The silent revolution – Is the biggest change to NHS services happening ‘under the radar’?

Melissa Way, NHS Change Day Regional Lead for South East & West of EnglandNHSchangeDay

The NHS is certainly no stranger to change. The current re-organisation, famously described by the NHS Chief Executive as ‘so big, you can see it from space’, has followed a similar pattern to those that have gone before – largely top-down and centrally-imposed.

However, there’s another change movement at work in the NHS today. And this one has its roots firmly in the frontline.

NHS Change Day started in 2012 as a “conversation” between emerging leaders from different parts of the NHS.

Within months it had grown into a grassroots movement that encouraged people across the NHS to pledge to make one positive difference. By NHS Change Day, nearly 200,000 pledges – big and small, serious and fun – had been registered.

These pledges covered all aspects of NHS care, many involving improvement to services for older people. Examples include:

  • A member of staff from an NHS Trust pledging to meet at least 10 older patients and discuss their views on their treatment in the hospital;
  • A relative pledging to get her mother’s speechless voice heard;
  • Hospital staff promising to encourage patients to drink every time they interact with them;
  • Staff pledging to work harder to find resources that help people receive their care in the comfort of their own home.

NHS Change Day 2014, being held on 3rd March, aims to get even more frontline health and care staff involved in pledging. It is hoped thathalf a million people will get involved this year and really make a positive impact on patient experience.

Momentum is already gathering, with over 50,000 pledges already registered. Find out who’s doing what and make your pledge at

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