New Public NHS national Board members will be accountable to an NHS England manager – and NOT to Patients or the Public.

The Expert Patient Adviser Board Members on the new NHS Citizen Programme Board will have no contact with, or accountability to, patients or the public. They will have to report to a Senior NHS England Officer instead.


The September NHS England Board approved the recruitment of members of the public as Expert Patient Advisors to sit on the new NHS Citizen Programme Board.  They are to bring public voices to the Board and to have an advisory role in the future of public involvement in the NHS in England.

On 19th October 2016 applications were invited for these roles via the NHS England website with a closing date on 10th November 2016.  The invites were on a page on NHS England’s website.  The intended ‘audience’ lists ‘patients’, ‘carers’ and ‘service users’. But the list doesn’t include members of the public.

The invitation says:

“The NHS Citizen Programme Board is looking for three Patient and Public Participation Expert Advisers. One of the candidates will serve as the Programme Board Chair and will be responsible for the administration of the Board and ensuring an objective and impartial approach.”

It goes on to describe the people they want to apply:

“The ideal candidates will bring significant board level experience, with a strategic healthcare focus, strong intellect, commercial and political astuteness, and a willingness to challenge.”

And also says that: “There will be payments of £150 per day (for those people not representing or supported by an organisation) for an estimated time commitment of 10 days per year. This is in line with the NHS England Patient and Public Voice Expenses policy. Membership of the group is for 12 months initially, at which point membership will be reviewed.”

It ends with saying – “NHS England wants to ensure that its Patient and Public Participation Expert Advisers are representative of the population and that a wide range of people are appointed to these roles.

What this webpage does NOT say is that all representatives or ‘patient and public expert advisors’ are SELECTED by NHS England managers and REPORT to THEM – NOT to patients or the public as they are given no contact with the wider public.

So how can these Board members be representative of the population?

Why are they excluding the public in a Programme that it says is intended “to meet the requirements of the duty to involve”.

(This refers to the legal duty to involve the public – as in Section 13Q of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 !)

How can we trust that NHS England  – when they say one thing and do another?


The role description and the Terms of Reference of the new NHS Citizen Programme Board are described in the NHS Citizen Programme Board Expert Patient Advisor information pack and it becomes clear that:

  • “Patient and Public Participation Expert Advisers are appointed by NHS England’s Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the NHS Citizen programme, and will be accountable to the SRO for carrying out their duties and for their performance.” **
  • “All lay members of the NHS Citizen Programme Board must undergo mandatory induction training approved by NHS England in order to undertake the role.”
  • They willManage the public’s expectation around where their feedback will lead;”
  • “The NHSC-PB will be jointly chaired by the National Director for Patient, Public Participation and Insight and a member of the public who will be recruited in an open and transparent fashion*** for an initial period of 12 months.” ***

Did you remember that the webpage inviting people to apply told us that “One of the candidates will serve as the Programme Board Chair” ?  

Well that’s not really the case is it?

This person will be appointed by her and accountable to her, as it says in the Terms of Reference.(**above).  So much for an “open and transparent fashion”, as it also says in the Terms of Reference (*** above)

This is not acceptable!  It is not honest – and it is disrespectful to the public.

  • The invitation to apply to be an NHS Citizen Programme Board member misleads.
  • The members of the public on the Board are not accountable to the wider public.
  • They are not required to be experienced in patient and public involvement.
  • These public Board members are not able to act independently in their roles.
  • The Director of Patient & Public Voice & Insight (PPV&I) selects  them and manages their performance and how they carry out their duties.
  • The Director of PPPV&I has total control over patient and public involvement.
  • There is no collective, independent, inclusive and representative NHS Public Voice.

We have no say in the future of our Public Voice.

We have no Voice in the future of OUR NHS.



PLEASE share this information – and tell us what you think about it.

4 thoughts on “New Public NHS national Board members will be accountable to an NHS England manager – and NOT to Patients or the Public.”

  1. This is typical of how the Executive branch of Our=NHS is using the Morrisonian model of Publicly Owned Organizations to subvert the relationship between Our=NHS and the Public, Patients and Employees.
    Most democracies see a Partnership at Board level, along the lines of
    1/3rd Government appointees
    1/3rd Elected Employees
    1/3rd Elected ‘Clients’ / P&P

    # Mrs May has only days ago slammed that door shut now she’s been crowned, not elected, by her party as PM.
    # The CCGs who control £75 000 000 000/ annum of Our=NHS’s budget, select, manage and remunerate our Lay NEDs on their privatized Boards. (GPs are SMEs,
    not employees of Our=NHS)
    # At NHS Expo 2015, an N-NHS-PV member asked the on-stage Mr Stevens when P&P would be able to elect our own Lay NEDs to CCG Boards.
    His public reply sounded remarkably like ‘Over my dead body.’
    # The Patient Involvement Industry (PII) is seeing a rapid growth in self-declared, self-nominated, Patient Leaders.
    Surprize, surprize = they are elected by no-one but themselves but are eagerly collected by NHS-England as, in Lenin’s words “useful fools and silly enthusiasts”, and cheap @£150 a day.
    # The PPI is seeing a growth in Courses on how to set yourself up as an unelected Patient Leader. Many run by unelected Patient Leaders, and a growing # by NHS-E.


  2. It s a good and clear article, explaining yet another injustice. More smoke and mirrors another con. How can we complain, who to, NHS England?


    1. Thank you Pete,
      The NHS Citizen Programme Board documents were created by NHS England’s Patient & Public Participation Team.
      The person who took responsibility for the Terms of Reference for the NHS Citizen Programme Board is Anu Singh who is the Director for Patient & Public Participation & Insight, and Luke Hunka wrote it.

      The contact given on the webpage inviting applications is:
      Luke Hunka (Patient & Public Engagement Manager) Patient, Public Participation and Insight
      0113 8250861

      You can also contact the Team on the @NHSCitizen twitter account.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

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