New health relationships needed

Mark Doughty joined The King’s Fund just over a year ago to lead on work with patients and communities as co-director of the Leading Collaboratively with Patients and Communities programme, and is co-founder and director of The Centre for Patient Leadership

He has lived all his adult life with a number of chronic long-term conditions that have required regular contact with primary, acute and community services. He tells us why he is thrilled by the vision in the NHS five year forward view but thinks it’s critical that there is a new relationship between those in the health care system and patients and local communities.

Energised by the discussions around engaging with communities and citizens in new ways, shifting power to patients and involving them directly in decisions about their own care and the future of health and care services. I was also reminded of the daily challenge for clinicians to be present for their patients, treating them as a person and not just a problem or symptom to be diagnosed and fixed. The system must enable them to do this and not work against them, which includes giving them time and space to be present in that way. I would hope then that more patients could experience what I felt when my rheumatologist asked me: ‘What would it be like to for you to live a well and fulfilling life with your arthritis, Mark?’ – that I was being properly seen and heard, and felt empowered and at ease…. Read more