If the health of the population is to improve significantly, patients need to be engaged in managing their own health. The increase in availability of information, developments in new technology, and changes in public attitudes mean that patients want to interact differently with health services. These developments present a challenge for the NHS. The King’s Fund, with the Leeds Castle Foundation, hosted a summit to explore in more detail the concept of the patient as consumer, the use of technology in health care and how to promote healthy citizenship. This paper includes presentations from experts and summaries of the discussions.