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Weekend One

Reflections from The People’s Panel on Health and Care

What the Panel said

JULIE: “A card came through the mail from Engage Britain. And it had kind of a summary about The People’s Panel and health and social care and what they were aiming to do. And I just thought ‘Finally. We’re going to try and speak to the people that matter’, you know? And the people that use it. And I just thought it was a great initiative.”

HARRY: “My initial thought was ‘No, I don’t want to get involved’ because I was very skeptical about whether it will make any difference. And I mulled it over for a day or two and then decided: If I don’t say or do anything, it definitely won’t make a difference. But, at least, if I do say or do something or say something there’s a chance, a possibility, a slim possibility that I could make a difference.”

HAZEL: “Absolutely excited about the Panel. Because somebody’s got to do something about health and social care. And knowing that there is a panel that actually engages the people that are actually in the sector. And the people that are actually using the service. So knowing that there’s a People’s Panel engaging Britain… that is amazing. I never knew that our views could be important, could be ascertained and be taken into consideration to try to shape Britain. So, yeah. Very, very excited about People’s Panel.”

CAROL: “The politicians, and people who make the decisions, do not see what’s happening on the ground. And it’s heartbreaking.”

HARRY: “The whole concept of the National Health Service was care, from cradle to the grave. Well, we’re getting care from cradle up until we get near to the grave. And then we’re being kicked off into social care. When the health ministers and the Prime Minister and cabinet sit around and make these decisions, that’s going to be impacting everyone in the country… This privileged group of people, these millionaires sat around the table making their decisions… where’s the layperson? Where’s Mr Ordinary around that table? Or Mrs Ordinary around that table saying ‘Wait a minute. That’s fine for you. But for me, it’s a big issue.’ ”

CAROL: “If we’re going to do something, we need to be involved. We don’t always want to listen. We want to talk. We want to ask questions. And we would like those questions answered.”

JULIE: “Sir Norman Lamb… initially, I was just impressed that they had someone so experienced and kind of high up, if you like. I hadn’t thought about politicians being just as frustrated as us… And it really struck a chord that I could feel how much he wanted to do. Yeah, I’ve always kind of thought that the politicians don’t really care. So getting that insight was really valuable, I think. And just, kind of, opened up a whole aspect I hadn’t considered.”

HARRY: “It was very stimulating, and quite exciting, to talk to people and to hear views. And to get a chance to put my view across to someone who’s willing to listen. So I really enjoyed the weekend and I’m really looking forward to the next one.”

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