Weekend Four

Reflections from The People’s Panel on Health and Care

What the Panel said

JULIE: “On Weekend Four we were presented with the final list, if you like. An end result of the work we’ve done so far. And priorities that we’ve decided are the most important.”

HARRY: “On the last weekend…it was very hard work, actually. We had a list of questions, seven, that we’d already narrowed down. And that was hard work in itself.”

COLIN: “So people were split down from the 100 into smaller groups of half a dozen or so. So we were able to discuss and get everything out.”

DEBBIE: “We took one of the issues and our task was to actually write a problem statement for it.”

HAZEL: “So we had to make the sentence more understandable to somebody who wasn’t within the Panel. Somebody who’s completely new in seeing that statement from a different perspective, or with a new eye.”

JULIE: “As individuals we had to vote for which topic, or which three topics, we wanted to give our priority to: one, two and three and in that order. There’s not a subject that doesn’t need addressing, so it’s just when and where.”

CAROL: “The voting, for me, was very hard. Because it was all important.”

PENNY: “All the problem statements will involve an awful lot of work. And there’s no way one could attempt to address all those. So it made good sense to pick out the three that one felt were the priority. That would have the most impact.”

HARRY: “And the beauty about the process, and it’s something that we’ve all got to accept, it was a democratic process. And we all had an equal say. So although I feel strongly about it, the other 99 people may not have felt as strongly and that’s the reason it’s got number four. And that’s the democratic process, you’ve got to accept that. I’m not going to go kicking and screaming in the street and go to the newspapers about it.”

JULIE: “So when we realised the work was all finished…there was a sense of relief, almost. That we had achieved what we set out to do, as a group.”

BONNIE: “Since I’ve been in the Panel, I’ve realised that to such a big problem there can be so many different views and perspectives as to how to solve it. And this Panel exactly did that. And brought all the views and opinions together, so that was really interesting for me.”

JULIE: “It has changed my sense of myself, being able to take part. And it has really given me hope for the future of society. So it’s been a massive achievement and I’m really grateful to have taken part.”

CAROL: “I want to do the next one. I hope I’m chosen because I want to do it again!”

NEIL: “It’s been a really humbling experience to have the opportunity to listen to all the guest speakers but also other people on the Panel. Their stories. And what it reinforced to me is just how much health and social care, and the issues that they face, touches on everybody’s life. And, actually, with people coming together with a common purpose, where we all want to make a positive difference, we can make a change. We can make a difference. And it’s amazing to think how much we’ve already achieved, just on the Panel. And hopefully it’ll be taken forward and deliver a really good outcome.”

COLIN: “Although we didn’t know each other that well, it was still like being a family. In one way I miss the weekends now.”

LEANNE: “This Panel has allowed a lot of creativity. And it has been great that they’ve come down to us ‘ordinary people’, if you like. From all our different nations with all our different experiences and views, to listen to what we’ve got to say. And I think the power has been how it has evolved working in the groups. I think it’s been incredible and we’ve achieved huge things.”