How can you get involved

Engaging with people and communities.

Involving patients, families and carers in the development of healthcare services helps ensure we develop the right services to meet the needs of local people.

There are a number of different ways you can get involved and share your voice.

Citizens’ Panel

The Citizens’ Panel offers an opportunity for all people across the county to get involved in our engagement work and have their say. Taking part as a panel member means we continuously hear and respond to you.

Some of the activities a member may be involved in include; filling in a survey, attending a focus group (in person or online), or giving feedback on proposed changes to healthcare. By sharing their views, members help us to provide better quality care in a way that matters the most to local residents.

This is a graphic image of people standing around Somerset showing the variety of residents that live in the county. The text says Somerset Citizens' Panel and Your county, your say.

Become a People Champion 

A People Champion is a patient or member of the public who volunteers to work with us on a specific piece of work, including digital.  People Champions often join committees and working groups to bring their lived experience, skills, knowledge and commitment, providing a lay perspective to the planning, development and commissioning of health services. As a People Champion, you might represent groups of patients and carers, share insight of specific health conditions, or represent particular localities or communities in the county. By becoming a People Champion, you bring the voice of the service user to the fore.


PPG Network 

GP Practices in Somerset have Patient Participation Groups (PPGs). PPGs work in partnership with their GP practice and are vital in ensuring that the patient voice is heard. PPGs act as “critical friends” to their respective surgery, looking at how the surgery currently works, setting objectives for the coming year and agreeing how they can help to achieve those objectives. In Somerset, we have a countywide network of PPG Chairs who meet together on a bimonthly basis. The network share best practice and new ways of working. The Engagement team joins the network to ensure we hear from and work with local PPGs.

Interested in joining?  
Contact your local GP surgery for details of your PPG and get involved in shaping NHS health services within Somerset.


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Citizens' Hub

We convene the Somerset Citizens' Hub. The Citizens' hub is chaired by Healthwatch Somerset. The Hub is made up of a group of local people who represent local people and communities across the diversity of Somerset. The group help to ensure our engagement work is inclusive.

The Citizens' Hub members make sure that we continuously listen, feedback and are held accountable for our work that impacts on local people and communities.

The Citizens' Hub members are often ‘experts by experience’ and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the group. The Hub acts as a critical friend within a safe space, providing constructive challenge and feedback on our work programmes and the engagement approaches used to inform them.

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ICS Engagement Leads Network 

We work with our engagement colleagues across the system to share best practice and ensure we are always improving. This network includes membership from voluntary sector partners and Healthwatch Somerset, and is one of the ways we will co-ordinate and collaborate across the ICS. The aim is to ensure our engagement work will align to our ICS population health management priorities and health inequalities work. Population health management seeks to improve population health by using data driven planning and the proactive delivery of care to help achieve better health outcomes.

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Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is here to advise and support patients, their families and carers, provide information on NHS services and listen to your suggestions, as well as answering any queries you have.

Telephone us: 08000 851067

Email us: 

Write to us: NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board, Freepost RRKL-XKSC-ACSG, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8HR

Healthwatch Somerset

If you would like to talk to an independent service, Healthwatch Somerset is the local independent watchdog for health and social care in Somerset.

We also work with:

  • Healthwatch Somerset who are the independent voice representing residents across Somerset
  • We have a partnership with Spark Somerset to ensure we reach and represent people and communities across the diversity of Somerset.

Somerset Maternity Voices Partnership 

Work to make sure that the voices of people who have used or are using the maternity services in Somerset are heard by NHS Somerset.


Somerset Parent Carer Forum

This forum ensures parent carers are a visible and empowered voice in decisions affecting families, children and young people with disabilities. Providing opportunities for parent carers to share their experiences, NHS Somerset and our colleagues at Somerset County Council have a better understanding of SEND needs in Somerset.


Carers’ Voice Somerset

Is an influencing body concerned with improving the lives of carers in Somerset. Carers’ Voice Somerset brings together carers, former carers, local providers, NHS Somerset and Somerset County Council commissioners to advise and make recommendations on the joint development of health, social care and related services.

Our Engagement networks

Involving patients, families and carers, local people and community groups in the development of health and care services helps ensure we develop the right services to meet the needs of local people.

As you can see from the range of ways you can get involved, there are a number of different networks and groups we have in place to make sure the voice of local people and communities is at the heart of all that we do.

Poster showing ways of engaging with people and communities

Sign up to receive the Our Somerset newsletter

Would you like to keep informed about changes and developments in health and care in Somerset? Find out more about opportunities to make your voice heard? Are you interested in getting involved in shaping health services? Sign up to receive the Our Somerset newsletter.

You will be able to read previous editions on the Our Somerset website and you can subscribe to our mailing list by emailing:

If you are involved in your community and you’d like to include information about relevant events, meetings and activities in our bulletin, please email: