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Final Report > Summary > Public involvement through empowerment

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Public involvement through empowerment

The public are entitled to expect that means exist for them to become involved in the planning, organisation and delivery of healthcare

98 A patient-centred service is one that is designed and planned to address the needs of the particular sectors of the public it exists to serve. Strategic planning at national level, and decisions at local level must involve the public.

99 In its everyday working the NHS must take account of and respond to the interests and needs of the public.

100 The public must be involved in those processes designed to secure the competence of healthcare professionals, particularly in those bodies charged with setting standards for education, training and Continuing Professional Development.

101 The principles which should inform future policy about involving the public and patients in the NHS include:

  • Patients and the public are entitled to be involved wherever decisions are taken about care in the NHS.
  • The involvement of patients and the public must be embedded in the structures of the NHS and permeate all aspects of healthcare.
  • The public and patients should have access to relevant information.
  • Healthcare professionals must be partners in the process of involving the public.
  • There must be honesty about the scope of the public's involvement, since some decisions cannot be made by the public.
  • There must be transparency and openness in the procedures for involving the public and patients.
  • The mechanisms for involvement should be evaluated for their effectiveness.
  • The public and patients should have access to training and funding to allow them fully to participate.
  • The public should be represented by a wide range of individuals and groups and not by particular `patients' groups'.

102 The priority for involving the public should be that their interests are embedded into all organisations and institutions concerned with quality of performance in the NHS: in other words, the public should be `on the inside', rather than represented by some organisation `on the outside'.


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