What is it like to talk to a Select Committee?

Read about two patients who have shared their personal experiences with the Health and Social Care Committee.


Published 29 June 2020

Published 29 June 2020

Daloni Carlisle and Rob Martinez were invited to give evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee's inquiry into the delivery of core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond on 16 June 2020.

Daloni shared her experiences of accessing and using cancer services during the coronavirus pandemic and Rob shared his experience of having a knee replacement surgery cancelled due to the pandemic. Their presence was facilitated by National Voices.


Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committe, explained the importance of Daloni and Rob's contribution to the inquiry:

"Hearing from patients like Daloni and Rob gives us on the Committee a unique opportunity to find out what it means to live with delays to cancer treatment, or delays to surgery. Told in their own words, their experiences powerfully illustrate the impact that the pandemic has had, in this case, on our NHS services.

The work of committees would be much the poorer without those who are willing to tell of their 'lived experience'.  I don’t doubt that it takes courage to do so. I would like to put our gratitude on record."


About her experience, Daloni Carlisle said:

"I had the honour to be invited to give oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee, talking about my experience of using the NHS as a cancer patient during the lockdown.
It was a pretty daunting invite. I was to speak to Committee MPs, answering their questions about the treatment I had received in A&E, from my GP and community nurses and what impact lockdown had on my routine care.

Would I do a good job of getting across to committee members just what it’s been like?"

How did you prepare for the session?


"The preparation process was extremely helpful and included a briefing in advance with the Second Clerk of the Committee and two members of Versus Arthritis. I wrote up my statement just two days before the session. This was relatively easy to produce and the Clerk provided me with the four questions I would need to answer at the session."
— Rob Martinez
"Preparing for the session started a few days before it was scheduled to take place. The Second Clerk of the Committee gave me a thorough briefing about the subject matter of the inquiry, the timing and running order that was planned for the day itself and the technology we would be using.  The briefing included details of the kinds of questions MPs wanted me to answer, giving me a chance to prepare ahead of time.

The Committee session was to take place over the internet using the Zoom app. I had experience using Zoom for family quizzes so I felt reasonably comfortable about the technology."
—Daloni Carlisle

How did you feel on the day of the session?


Daloni Carlisle said:

"On the day of the Committee session I logged on as directed and watched the first few witnesses give their evidence. Then it was my turn. I felt well prepared and able to answer everything I was asked. I even forgot that the session was being televised.
I think I did do a good job and was able to put across my perspective in this important debate and that’s partly because of the preparation put in by the Committee secretariat."

Rob Martinez said:

"On the day of the  session I was quite my normal self and did not feel nervous. I was very pleased overall with how things went and how I delivered my own personal experience across to the panel."

Would you encourage others to share their experiences with a Select Committee?

"I am so pleased I was given this chance to be involved and would certainly recommend to anyone that has the same opportunity to do so. I most certainly feel that my own personal experiences have been listened to and I hope some progress will be made with getting my surgery sooner than later."
—Rob Martinez
"If you ever have the chance to give evidence as a witness, I would say forget your nerves and go for it. You’ve been invited because you have something important to say and the team do everything they can to make sure you are able to make your voice heard."
—Daloni Carlisle

Find out more about this session:

A video recording of the evidence session attended by Daloni and Rob is available to watch on Parliamentlive.tv.

A transcript is also available on the Committee's website.

The written and oral evidence received for the inquiry on delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond is available on the Committee's website.

Find out about how to contribute to the work of the Health and Social Care Committee


The Health and Social Care Committee holds inquiries into topics it wishes to investigate. Inquiry topics are chosen by the Committee and are based on a range of factors, including the work of Government and of other external organisations, and in response to key issues of the day.

The Committee welcomes contributions from any member of the public with expertise on, or experience of, that particular subject.

To learn more about the different ways in which you can contribute to the work of the Health and Social Care Committee, please visit the Committee's website.

For updates, you can follow the Committee on Twitter.

Get involved with Select Committees


Select Committees run inquiries into many different topics and value contributions from a wide range of people with experience of the issues they touch on during their inquiries.

A list of all the subjects currently under scrutiny by House of Commons Committees is available online.

To learn more about how you can get involved in the work of Select Committees, watch this short video:

For updates on House of Commons Committees' work, you can follow the House of Commons and the UK Parliament Twitter accounts.

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