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Today I attended the NHS England Annual Summit for Patient & Public Engagement at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre in London.

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients & Information at NHS England was the first keynote speaker and he gave a presentation on 'National perspectives made local'. His role covers Technology/information and patient/public participation.

Tim was keen for patients and the public to have their say and provide an 'authentic voice' to guide the NHS.

The next keynote address was given by Prof Paul Corrigan, a former adviser to Alan Milburn and John Reid as Secretary of States. He was also Senior Health Policy Adviser to PM Tony Blair.

Paul is currently acting advisor to the group of seven Chief Executive Officers who together form the Five Year Forward View Board.

The subject of his speech today was 'For a care model to be really new it needs to invest in the capacity of patients' and he made it very clear from the start that we must totally reject the notion that the elderly are in any way a burden.

He further explained that patients living with long-term conditions 24/7, year in year out, are the real experts when it comes to their own health. Indeed, their active self management makes services less expensive and the health service needs these 'expert patients'.

He was also insistent that patients and the public must be involved in prevention and that they are in fact the ultimate health service 'quality control'. Paul feels that viewing patients and the public as 'consumers' of health services gives them a more accurate status than patients who are simply 'directed' by clinicians.

Paul also hailed the expertise of the voluntary sector and said local authorities, working ever closer with health services, would bring better public engagement.

After lunch Sir Bruce Keogh took the floor. He’s NHS England’s Medical Director & professional lead for NHS doctors - leadership, quality and innovation.

He felt CCG's and Health and Wellbeing Boards should do more to prioritise the voluntary sector.

Speaking firmly in favour of public engagement he said 'no commercial company would survive without customer feedback so why should the NHS'.

Todays event provided up to date information and discussion about national policy and priorities that are directly relevant to my role, including the Five Year Forward View.

Connections and conversations with fellow PPE Lay Members and information about how to continue to engage with the network was also very useful.

It was also useful to take part in focused discussion on key topics such as Five Year Forward View, Primary Care, Working with Patient Groups and asset mapping, and the Voluntary and Community Sector.

All in all - a very interesting, thought provoking and worthwhile day.


Clive Hart
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