February 9th 2021

The Patients Association has today launched its new five year strategy, with patient partnership as its central strategic focus.

Lucy Watson, Chair of the Patients Association, said: “There is growing acceptance of the principle that patients should be actively involved in both decisions about their own care and the shaping of health and care services themselves. Putting that principle into practice has long been a struggle, and much remains to be done to translate words and ideals into reality for patients.

“Our focus on achieving true patient partnership is vital given the current situation, and the impetus to rebuild services which must be done in partnership with patients and communities to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes. This approach is clearly in line with the aims of our founders nearly 60 years ago.”

The new strategy, ‘True Patient Partnership’, was developed by the Patients Association’s trustees and staff over the course of 2020, as the organisation adopted to working remotely and re-assessing its financial plans for the year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “This strategy will provide guidance and clarity for the organisation over the next five years, in which we will face not only the challenge of maintaining and growing a charity in a difficult climate, but also the wider challenge of rebuilding and reshaping health and care services as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of patients.”

The strategy covers the five years to the end of 2025, and received favourable feedback from our members, supporters and stakeholders with whom it was shared during autumn 2020. “

The Patients Association has received messages of support for its strategy from its key stakeholder, as follows.

“The NHS Confederation and our members share the ambition to develop partnerships with patients from all backgrounds and communities across all our services and settings, and we know the enormous difference that will make to the quality of outcomes for the communities our members serve. We know there is much work for us to do, and the role of groups such as the Patient Association is vital are vital in challenging us to do better, with and on behalf of our members”
Danny Mortimer
Chief Executive
NHS Confederation

“By any measure the NHS is currently facing the biggest challenge in its history, this strategy sets out clearly the vital role patients must play as services are restored and the system is reset. Too often the patient voice has been overlooked, but arguably now there has never been a better time to ensure people who rely on the NHS for healthcare are genuinely at the centre of the conversation, planning and delivery of its future.’”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

The strategy contains the following focus and strategic purpose.


To ensure that everybody can access and benefit from the health and care they need to live well, by ensuring that services are designed and delivered through equal partnership with patients.

Strategic focus 2021-25

Patient partnership in the design and delivery of health and care services.

An article about the new strategy by Rachel Power can be read on our blog.