NHS Citizen was originally conceived back in 2012/13, and a programme of activities, (including design of democratic participation methodologies), was developed over approximately four years. During this time, over 4,000 people were involved from across the country, taking part in both physical activities and online conversations.
The NHS Constitution states that ‘the NHS belongs to the people’; and the NHS Citizen programme aims to embody these principles.
NHS Citizen believes that services shaped by people, (especially those with lived experience), are more likely to be needs-led and patient-centred, resulting in better outcomes. The overall aim therefore of NHS Citizen is to ensure that people and communities have an increasing say in health policy development; and how NHS services are commissioned, designed, and delivered.
The NHS Citizen programme reports directly to the NHS Citizen Advisory Group, with oversight through the Empowering People and Communities (EPC) Taskforce.
Membership of NHS Citizen’s Advisory Group includes:
- Key colleagues across NHS England, including nominated regional representatives;
- Partners from other Arms Length Bodies (ALBs), such as Healthwatch England, Care Quality Commission (CQC), and NHS Digital; and
- Four Patient and Public Voice (PPV) partners, appointed through an open recruitment process.
This programme framework will be underpinned by the following elements:
- NHS Citizen will set the foundations for cultural change across NHS England in relation to people and community participation, through ‘leadership by example’.
- NHS Citizen will focus on the key priorities within ‘Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’; as well as emerging needs and corporate priorities identified by the NHS England Board and/or EPC Taskforce.
- NHS Citizen will demonstrate the impact and difference that involving people and communities in healthcare can make, further strengthening the case for working with people and communities as partners.
- NHS Citizen will develop a co-ordinated approach with the Healthwatch network and the CQC, aiming to complement each other’s insight and work; and avoiding duplication.
- NHS Citizen will seek out opportunities to work in partnership with NHS Improvement, across our activities, (including potentially their ‘Getting It Right First Time’ initiative).
- NHS Citizen will work across social media and digital channels, to better engage with a wider demographic of people. This includes the use of visually appealing resources (containing infographics, photos, pictures etc).
If you are a member of the public, a Patient and Public Voice Partner (PPV) or someone interested in staying updated about NHS England news, training and development and opportunities to influence healthcare sign up to the In Touch newsletter.