Patient Voices Matter, our lived experience advisory panel, has taught us how important it is to make information accessible to all potential users.

We all need to ensure that the way we speak, the way we write, and the resources we create are clear, straightforward and free of jargon.

The widespread use of jargon in a lot of NHS communication and materials is a topic that pops up at nearly every meeting of Patient Voices Matter. So much so, we created a Jargon Buster Dictionary for the panel and are constantly adding to it as we come across more NHS-speak.

Do take a look at the dictionary and let us know if any jargon is missing you think we should add.

Health inequalities

We raised the issue of jargon when we attended the NHS Health Inequalities Improvement Network (HIIN) in August. HIIN is a collaboration of NHS staff and charities who discuss what their team or organisation are doing to tackle health inequalities. Ray, a member of Patient Voices Matter explained about the panel and what all of us have learnt from our year of working together. Ray explained just how inaccessible the health system is and what he thinks can be done to improve this.

Other challenges for patients, including members of Patient Voices Matter, are the changes in the NHS in England, with the creation of new healthcare organisations. Our Healthcare Organisations Explained resource gives a brief explanation of what certain organisations do.

We’ve made both documents available to anyone, because if our lived experience panel members aren’t aware of these organisations or words, then it is likely that other people also won’t be.


As we continue our journey to be more accessible, we still capture Patient Voices Matter discussions in images as well as the conventional meeting minutes. As you can see, at our most recent session the themes that emerged were:Visual themes from Patient Voices Matter: We want clearer information says Sikh man; We

  • We should not have to go private
  • We need better information about waiting lists
  • We want clearer information for people
  • We are losing hope in the NHS.

Patient Voices Matter members decide at the end of each session what I should tweet about, and these tie in with that session’s themes. The themes are important to us because we share these with organisations such as the NHS and other charities, as we want everyone to be aware of what patients are struggling with at the moment and what they want the NHS to improve on.

We also share the top themes with Patients Association staff and Trustees, so we all know what we should be raising awareness of.