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Second coming for patient power

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7388.520 (Published 08 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:520
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. London

    Laura McMurtrie, the chief executive of the new patients' commission, denies that the system was changed to put a brake on patients' ability to make trouble

    September will see the abolition of the community health councils. The new Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health will create and then supervise their successors. When governments replace one grassroots organisation with what they say is another, they shouldn't be surprised if the people become suspicious. So, this second coming for “patient power” has not been greeted with unalloyed enthusiasm. Consequently, describing the new body's worthwhile aims in anything but lucid terms will not help.

    Unfortunately, the commission's recently appointed chief executive, Laura McMurtrie, does not seem to have taken this idea on board. When I asked her about the commission and its role, this was part of her answer: “We would want to have highly effective knowledge databases that people could draw on so that they could have constructive, meaningful debate that moves the agenda forward in a constructive way. What we're talking about are intelligent, informed, democratised challenges that provide better outcomes for everyone.”

    There must be a neater way of putting that—a form of words more likely to …

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