The Tent of Big Ideas: the future of social care to be pitched

Residents and experts are being offered an opportunity to give evidence to a major Commission on the future of Britain’s health and social care at an event in York.

The Big Tent of Ideas Festival, which was founded in 2017 and set up by a charitable foundation dedicated to creating a space in which people could speak about big policy issues, is set to take place in York’s minister gardens this year on 17th June.

red-and-white boats in body of wa

The influential year-long Times newspaper’s Health Commission will be making an appearance at the event and has been set up to consider the future of health and social care in England. This follows troubled times for UK healthcare due to the pandemic, frequent strikes resulting in staff shortages, pressure on budgets, health inequalities, obesity, and the ageing population.

Commission Chair and Times columnist, Rachel Sylvester will take evidence from York witnesses as part of the festival, alongside fellow Commissioner, Matthew Taylor, who is also Chief Executive of the NHS confederation, which speaks on behalf of the whole healthcare system in England.

After the panelled discussion has taken place at 14:40pm, experts will open the floor to contributions from the audience about their lived experiences of health and social care services in York and their ideas to reform.

Ben Rich, Radix Big Tent’s Chief Executive and festival organiser, said: ‘This is an extraordinary opportunity for York residents to shape the thinking of this most influential of panels, the final report of which will undoubtably influence the health policies of all the parties in the run up to the general election.’

As well as hearing from health experts and attempting to address some major issues, a vast amount of other talks are scheduled for the day which aim to address the current housing shortage that we are seeing spread like wildfire across the UK and the climate crisis.

Other speakers from across the political spectrum include the former Health Secretary, Lord Lansley; former Business Secretary, Sir Vince Cable; Labour Frontbeancher, Stephen Kinnock MP; Greg Dyke; the new leader of York Council; Claire Douglas; and York MPs, Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy.

The Festival will be opened on 16th June by Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, a lawyer and Conservative Party politician, who became the first Muslim to serve as Cabinet Minister.

Tickets to the event are free, but must be booked in advance.

Image: Sarah


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