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The People’s Panel
Part 3: Deciding what to prioritise

Welcome to the final part of our series taking you inside The People’s Panel on health and care.

By the end of this phase, the Panel members had discussed the biggest health and care challenges people were facing. They focused in on seven issues. With each, the Panel looked at why it was important, who it affected and what the future would look like if it was fixed. Finally, the Panel voted on which of these seven issues should be tackled first.

What Part 3 covers:

The Panel’s top 7 issues, in priority order

1. Workforce – The health and social care systems are failing to recruit, train and retain sufficient staff to meet current and future demands. 

Hear the Panel explain in their words >

2. Fragmented system – Poor communication between different services, departments and patients leads to delays and gaps in receiving important care. This causes confusion, distress and disappointment for patients, especially for those with complex conditions and care needs.  

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

3. Lengthy process and waiting times – The referral process is disconnected and inefficient. It is outdated and has not evolved with the needs of people or advances in technology. There is poor information flow between primary, and specialist care. And poor communication between health and care services and people using them. 

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

4. Integrated health and social care – Service users are not always signposted in a timely manner to the appropriate health and social care services that best meet their needs. Delays in intervention can adversely impact patient outcomes. 

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

5. Mental health services – Experience suggests there is a lack of understanding, awareness, and education about mental health.

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

6. Holistic health and care – The system doesn’t require professionals to look at the bigger picture, which results in treating individual conditions and not the whole person.  

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

7. Prevention and early intervention – People can find it challenging to make an informed choice which leads to lifestyle issues creating pressures on the NHS.

Hear the Panel explain in their own words >

The Panel’s final reflections

NEIL (Panel member): “Being part of The People’s Panel has reinforced to me just how much health and social care touches on everybody’s lives. Hopefully it’ll be taken forward and deliver a really good outcome.”

JULIE (Panel member): “It has changed my sense of myself. And it’s really given me hope for the future of society. I’m really grateful to have taken part.”

It’s great to listen to ‘ordinary people’ and hear what we’ve got to say


What happens next

Now that The People’s Panel has agreed on the health and care issues to tackle first, the top two (workforce shortages and poor communication) will move into the next stage.

People who are most affected by these issues – including the public, frontline staff and decision-makers – will be brought together to co-design solutions:

But the job isn’t over for The People’s Panel.

They’ll be coming back together in 2022 to feedback on ideas. And to check that the solutions being put forward get to the heart of the issues the Panel prioritised.