Patient empowerment:

For better quality, more sustainable health services globally

A report by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Global Health; HIV/AIDs; Population, Development and Reproductive Health; Global Tuberculosis; and Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care

This report takes a global perspective on an issue that concerns us all, wherever we live: whether healthcare is something that is done ‘to’ us or ‘with’ us.

Ill health can be profoundly disempowering, but we should all have the chance to understand what is wrong, be involved in making decisions about our treatment, and take responsibility for managing the parts of our care that we are able to. Providing care in this way isn’t just a vital component of good quality, it’s also essential to the sustainability of health systems for the future. This is as true for the UK as it is for countries where many people never see a doctor during their lifetime.

The NHS has made real progress over the years in strengthening the patient role. Thanks to huge social and technological change, reforms to professional education, the commitment of successive governments and many other factors, the role of the patient is slowly becoming less passive. Still, examples of poor care are not hard to find and in several key areas we have struggled to see any improvement for over a decade.

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