What do patients bring to the party? Well, they are the party and although the slogan ‘No Decisions about me without me’ is gaining, ground and services are always said to be developed with patients at the centre. It can be hard being a patient or carer trying to make your voice heard, suggest an improvement or simply getting your own point of view across in the NHS.
The only people who are experts at living with a particular condition are patients, and each is unique with their own history, health beliefs, view of the world, experience of care, and dreams for the future.
Healthcare has to be as much about listening to individual service users and designing care around the needs of individuals as the biology of disease and pharmacology of drugs.
My friend Ashley Brooks held a panel discussion about what being a patient champion means at Local NHS Patient Champion Film. Have a look, listen and why don’t you have a go?