Opinions

Bringing people together to tackle Britain’s biggest challenges

Written by: Miriam Levin, Health and Care Programme Director, Engage Britain

Published: 23/02/2021

People

Engage Britain, a new charity is hosting 'Community Conversations' across the UK, to hear peoples views on health and social care.

Engage Britain is a new charity that believes people should have more say on the important decisions that affect all our lives. Like what happens to our NHS or how people can get the care they need.

Too many of us are not involved in these conversations – but who knows better what it’s really like to live in Britain today?

So Engage Britain wants to change that.

Change starts with a simple idea: people talking. Bringing together different viewpoints and experiences from across our communities.

We’re supporting people to come up with ways forward that can work in the real world. Because discussions have to move beyond talk – they need to lead to action. We’re here to support lasting change that improves people’s lives for the better.

But first we have to listen and share ideas, so we can develop new ways to tackle our greatest challenges together.

What is keeping people up at night most?

We’ve conducted several polls with people across the nation to find out the biggest challenge being faced in Britain today.

Everyone agrees health and care is the number one issue.

So how can we make sure everyone gets the health and care they need, when they need it? And how will it be funded?

That’s the challenge we’d love your help to answer.

How we’ll get there

Over the next couple of years, we’ll be bringing people together to discuss issues and co-design ways forward.

At every stage we’ll be testing plans to make sure the public is on board, that people who work in health and care believe the ideas are doable, and that ministers champion them in government.

The ultimate goal is for plans created by the British public to be put into practice, providing each of us with the health and care we need.

So what’s the first step?

Up until May this year, we’re supporting people to come together (online) for Community Conversations to share what really matters to them about health and care.

We’re keen for all voices to be heard. Not just members of the public but people on the frontline – nurses, doctors, carers – and people in receipt of health or care support in their day to day lives.

The more perspectives the better, so a rich picture is pieced together of different priorities. We hope to have 100 conversations in all, so ideas are fed in from communities with different views and experiences across the map.

What people share in these Community Conversations will become the foundation of the health and care plans drawn up. So it’s vital they are rooted in people’s real-life experiences of what’s working and what needs work.

Want to host a conversation in your community?

We’re currently looking for people across Scotland, England and Wales to host a Community Conversation with their friends, colleagues or neighbours.

There’s an involvement fee for hosts alongside free training, a discussion toolkit and plenty of opportunities to network.

If you would like to become a conversation host or take part in a conversation, do get in touch at healthandcare@engagebritain.org

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