The Patients Association is dedicated to promoting patient partnership and supports a range of organisations to engage with patients and carers with the goal of improving healthcare.

We've been working with patients for 60 years. Our heritage and authority make us a trusted partner for organisations seeking to embrace patient partnership and realise its benefits. We bring expertise and understanding of patients’ experiences and the challenges they face to every project.

This summer, our expertise was recognised with the award of a Gold standard in the OVID Patient Partnership Index 2023 for our work with patients, healthcare professionals and Pfizer UK on antimicrobial resistance. The judges were “impressed by the level and nature of co-creation in this entry, directly engaging patients and HCPs as equals facilitated by the Patients Association”.

We help organisations achieve gold standard patient engagement in their projects. We can help you adopt a patient-centred approach, innovate based on patient feedback and need, increase trust and loyalty towards your organisation, and enhance your service or product design.

Patient engagement

We believe patient engagement is key to achieving patient partnership. We partner with health and care organisations to help them involve patients and carers in their work in a way that leads to change. We support each patient and carer throughout a project, giving them the resources they need to confidently share their insights and participate fully. We build long-term support into our projects and ensure patients understand the impact and difference their contributions make.

Read about our work with NHS England on how specialist advice and guidance available to GPs can improve referrals of patients to hospital. We brought together a group of patients, who looked at how specialists support GPs and how that could be improved and patients involved more.

Diverse communities

We understand the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in patient engagement. The way we work ensures all individuals, regardless of their cultural background or community, can play an active role in the projects we run. Organisations can benefit from our experience of involving overlooked communities, helping organisations to better understand the needs of the people they serve.

The work of the Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health is about ensuring patients’ needs are the focus of the expansion of digital services. Last year’s report Putting Patients First, showed how important it is to work with patients who are digitally excluded and how this can be done.

Training and development

Shared decision making and patient partnership are critical to delivering patient-centred care. We offer bespoke training and development programmes that support the practice of shared decision making. Our training sessions, including those for complaints teams, aim to enhance patient experience, improve communications, increase patient engagement, and foster a culture of quality improvement and innovation within the organisations we support.

We have been working with patient participation groups (PPGs) in Herts and West Essex Integrated Care Board’s area to support their work and provide training. Over more than a year, we’ve worked with the PPGs on a range of activities including improving groups’ engagement with their communities and how to use social media, as well as fundamental stuff like setting up a group.

Patient support

We are committed to supporting patients in understanding their health and navigating the complex healthcare system. Through our helpline and online resources, we provide information and guidance that empower patients to confidently engage with the system and share their experiences to drive improvements in patient care. Our helpline, handles more than 3,000 calls annually, giving us insights into the day-to-day challenges patients face.

Among one of our most popular resources is the Nutrition checklist. It’s a really easy-to-use tool that can help carers and healthcare staff raise awareness and identify people who may be at risk of undernutrition through conversations. It also offers guidance on next steps, if someone is at risk.

Reasons to work with us

The Patients Association offers a range of services to support organisations with patient partnership. These include desk-based research, surveys and structured interviews, in-depth case studies, and facilitated focus group discussions. These services enable organisations to hear directly from patients, carers, and healthcare professionals to inform their work and co-create solutions that meet patients’ and organisational needs.

When you work with us, you support the goal of ensuring everybody can access and benefit from the health and care they need to live well, by ensuring services are designed and delivered through equal partnership with patients.

Shivani Shah, Head of Programmes

If you'd like to discuss a project with us, please email Shivani [email protected].