From the introduction:
The Your Health, Your Care, Your Say initiative (YHYCYS) for the Department of Health created one of the largest and most ambitious public engagement exercises ever mounted in the UK. The aims were complex and ambitious: to ensure that the public (especially the ‘seldom heard’) were actively involved in deliberative debates on contentious issues including ‘trading off’ public investment in different types of health and social care services, alongside creating a high public profile to encourage wide public involvement (including through open access questionnaires) and professional stakeholder involvement.
Over 41,000 responses were received through the various methods used over the course of the three months that the main work took place (September to December 2005), with 1,240 people attending deliberative events in Gateshead, Leicester, London, Plymouth and Birmingham. The process also included a unique ‘report back’ event in London in March 2006 (after the publication of the White Paper in January 2006). At this event, 110 people who had been at previous deliberative events heard the Secretary of State for Health, alongside two Ministers from health and social care, report back to them on what had been taken forward from the YHYCYS exercise into the White Paper, and asking for feedback on the participants’ satisfaction with what had been done with their input.
In November 2005 an evaluation of the YHYCYS ‘listening exercise’ was commissioned to examine primarily the local, regional and national deliberative events that enabled members of the public to discuss a range of topics (based on information provided and a carefully structured process). The evaluation study aimed to come to conclusions about the extent to which the methodology chosen and the delivery of YHYCYS met the objectives set, and draw out learning for future public engagement activity.
This summary report briefly covers the main points of the evaluation; the full report gives details on all the points raised here.