Fiona Godlee (@fgodlee) writes:
In an editorial last year we called for a patient revolution (doi:10.1136/bmj.f2614). We said that patients, far more than clinicians, understand the impact of disease and treatment. We said that clinicians and patients therefore needed to work in partnership if we are to improve healthcare. We talked about corruption in the mission of healthcare and the need to challenge deeply ingrained practices and behaviours. We said that we wanted to develop a strategy for patient partnership at the BMJ, that we planned to establish a panel of patients and clinicians to help us with this work—and that we would report back on progress.
Well, last week we held our first patient partnership workshop, and as Tessa Richards explains in her blog (bmj.com/blogs) we were humbled and inspired by the enthusiasm of the patients and patient advocates who came to help us advance the quest to make patient partnership a reality.
We expected to be challenged by the panel, and we were. Was this just eye candy for the BMJ, we were asked, a form of tokenism to help the journal look and feel good? Or were we serious in our commitment to change things at the BMJ so that we can campaign for a cultural shift in medicine? I hope we managed to convince those present that we are indeed serious.
We have made a small start by adding expert patients to the peer review process for selected research papers. And we plan to publish our draft strategy on patient partnership in the next three months. I expect this will incorporate many of the recommendations from the workshop. These included having a patient voice on all the committees that make decisions about the BMJ’s content and strategy, asking authors of research articles to explain how they involved patients in the design of their study, and having an expert patient as a coauthor on every clinical review.
Via Andrew Spong