What next for the NHS Constitution?

In his last post for this blog, Professor Steve Field explains what’s happening next

I’ve spent a busy but fascinating few months since July discussing how to strengthen the NHS Constitution. With fellow members of the NHS Future Forum, I’ve talked to patients’ groups and NHS staff, to people representing professional bodies and those in the voluntary sector.

We’ve been hosted by both Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Nottinghamshire Healthcare mental health trust, where we’ve had stimulating discussions – in Birmingham about what the Constitution means to young people and, in Nottingham, to users of mental health services. I’ve met people face-to-face and carried on the conversation through social media, using Twitter and this blog.  

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been drawing together the thoughts from all of those conversations. The NHS Future Forum is now finalising its letter to the Secretary of State, suggesting how we think the Constitution can be revitalised. We plan to send it to Jeremy Hunt this week. We hope the Government will consider our advice and act on our recommendations by feeding them into a public consultation on a refreshed and strengthened version of the Constitution, which will be open for anyone to comment.

Thanks to everyone who has read this blog, commented or joined the conversation on Twitter. Now that the NHS Future Forum’s work is complete, we are drawing this blog to a close.

Look out for the launch of the public consultation in early November. There will be a link to it from this site.

In my first blog post, I read out the inspiring opening paragraph of the NHS Constitution. For me, it encapsulates the spirit of the Constitution and how it sums up what our NHS is all about. Now more than ever, the NHS Constitution has a vital role to play. The public consultation is your chance to have your say on the Constitution directly. Please do get involved. Our NHS belongs to us all – and so does its Constitution.

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