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The King’s Fund calls for NHS commitment to a new partnership with patients

The King’s Fund is calling for all NHS organisations to commit to working more closely with patients to meet the requirements of a new relationship with patients and communities outlined in the NHS five year forward view.

The development of patient and community-based leaders is historically under-resourced and undervalued in comparison to the investment in leadership for clinicians and managers. As a signal of the Fund’s commitment to working in partnership with patients, Mark Doughty, co-founder and director of the Centre for Patient Leadership, has been appointed to a new role as a senior consultant with a particular focus on patient leadership.

Also launching today is The King’s Fund’s paper: Patients as partners: building collaborative relationships among professionals, patients, carers and communities. The paper looks at what can be achieved by NHS professionals working with patients and looks in detail at case studies drawn from the Fund’s ground-breaking national collaborative pairs programme, which supported patients and health professionals to work together on a wide range of local initiatives. Some of the pairs illustrated in the paper include:

  • a patient working with a consultant cardiologist to re-design local cardiac services
  • a local Healthwatch representative working with the clinical director of a CCG to develop new models of care in one of the vanguards
  • a chair of a local disability group working with a clinical manager to improve neuro-rehab services.

The paper is a helpful guide for people who are interested in working with patients and sets out five practical ways to develop collaborative relationships among NHS, patient and community partners.

Mark Doughty, Senior Consultant at The King’s Fund, said:

‘I’m looking forward to taking up my new post and promoting the vital roles that these collaborative relationships will play throughout the health and social care system. We need to shift away from a “them and us” model to a more collaborative one and make sure these relationships are embedded into our organisational structures. The previous collaborative pairs work that I helped lead was instructive and inspiring for us – this is an idea whose time has come and I look forward to help making it a reality.’

Marcus Powell, Director, Leadership and Organisational Development, The King’s Fund said:

‘We are delighted to appoint Mark into this new role. He brings with him first-hand experience of collaborative partnerships and relationships from his work at the Centre for Patient Leadership. This work has been and continues to be a journey for us but Mark’s appointment is a strong signal of our commitment to embedding a patient perspective in our work. We are aware that there are many people and organisations out there doing some really good work in this area – Mark will bring an in-depth knowledge of this work to the Fund. Now is the time for NHS organisations to unite in their commitment to a new partnership with patients and communities.

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