At the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, many of the traditional ways in which the NHS engages with people and communities were paused out of necessity. Normal methods of engagement and open governance were neither safe nor practical at a time of national lockdown. At the same time, the NHS established a model for the idea of shared responsibility and a new ‘social contract’ with local communities.
Health and care leaders are keen to explore this new relationship and the opportunities to create a new ‘deal’, whereby people are active and engaged partners in the development of healthy places, not merely consumers of NHS services. A new relationship based on meaningful patient and citizen engagement, informed by community insights and underpinned by trust.
Our report considers how the NHS can cultivate a new relationship with people, patients and communities following the pandemic.