Ratna Dutt: “Information in the NHS should be transparent and accessible- but we must make sure no one is left behind"
Posted on Fri 3 Feb 2012
The digital revolution provides the potential for the redistribution of power and influence, according the Future Forum, with social media creating new opportunities for transparency and ‘public voice’. This recommendation, amongst others, is made in a new report about ‘information’ in the reformed NHS, which is based on a second round of consultations with patients, service users and professionals carried out as part of the government’s ‘listening exercise’. This call for greater engagement with the public has been welcomed by Ratna Dutt, Chief Executive of the Race Equality Foundation, however, she also warns that shifts towards online discussion and 'people power' must not just take into account society’s most vocal: “Information in the NHS should be transparent and accessible- but we must make sure no one is left behind. At our listening events we heard from service users, particularly older people, those in deprived communities or those facing language barriers, who feared that a focus on digital services might 'leave them behind'. Whilst engagement is to be praised, until access to digital equipment is more equitable, the focus has to be on parallel digital and non-digital services.”
The NHS Future Forum was established as part of the Government’s ‘listening exercise’ on NHS reform in the UK. The Forum has recently completed a new phase of consultation, gaining further feedback from patients, service users and professionals on four themes relating to the proposed reform of UK health services (information, integration, education and the role of the NHS in public health). The Race Equality Foundation will respond to each of the reports over the coming weeks.
For more information, please:
- see our full response to the Future Forum's information report
- see our Future Forum project pages
- contact Ratna Dutt, Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation (020 7619 6220)
- see the Future Forum's information report (external website)