We know the perspectives and knowledge of patients and service users are an important resource for those involved in the design and delivery of services. The NHS Five Year Forward View rightly calls for a new relationship with patients, citizens and communities but what that new relationship looks like and how this might happen is less clear.

The Kings Fund’s Collaborative Pairs programme provides a practical solution by providing space for pairs made up of a clinician or manager with a patient or community-based leader to work together on a shared leadership challenge and to develop the relational capabilities that support collaborative working.