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Did the NHS neglect public & patient involvement in its pandemic panic?

This is an important article for several reasons. Firstly, it is a brilliant critique of the sad failure to involve public and patients in the top-down lockdown. Secondly, it provides a good rationale for the urgent necessity for greater public and patient involvement as we emerge from the lockdown period; it won’t be quick!  Thirdly, it discusses new approaches that we should all consider. Finally, it is timely. It can only be a matter of weeks before the NHS will have to reinforce its commitment to engage with those who use it. And that will be the moment for some searching questions. Can the NHS continue to consult separately from social care? Will it pay more attention to what the public is saying – now that so many have died due to excessive centralised decision-making? And can we harness the manifest goodwill towards the NHS to secure greater public interest in its decision-making?  This excellent article is a good start to the debate.

About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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