Patient and carer involvement has always been the ambition of the NHS. It is built into the NHS Constitution and was given legal force in the consolidated NHS Act 2006. The Health & Social Care Act 2012 makes it a duty in law to involve patients and carers in the design and delivery of our health service. There is now greater emphasis than ever on patient and carer participation.
The Five Year Forward View (FYFV) mandates change across the NHS and Chapter 2,‘A New Relationship with People and Communities’ outlines how patients should be empowered to make decisions about their health. In addition to structural changes, there was increased emphasis on placing the patient and public at the centre of health care. All NHS England job descriptions for staff include a requirement to involve patients and public in the work of the NHS at every level. There were a number of high-profile reports outlining the need for public participation and the requirement to listen to the voices of service users.