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Co:Create work with commissioners to think differently about the role that customers can take in developing strategy, commissioning services and assessing impact. They've been working with The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS since January to independently chair the Citizens' Panel meetings. 

Co:Create facilitates fundamentally different approaches to time-old challenges. The way they work is innovative, engaging, creative and fun. Here we asked them to reflect on their experiences from the past year. 

Q: What are the highlights of your Citizens’ Panel work from 2018?
A: Co:Create connects human stories to strategy. Chairing the Citizens’ Panel has allowed us to see the power of that in action. Panellists regularly share their experience of NHS services to help guide discussion on important topics. We’ve seen this human angle regularly lead to change.

Co:Create gives Panellists the time and space to think about issues, and equal time to speak. Having this time has shown the capability of the Panel. They completely re-wrote and improved the questions around patient engagement for a service going through re-procurement. The impact of this is that the NHS could better understand how potential different delivery offers would involve the public providing the best service. It also left a legacy of improved questions for future procurement. The Panel have guided the content of public communications and pushed hard for more detail from the NHS, we’ve helped them articulate why this is important. They are a committed and highly effective group of people.

Q: Do you have any New Year’s ambitions/resolutions?
A: Co:Create’s ambition is to have a wealth of people hoping to join the Panel. We know that from time to time people have to leave voluntary roles; we want to make sure there are more fantastic people ready to share their lived experience and knowledge of their community as they work to support the aims of the NHS.

 Q: What else would you like to share with the people of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw?
A: The Citizens’ Panel has shown what ordinary people can do when they’re given the time and space to really consider issues. The range of people in the room adds a diverse range of opinion. Sometimes Panellists challenge each other’s opinions; and it’s there, in that space, where we really begin to understand the range of opinions we need to explore from the public. This is the value of the Panel.

Read more about CO:Create