Leading a health and care citizens’ assembly
Kaleidoscope is working with Camden Council and its health and care partners to deliver a citizens’ assembly to improve local health and care. Using a deliberative democracy approach, it will bring together residents, the NHS and the council to help make Camden the best place to grow, live and age well.
Camden Council wants to actively engage its residents in how council services are developed and improved. The Assembly on Health and Care enables residents to help shape the future of health and social care in the borough, and builds on the success of its Climate Crisis Citizens’ Assembly, which took place in 2019.
We were commissioned to support Camden Council in designing, delivering and facilitating the series of Assembly meetings, supporting residents to make informed recommendations to the council and its partners about how to shape health and social care in Camden. We will then produce a report of the recommendations and learnings from the process.
We are using a deliberative democracy approach to carry out this work.
The Assembly is made up of around 50 residents who will take part in a series of events to discuss their main ambitions for health and care services in the borough. This will be followed by a final meeting for them to agree their recommendations to the Council and local NHS organisations to develop the Camden joint health and wellbeing strategy. This strategy will act as a framework for health and care services in the borough over the next few years.
The assembly members are given the information they need to make their recommendations and they have the opportunity to learn from experts. The group of citizens is representative of the general population so that councillors can make their decisions based on what the whole of the population think and want around the issues at stake.
So far, we have hosted one event, which aimed to frame the event series and outline the main issues in health and care locally. It brought together the Assembly members as well as the Leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould, and experts from the Royal Free, UCLH, Healthwatch Camden, Voluntary Action Camden, Camden Clinical Commissioning Group, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
The speakers discussed their roles in health and care in the borough, the main issues on their mind about health and social care locally, and emphasised the importance of the Assembly.
The Assembly members then had the opportunity to share their experiences of health and care in Camden and take part in a Q&A with the speakers. Assembly members worked in groups to start deciding on the priorities to focus on in the forthcoming events.
They discussed a variety of ideas including:
- tackling health inequalities in the borough by making sure services were tailored to the specific needs of the community
- making sure health and care services are properly equipped to meet the needs of people with protected characteristics such as deaf, LGBT+ and BAME groups.
- ensuring services interact with each other and work together for the benefit of local people.
We look forward to facilitating the remaining events to support Assembly members in reaching their final recommendations.