Roadmap Produced for Heath Care Change
AmericaSpeaks’ international brand Global Voices partnered with a UK firm, Opinion Leader Research, to organize and facilitate a 1,000-person national citizens’ forum on health care in England. The 21st Century Town Meeting®, sponsored by the National Health Service, was part of an extensive citizen input process to improve the UK’s national health care system.
“Your Health, Your Care, Your Say” sought guidance on how health services could be better aligned with the realities of people’s everyday lives. The deliberations produced a clear roadmap for change and a commitment from Prime Minister Tony Blair to make sure the National Health Service: works with doctors to increase office hours; improves local access to treatment options; provides for additional in-home care; gives physicians greater control of the Service’s budget; and establishes a new emphasis on prevention, among many other commitments.
This meeting marked AmericaSpeaks / Global Voices’ first engagement process in the UK. The high profile meeting was broadcast live on the web, received day-long coverage on several BBC channels, and made the national press.
The deliberations identified a clear health care strategy and a commitment from former Prime Minister Tony Blair to incorporate citizens’ recommendations into significant improvements to the UK’s national health care system.