On Thursday 26th July the Research & Communities team (Elouise, Elizabeth, Celine and Reuben) welcomed 45 newly recruited Citizens’ Panel members for NHS Camden CCG to an afternoon tea in Granary Square, Kings Cross.
It happened to fall on the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 34 degrees. The extreme heat did not deter the good people of the panel getting together to socialise and form new relationships with other Citizen Panel members and staff from NHS Camden CCG.
Camden CCG have a Citizens’ Panel of 1100 members and are now in their 3rd year of working with a panel of locally based people. The panel is a representative spread of the population of Camden and were recruited by MES in June 2018. Camden CCG established a panel for the first time in 2016 and have been engaging with local people, discussing health issues and NHS services since then.
This event was an opportunity to meet and greet and thank the newest panel members for getting involved in the future of NHS services in Camden. Kathy Elliot, Lay member and Vice Chair of Camden CCG, did a great job of welcoming everybody and explaining how the CCG listen to the people and patients in Camden – the Citizens’ Panel being just one mechanism that they use to engage. As a starting point she explained that the CCG wanted to hear views on self-care. Many people are living with long term conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Their contribution to their treatment and management of the condition is increasingly being recognised and valued. People are also keen to know more and take action. Views are very important to influence what decisions the CCG make, with the local authority and the voluntary sector, to providing information, advice and support in new ways.
Over a slice of cake and a sandwich we heard people from all walks of life sharing their experience of living and working in Camden, and in particular we talked a lot about the changing face of Granary Square over the years. One member who we spoke to for some time explained how she had seen a massive transformation in the area over the 43 years that she had been a resident. With the back drop of the fountains and families enjoying the summer on Regents Canal we couldn’t have asked for a more ‘Camden’ setting.
MES were keen to plan, host and manage the invitations to the welcome event. Face to face engagement is something that the Research & Communities team feel completely at home doing. We believe that the key to good engagement is; keep it simple, do what you say that you will do and most of all, making it fun! We certainly felt that we achieved this on Thursday evening! We wanted to thank Cherie and the events team at KX for allowing us to host the event there and for helping us to set up.
See below some snaps from the event and feedback from attendees in a word cloud. The invitation designed by our very own Jo Harding is a perfect example of the creative design work that we can support you with at MES. If this project is of interest or if you are keen to explore how a Citizens’ Panel might work in your organisation, please email Elouise.firstname.lastname@example.org