The ethos of the College of Medicine is that patients should be treated with respect as well as compassion. Its patient members have an equal voice and operate within the College on an equal footing to professionals – doctors, other health professionals and scientists.
The Patients’ Council nominates six members of the College’s Governing Council and provides one of the two Vice-Chairs.
These are no token lay members. They are active and vocal in driving forward the College’s agenda. As far as we know, the College of Medicine is the only professional institution of its kind to involve and engage with patients as equals in this way. It is a living example of the adage: nothing about us without us.
The Patients’ Council says safety is fundamental to healthcare and is looking at how and why that often goes so badly wrong. Not only in the high-profile tragedies, but in the everyday risks of missing notes, missing equipment and poor communication. They are also developing ways of ensuring everyone who wishes to can have a voice within the College.