NHSX has announced that it is looking for two ‘patient voice advisors’ to ensure it adequately involves the public in its work.
Chief executive Matthew Gould (pictured) said the organisation – in charge of health service digital policy – has not been consistent enough in how it involves patients, and that this is undermining efforts to make its services as useful as possible.
In response, it has put out a call for candidates who believe they could provide strong advice and challenge to its leadership team on how it brings patients into its work.
“We have not been consistent enough in how we involve patients,” Gould said. “So we are missing an opportunity to make our services as useful as possible.
“As Matt Edgar, NHS Digital’s associate director of design and user research has frankly put it: ‘People in national roles can be scared of public engagement, because we don't always know how to do it well, and we fear that it may derail our existing plans’.”
He said this reflects common practice in technology developments, involving end users in service development and design.
Gould pointed to efforts that have already been made involving a patient involvement workshop and the production of a playbook on the issue. The highlights themes such as placing a value on existing networks, such as charities and patient groups, being specific about problems with patients, and having a plan for involving people from the outset of beginning a work programme or digital service.