Meg Hillier MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, co-chair of the all party parliamentary group on global health writes for Guardian Professional, Tuesday 20 May 2014 Five things the NHS must learn about empowering patients It seems empowering patients excludes the Welsh who without choice for a decade have GPs who are relatively uninformed about options which should be available to their patients (and would be in England). Is Wales in denial of The Information Age?
Despite the huge changes to the NHS, there has been little progress in terms of patient empowerment
Half of all patients in hospital say they aren’t as involved in their care as much as they would like. This figure hasn’t improved in a decade.
There’s been a lot of talk from recent governments about giving more power to patients. The latest commitment is that the NHS will get “dramatically better” at involving people in their own care, but the change so far has been anything but dramatic.
Despite all the structural overhauls to the NHS there has been very little change in the areas that matter most: how involved people feel in the big decisions about their care, and whether patients’ voices are heard when things go wrong, or are ignored as we have seen in several high profile scandals.
I recently led a coalition of MPs and peers concerned about health to look at what we could learn from other countries that were trying to solve this problem. Across over 100 examples we looked at, five key lessons stood out….
Knowledge is power
Make shared decision-making the easy choice for clinicians
Invest in supporting carers
Groups of patients are a powerful asset
Listen to what patients have to say
the APPG has published a report, Patient empowerment: for better quality, more sustainable health services globally (pdf)