 16 and Tuesday 21 June in London, and Friday 24 June in Leeds.
  • Now read more about this subject in a blog by Jo Fitzgerald, NHS England’s Lived Experience Lead.