Citizens' Juries webinar

Event date: 11 November 2020

Event time: 10.30am to 11.30am

What are Citizens' Juries and are they the answer to public participation in decision making?

  • led by Professor Andrew Thompson (University of Edinburgh)

Citizens' juries are an innovative process that enables members of the public to give considered views and recommendations on complex and often controversial topics of a social or political nature. This presentation will introduce participants to the theory of deliberative democracy within mini-publics that underpins the citizens' jury method, and a brief history of their development and applications. The method for selecting citizens will be outlined, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, together with the identification of the critical issues to be considered in the implementation of juries. Brief examples will be given, including the recent citizens' jury on shared decision-making in health care, sponsored by the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland. A discussion will be made of some of the challenges that must be considered when designing and running citizens' juries.

Evaluation of Citizens' Jury on Shared Decision Making

  • led by Gary McGrow (Healthcare Improvement Scotland)

A Citizens' Jury was commissioned in May 2018 jointly by the Scottish Health Council and the Chief Medical Office of the Scottish Government to offer further insight into how relationships between health and social care professionals and service users might be strengthened (i.e. shared decision-making), and to assess role of citizens' juries as an innovative approach to citizen involvement in the policy-making process.

 The question the Citizens' Jury was asked to answer was:

When decisions about a person's care or treatment are made jointly between health or social care professionals and the individual, or others supporting their care, it is known as shared decision-making.
'What should shared decision-making look like and what needs to be done for this to happen?'

This evaluation was conducted by the Scottish Health Council to determine the learning from the Citizens' Jury and assess short-term impacts.

Presenter biographies

Andrew Thompson is a social scientist and Professor of Public Policy and Citizenship in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are in 2 distinct areas:

  • citizenship and public policy (especially health services), in relation to quality improvement, and participatory and deliberative democracy
  • European public administration

Andrew is a member of the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Group of the UK Political Studies Association, and the European Consortium for Political Research. He was a Regional Editor for the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

Gary McGrow is a Social Researcher and works in the Participation Network Team within Healthcare Improvement Scotland - Community Engagement. The team’s aims are to share knowledge, resources and good practice on patient and public participation and help to put this evidence into practice. Gary's focus is research and evaluation on the impact of participation, including service user and public involvement in healthcare services.

This webinar is part of our Participation Research Network miniseries. Our annual Participation Research Network event brings together speakers on topics relating to participation, public involvement, person-centred care and co-production in health and social care. This year's event was due to take place in March but was postponed due to the COVID pandemic. We are now running a small series of webinars for the main presenters to share their work.

More information

What are Citizens' Juries? presentation

Evaluation of Our Voice Citizens’ Jury on Shared Decision Making presentation

Citizens’ Jury Process

Scottish Govt Response to citizens’ Jury Recommendations

Evaluation of Citizens’ Jury


Last Updated: 18 March 2021