I am not normally a cynical type.
I am a subscriber to a weekly healthcare journal that is regarded as the most influential journal in healthcare management in the UK.
The edition from a couple of weeks ago contained a colorful advert about forthcoming high profile healthcare conferences for the period June through to October.
There are 16 conferences advertised and NONE are on the subject of greater patient involvement in healthcare. All 16 are about what I would call 'process' issues such as clinical coding, finance, targets and numbers.
And yet we, the public who own the NHS, are constantly told that greater patient involvement is the highest priority of the NHS.
As an NHS manager for over 30 years in a 'previous life' I understand of course why there are conferences about the ‘process’ stuff and they are very important. But if the Department of Health is really serious about getting more patient involvement in healthcare management and leadership it is surely not too much to expect to see at least one major conference dedicated to patient involvement in a 5 month period.
To me this is a classic case of lip service.
I would love to see all healthcare conferences led by patients and managers compulsorily required to attend.
Surely listening to patient’s stories will have more influence on any healthcare manager than 6 hours listening to boring explanations of the joys of financial coding.
Call me old fashioned if you like but maybe I am missing something.