Since it was formed, the NHS has tried a whole variety of ways to engage patients. Health Affair’s editor-in-chief, Susan Dentzer recently referred to the concept of patient engagement as the “blockbuster drug of the century”.
However, we have seen strategies around patient engagement and patient participation come and go, without necessarily changing very much. One reason for this is that patient engagement and patient participation are still largely under the control of health service managers and can, therefore, be quite tokenistic.
The concept behind patient leadership is revolutionary. The Centre for Patient Leadership, working with FPM see it as a 3 legged stool. If healthcare is to be successful it must involve:
- Successful managers
- Successful clinicians
- Successful patients
All three parts of the triangle must be valued equally. Patient leadership exists to equip patients with the skills necessary to work at a strategic level and on equal terms with healthcare professionals to influence change.
Currently, FPM, CLP and TMI are running a major project on patient leadership for the NHS Midlands and East.