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Citizens’ jury on specialist hospital services in Gloucestershire

The BBC Points West news video above reports on the citizens’ jury held in Brockworth from 20 to 24 January 2020. The jury, commissioned by the NHS, was about specialist hospital services in Gloucestershire. The jury heard a wide variety of evidence including how General Surgery, Accident and Emergency Medicine, and Image-Guided Interventional Surgery services are provided from Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucester Royal Hospital.  A cross-section of 16 members of the public from across Gloucestershire took part.  The presentations made by witnesses to the jury can be downloaded from the NHS’s Fit for the Future website.  

The results of the jury are included within the Jurors’ Report. These will shape the public consultation on how these specialist services could change.

Information about the jury

Reports from the Gloucestershire Hospitals January 2020 citizens’ jury

You can download and read the Jurors’ Report from the 16 members of the citizens’ jury. It was constructed using the words of the jury members, from observations and statements they prepared together. A draft version was reviewed by jury members as part of the jury process on 24 January. The 16 jury members also completed an on-line survey at the end of the jury where they assessed whether there was any bias, and described their experiences. You can download the spreadsheet with the questionnaire answers from the 16 jury members. Results are also available of the daily bias questionnaires by jury members which were completed at the end of each of the first four days.

The Report of the Gloucestershire Hospitals January 2020 Jury provides further information (e.g. jury recruitment) about the jury.

How the 18 jury members were selected

The opportunity for local people to be part of the citizens’ jury was advertised in a variety of places, and 181 people living within Gloucestershire applied to be members of the jury. The selection process for the citizens’ jury was designed to select a broadly representative sample of adults living in Gloucestershire. 18 members of the citizens’ jury and three reserves were selected (to see how the jury was selected, click here). Three reserve jurors were also recruited. In the week leading up to the jury, four jury members withdrew, and then on the first day of the jury, three jurors did not attend, and a further juror had to withdraw after two days because of illness. This level of withdrawal and non-attendance was unusually high. As a result, 9 females and 7 males completed the jury, and there was a disproportionate number of graduates (10). Fortunately, the jury maintained a good geographical spread across Gloucestershire.  Click here for a spreadsheet showing the jury’s demographic characteristics.

What the citizens’ jury did

An overview of what happened over the five days of the jury is described in the citizens’ jury schedule. The questions the jury had to answer are set out here. Their answers and reasoning to those questions were achieved through group work and are included in the Jurors’ Report other than for question 5 about the Centres of Excellence approach. The online survey results for question 5 are available this spreadsheet.

A variety of witnesses were invited to give presentations to jurors in line with the expert witness brief.  Witnesses’ slides, and the other materials used by the jury each day, are available on the Fit for the Future webpage devoted to the jury.

The independent oversight panel

These slides and other materials were reviewed prior to the jury by an oversight panel who were briefed to check that the jury was being provided with a fair balance of relevant information. The oversight panel members, chosen for their interest in the topic and lack of conflict of interest in any particular jury outcome, were: Hilary Brown, Senior Fellow, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham; Nigel Burton, Trustee, Age UK Gloucestershire; and Jem Sweet, Projects Officer (Health and Wellbeing), Gloucestershire VCS Alliance.

Every panel member was “fully satisfied” that the two juries were designed with the aim of minimising bias. One was “fully satisfied” and two members were “partially satisfied” that this aim was achieved (for reasons explained in the panel’s bias questionnaires).