Engaging people

7.15. The NHS Long Term Plan has been developed based on the advice and experience of clinical experts and other stakeholders, patients and the public. Engagement has been integral at all points of the developing the Plan.

7.16. We are grateful to everyone who shared their time, energy, expertise and experience through this process which included:

  • 14 working groups that ensured our proposals benefited from a breadth of expertise and experience, with membership drawn from a range of organisations including patient groups, staff and clinical representatives and senior doctors, nurses or Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), and local NHS leaders;
  • 200 distinct engagement events, and over 2,500 responses to our engagement questions from a range of respondents and organisations together representing a combined total of 3.5 million individuals or organisational members/supporters;
  • work in partnership with the Patients Association and Healthwatch England to engage patients and the public, with Healthwatch England submitting evidence from over 85,000 people.

7.17. We will build on the open and consultative process that this Plan is built on, and strengthen the ability of patients, professionals and the public to contribute, by establishing an NHS Assembly in early 2019. The NHS Assembly will bring together a range of organisations and individuals at regular intervals, to advise the boards of NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the ‘guiding coalition’ to implement this Long Term Plan. The Assembly membership will bring insight and frontline experience to the forum where stakeholders discuss and oversee progress on the Long Term Plan. Its members will be drawn from, among others, national clinical, patient and staff organisations; the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector; the NHS Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs); and frontline leaders from ICSs, STPs, trusts, CCGs and local authorities.

Our National Health Service was founded in 1948 in place of fear – the fear that many people had of being unable to afford care for themselves and their families. And it was founded in a spirit of optimism – at a time of great uncertainty, coming shortly after the sacrifices of war. At its best our National Health Service is the practical expression of a shared commitment by the British people: over the past seven decades, there when we need it, at the most profound moments in our lives. But as medicine advances, health needs change, and society develops, the Health Service continually has to move forward. This Long Term Plan shows how we will do so. So that looking forward to the NHS’ 80th Birthday, in a decade’s time, we have a service that is fit for the future.