Learning and support for people who bring their lived experience to a voluntary role

So you’ve decided you want to get involved in the work of the NHS – but what next?

NHS England works with a large number of Patient and Public Voice (PPV) partners and people with lived experience. These are voluntary roles as part of a wide range of programmes and boards in NHS England. For people in ongoing PPV partner roles (level 3 and 4 roles as defined by our Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partner Policy) we offer a range of training and resources

We have a range of resources that may be of use to support patient and public participation. Our page on case studies shows examples of a range of ways that patients and the public have worked in partnership with the NHS to bring about changes and improvements.

You can sign up to our newsletter ‘In Touch’ for updates about our work, including any new learning and development opportunities

How does the NHS in England work?

The NHS is a complex system, which can sometimes make it difficult to understand – especially working out who is responsible for what. It’s made up of a wide range of different organisations with different roles, responsibilities and specialities. These organisations provide a variety of services and support to patients and carers. The introduction of the Health Care Act, 2022 has changed the way the NHS is structured and how it operates in England.

You can find out more about the NHS structure in England and who does what by visiting the NHS website. The King’s Fund has also produced a short film How does the NHS in England work and how is it changing? and a free, four week, online course to help build your understanding of how it all fits together The NHS explained online course: how the health system in England really works

Elearning modules

We have a range of e-learning available to PPV Partners with level 3 or 4 roles with NHS England. It is also offered to people with similar roles providing strategic input into other parts of the NHS.

Our current e-learning modules include:

  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
  • Information Governance
  • Safeguarding level 1

(These first three modules may be required of people taking up a level 4 PPV Partner role – this will be detailed in the induction information for the role.)

  • Recognising and supporting carers
  • Commissioning together
  • Using social media to engage effectively with people and communities
  • Getting to grips with data and information in the NHS
  • Developing excellent relationships to maximise the impact of patient and public voice
  • High impact communication skills for meetings

Duration: Modules take between 30 and 90 minutes to complete.

Please register your interest by contacting england.ppve-learning@nhs.net

Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners Influence and Impact training course

What is it?

Two days (or equivalent) of interactive learning over Zoom, with a focus on influencing change and developing skills and confidence to make the most of the Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partner role.

Who is it for?

For PPV Partners involved in NHS England or in similar voluntary roles supporting health and care system transformation programmes (for example, within an Integrated Care System (ICS)) on a regular basis. It is aimed at people who are supporting major changes in health and care services and who would like to further develop their influencing skills.

Key topic Session aim
Exploring patient and public voice in the integrated health and care system In this module participants will gain a clear understanding of how Patient and Public Voice Partner roles fit into health and care and will explore the routes that are available, to have an impact, in different parts of the health and care landscape.
Patient and Public Voice Partner roles and


By the end of this module, participants will gain a clear and shared understanding of the role and key responsibilities of a Patient and Public Voice Partner.
Partnership and influence By the end of this module, participants will have explored effective skills for influence and collaboration through partnership working.
Putting it all into practice Participants will explore ways to increase their confidence, and identify some clear actions to take away

Feedback from past participants:

  •  ‘I felt fully supported to participate by the whole team, and equally, as importantly I didn’t feel forced to participate’.
  •  ‘I think all the trainers and peer trainers were highly skilled so thank you. Just keep up the good work! An excellent two days! Loved it’.
  •  ‘It was hard work but very rewarding. The breaks were timed well so the day was manageable’.
  • ‘It was an intense 2 days, but I think it worked well as it meant we were all completely focused for that time’.

We are now taking applications for a group to take part in this training. It is vital that you are able to attend all sessions from a group.

Group 7 Two full-day sessions

  • Wednesday 16 November 9.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 4.00
  • Thursday 17 November 9.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 4.00

The training will take place online, using Zoom.

When applying, please make sure you can commit to all the sessions within your group and that other meetings do not clash with the training.

Please return the application form for Group 7 by 9 am on Monday 24 October, to england.ppve-learning@nhs.net.

Applications will need a short supporting statement from an NHS employee who knows you and your work in your PPV Partner role (usually your lead contact or chair of your committee) – please allow enough time for your referee to provide this.