Democratic Society and Involve are working in partnership to design and deliver Engage Britain’s People’s Panel on Health and Care. The People’s Panel is part of a larger project run by Engage Britain – an independent charity bringing people together to tackle our country’s biggest challenges. Many people agree health and care is the number one issue facing the country today, so Engage Britain has launched a national drive to find out how we can make sure people across Britain get the health and care they need, when they need it. This larger project has four key stages:
- Stage 1 - Members of the public, frontline staff, and health and care users come together to share views and ideas with each other through Community Conversations. 100 Community Conversations have taken place between January - May 2021.
- Stage 2 - Over 100 people demographically representative people from across Britain come together as the People’s Panel to share their views, listen to what has come out of the Community Conversations and hear from experts in health and care. Panel Members will work together to explore health and care and prioritise key challenges to be addressed in the next stages.
- Stage 3 - Experts by experience, practice, and policy professionals will work together in a co-design process to turn the blueprint from the People’s Panel into practical plans for change. The People’s Panel will work alongside these groups to shape solutions.
- Stage 4 - The plans produced in stage three will be tested out with the general public, people who work on the frontline and politicians with influence over health and care decisions. These plans will be improved and re-tested to make sure everyone can get behind them.
People's Panel 1
In 2021, 100 people from across England, Scotland, and Wales came together online to form the People’s Panel on Health and Care. Across four weekends between September - November, Panel members worked together to explore how we can ensure everyone in Britain gets the health and care they need. Panel Members also met in-between weekends for short ‘Micro Group’ sessions where they had the opportunity to think, reflect, and build rapport with other Panel Members. During the weekend sessions, members:
- Heard the stories, views, and ideas that people shared in the Community Conversations, and shared their own
- Heard from speakers - including patients, carers, people living in care, health and care experts, and NHS staff
- Discussed issues with other Panel members and weighed up what matters to people
- Decided what next steps should be taken to solve health and care challenges
After lots of discussions and deliberations, the Panel prioritised two challenges to be addressed as part of Engage Britain’s next stages:
Workforce: Recruiting, training, and retaining social care staff to meet current and future demand.
Communications: Poor communication between different services, departments and patients and how this impacts people's lives and wellbeing. Especially those with multiple complex conditions.
To hear from the Panel Members about their experience of taking part in the process, please see the video below.
People's Panel Two
The priorities that came out of the People’s Panel have been taken into stage three of the Health and Care project. Engage Britain has brought together frontline staff, patients, people who use care support, and those who decide how health and care services are run to address the priorities from the People’s Panel, designing practical plans for change. These plans will be tested to make sure they will make a difference to people.
During People’s Panel 2, Panel Members work alongside these groups to ensure any solutions address the challenges they identified in the previous stage, and meet the need of members of the public.
Everyone who took part in People’s Panel One was invited back to People’s Panel Two. Of the 98 Panel Members, 68 have returned for this next stage, while many others will engage through online platforms to continue to share their thoughts and reflections. The Panel Members will come back together across four weekends between May - September 2022. During these workshops the Panel will have the following discussions:
Social Care Workforce Discussions
The People’s Panel will work alongside the Social Care Change Group made up of frontline care workers, people who draw on social care, people who run and deliver social care services. The Panel will support the Social Care Change Group to understand why this challenge was prioritised, and will review and provide feedback on solutions and recommendations identified.
The People’s Panel will review examples of best practice communications between the NHS and patients, put together by Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP). The Panel will think back to the evidence they heard from the Community Conversations and their own personal experiences to identify what they think are the most appropriate solutions from these best practice examples to improve communication and explore how they can be built upon and implemented more widely.
The package of solutions from this stage of the process will be shared at political party conferences in Autumn 2022.
Impact and Learning
Find out more from the people directly involved: https://engagebritain.org/inside-the-panel-part-one/
To find out more information about this project, please get in touch with Rachel Nixseaman, Network & Delivery Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Involve is a UK based public participation charity. They develop, support and campaign for new ways to involve people in decisions that affect their lives. Involve are committed to ensuring our democracies are vibrant and fit for the future by putting people at the heart of decision-making. You can find out more about Involve on their website. www.involve.org.uk
Engage Britain is a new charity bringing people together to tackle Britain’s biggest challenges. They support people across communities to share their different knowledge and experiences so they can work out ideas that answer the country’s problems. You can find more information about Engage Britain on their website. www.engagebritain.org
Cover photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-assisting-person-with-walker-6647037/