Disclaimer: No cats harmed in the writing of this blog.
Another powerful rallying call from David Gilbert, Patient Director of Sussex MSK Partnership, for a radical change in how we view patient and public engagement. He rightly points out that participation is often focused either on patient feedback alone which is left for the professionals to act upon (or not), or formal patient representation on formal/official committees. In the latter case, we are often expected to be the all-encompassing “patient voice” with little clarity of role, or the sort of training and support often needed for us to be effective in such professionally dominated situations.
David suggests the answer has to be a genuine partnership and this is only achievable if there is proper attention given to training and development of patients and that there are meaningful roles available at the end of it.
David through becoming the first Patient Director is paving the way for a new generation of patients working in new ways at levels beyond traditional representative roles. He is one leg of a three-legged stool along Patient Director working in equal partnership with Clinical and managing directors. And a three-legged stool is far more likely to remain upright.