Peer leadership

What is a peer leader?

Developed with people with lived experience, NHS England’s Lived Experience team’s definition of a peer leader is:

“a person with lived experience who is committed to working collaboratively with the health and care system to provide leadership and empowerment for strategic coproduction, peer support and self-management education.”

As a peer leader, you will learn:

  • about personalised care and how you can benefit
  • how to develop peer support
  • how the ‘voice’ of people with lived experience can shape and influence how health and care services are developed and delivered.

What is the Peer Leadership Development Programme?

Action 18 in Universal personalised care: Implementing the comprehensive model commits the NHS to ‘train up to 500 people with lived experience to become system leaders by 2023/24’ and ‘empower people with lived experience to access personalised care by providing good quality information’. The Peer Leadership Development Programme was set up to deliver that commitment.

The Peer Leadership Development Programme is a free personal development programme for people with lived experience.

The programme is delivered online via an accessible and interactive learning platform called Future Learn.  The first two steps are completed in your own time, at your own pace. On the third step, people come together as a small group. Step three is facilitated by the NHS Lived Experience team using FutureLearn and Microsoft Teams.

The first three steps work together to enable people with lived experience of a long-term health condition to become a peer leader:

  • Step one shares knowledge and helps people grow in confidence to improve their own situation
  • Step two helps people to use what they’ve learnt for the benefit of others
  • Step three develops people to become peer leaders. People learn how to support others through peer support and how to effect positive change in the health and care system.

The final building block is step four, which is open to peer leader graduates. This step enables peer leaders to extend their skills to become peer leader facilitators, building capacity within the system and enabling sustainability of the programme.

Hear from peer leaders about their experience of the Peer Leadership Development Programme.

How do I join the Peer Leadership Development Programme?

Get started straight away by taking step one of the Peer Leadership Development Programme.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email:

November 2022 is #100PeerLeaders month

In Universal personalised care,  Action 18 we committed to developing 500 peer leaders by 2023/24. As part of that commitment, we are embarking on a #100PeerLeaders campaign in November, starting with three key events, encouraging people to learn more about personalised care, to support themselves and others and to be part of collaborating with health and care services.

Join in the conversation and follow #100PeerLeaders on social media. If you are interested in becoming a peer leader, join our webinars to find out more about the programme and what it means to be a Peer Leader:

  • 1 November 2022, 1-2.30pm: Finding out about personalised care
  • 2 November 2022, 1-2.30pm: How to support yourself and others living with long term conditions
  • 3 November 2022, 1-2.30pm: Working with others to improve healthcare services

Simply register for the event(s) you are interested in and we will send you a link to join.