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‘We’re trying to put the people that took part in the Panel at the heart of this whole process’

Our Health and Care Director, Miriam Levin, shares her reflections on the latest Ideas for Change sessions

We’ve taken the People’s Panel on a quite intense journey since autumn last year.

Usually with things like Citizen Assemblies, people come to a series of sessions, they might hear a bit about what happens after, but then that’s the end of their journey.

Whereas we’re trying to put the people that took part in the Panel at the heart of this whole process.

Because they set the direction of travel for all the work we’ve gone on to do. They are the ones who sent us down the two parallel tracks of poor communications in the NHS and social care staffing.

So they’re really important to the ongoing project. It was fantastic to get them back together again. You could see the bonds they’d built last autumn returning.

It turned out there were lots of people on the Panel who work in social care, draw on it or have experience with a family member. So they had loads to say about changing things for the better.

And we were bringing them back for a really practical reason. The Panel had told us that social care staffing was the number one issue. What were their thoughts a few months on?

What did they think could change about how social care staff are valued? And how could public perceptions of staff be shifted?

I’m intrigued to hear where the discussion goes.