Start with People network

The Public Participation team in NHS England and NHS Improvement has been working with colleagues across the system to develop a Start with People network which was launched in January 2020.

This interactive network is aimed at anyone in health and social care who is involved in improving engagement with people and communities.

The purpose of the network is to:

  • Offer peer-to-peer support
  • Share knowledge, good practices, resources and approaches to engagement
  • Provide professional development and learning opportunities
  • Build a culture of engagement and a consistent approach
  • Build a wider community of practice to support those who are interested in this field of work


As an engagement practitioner I know how hard it can be to find the right support.

It can be tough to find people to share frustrations and ideas with, constantly make the case for genuine involvement with people and communities and to remain committed to ensuring that people and communities are able to inform, influence and be involved in how our health and care system delivers for them and their families.

Olivia Butterworth, Deputy Director, People and Communities


You can read Olivia’s blog ‘Creating a people-powered NHS‘ where she talks about the network and its benefits.

By joining the Start with People network, you will have the opportunity to stay updated and connected with your peers and find out the latest news via:

  • Monthly email updates
  • Online discussion forum
  • Learning, development and peer support opportunities
  • Face-to-face events

To sign up to this network, attend launch events and for monthly email updates, email the Public Participation team: