An independent Citizens’ Jury will take place via Zoom for eight days from 19 to 22 January 2021 and 25 to 28 January 2021 from 1pm-5.30pm each day.

The Jurors were recruited by Citizens Juries c.i.c. during November and December 2020. The 18 adults selected broadly reflect Gloucestershire residents in relation to age, sex, ethnicity, educational attainment, geographical district, and employment status.

The Jurors will work together to answer important questions about the Fit for the Future consultation, which was about proposals for organising a number of specialist hospital services across the Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital sites. The consultation ran from 22 October until 17 December 2020.

The Jury will be informed about the questions they are exploring, partly through the expert witnesses who will give presentations and answer questions posed by the Jurors. Jurors will be given time to work together and deliberate amongst themselves before reaching their conclusions, which will later be published.

The recommendations of the Jury (such as what the Jury considers to be the most important public consultation findings) will be put to the governing bodies of the NHS in Gloucestershire to inform their decisions about changes to hospital services.

Director of Citizens Juries CIC, Dr Malcolm Oswald said:

“The independent Jury will consider staff and public feedback including survey findings.

They will also hear evidence from expert witnesses on what makes a good public consultation, and hear observations about the Fit for the Future consultation from different community perspectives.

After careful assessment of this information, Jurors will make recommendations about their confidence in the public consultation, and the most important findings from the consultation responses for decision makers. This will form part of a Jurors’ Report which will be published a few days after the Jury ends.”

Director of Transformation and Service Redesign at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Ellen Rule said:

“We welcome the role of the independent Citizens’ Jury as an important part of the Fit for the Future process. Jury members will offer useful insight into the design of future public engagement and consultation plans, and their observations about what they consider are the most important public consultation findings will assist the Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body in reaching their decisions.”     

Following the Jury, there will then be a consultation review period, where Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group will carefully consider all of the feedback received. A final decision will be made about the Fit for the Future proposals at the CCG Governing Body meeting on 11 March 2021.