Involve patients to improve NHS

Practice-level patient groups should expand to take on a role in commissioning consortia, according to the NHS Alliance.

Speaking at a conference held by the National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP), Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said patient involvement is the 'only way that we will get a good health service'.

'As practices become more and more responsible and accountable, I can only imagine GPs and managers running those practices will increasingly want patients to become more involved,' he said.

'The pay at practices will be increasingly dependent upon whether they listen to and act on the needs and decisions of their patients and patient groups.'

Dr Dixon said involved patients would make informed choices about their healthcare and save the NHS money. Around 40 per cent of practices now have a patient participation group, according to NAPP.

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