The Patients Association wants to see patient partnership at work at every level of care, from individual consultations to the design of health and care systems.

Building on the work we’ve already done to be able to authentically ask others to work in partnership with patients, the Association is establishing a panel of 10 patients from marginalised communities. The panel will advise on how the Association can be a true partner. We use the term ‘patient’ to mean anyone who uses the health system.

The panel’s membership will be drawn from groups that are often overlooked, and it’s this array of experiences that will be so valuable. The Patients Association will reimburse people for their time, wisdom, and expertise.

Why this panel is different

People from marginalised communities are often consulted separately. By bringing people together, the aim is to support people to explore what they have in common, learn from and about each other’s communities, and build an authentic, collective, and powerful voice.

"We cannot tell others to work in patient partnership if we are not truly doing it ourselves. We’ve launched our patient partnership strategy and we involved and engaged our members in our strategy development. "With our lived experience advisory panel we are taking that involvement and engagement to the next level."

Rachel Power

At least half the panel will be from black and minority ethnic communities, at least half will be women, and two places will be reserved for people with learning disabilities. For the full list of people we’re looking to recruit, please read our LEAP leaflet.

Ensuring everyone has a voice

The panel will meet monthly, starting in September, for the next six months, after which we’ll carry out a review to consider how to take work forward. Two members of the Association will be part of the panel, which will be facilitated by Philipa Bragman, who is trained in Deep Democracy facilitation.

"I am very excited to be part of this new venture where we are trying to embody the changes that we want to see. I can’t wait to work with the Patients Association and the Lived Experience Advisory Panel to do things differently.  Working together we plan to find new ways to address systemic inequality and understand how we can truly share power by exploring how we can embody these changes."

Philipa Bragman

Deep Democracy focuses on all voices in the group, both central and marginal. It allows space for competing views, tensions, feelings, and differing styles of communication in a way that supports awareness and understanding of rank, power and privilege, and the ways we tend to marginalize various views, individuals, and groups.  Deep Democracy aims to support us all to bring our whole selves into the space we are creating together.

Rachel Power, Chief Executive, the Patients Association 

Philipa Bragman, Consultant/Deep Democracy facilitator

6th August 2021