I was invited to the official launch of the National Centre for Involvement yesterday in London.
This new organisation based in Warwick University will be responsible for collecting examples of how patients and the public have been involved in achieving change to healthcare services.
The new centre aims to provide help to the whole NHS by cascading examples of good practice. It is felt that learning how to effectively involve patients will spread so that patients and the public become more influential in driving change.
The team at the new centre is full of optimism but also realism and I wish them well.
My view has always been that involving patients in change is a hearts and minds issue. Many healthcare managers seem more intent on balancing their budget than finding a way of involving their customers (patients) in everything they do.
I genuinely hope that the new centre will help to change the culture in the NHS to one where there is no ‘separation’ between the service and the patients.
The NHS is owned by patients so they are not ‘on the outside’ looking in – they are indeed the purpose of it.