Intended for healthcare professionals


Better together: patient partnership in medical journals

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 10 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3798
  1. Tessa Richards, senior editor, patient partnership,
  2. Sara Schroter, senior researcher,
  3. Amy Price, patient editor,
  4. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief
  1. The BMJ, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: T Richards trichards{at}

The BMJ’s experience can be a springboard for others

The BMJ has had patient editors for over 20 years, and they have brought a new dimension to our work and thinking. None more so than the peerless Rosamund Snow.1 But her predecessors left their mark too, including Peter Lapsley, who 10 years ago underlined that “patients have more to contribute to the BMJ than simply [recounting] their experience of illness and treatment.”2 He died before we launched our revolutionary patient partnership strategy,34 but he would have welcomed the changes it has brought to our editorial processes and the movement, supported by patients,5 now spreading to other journals.

Our strategy was co-produced with an international patient advisory panel and continues to be co-steered by them. The lively exchanges with and between panel members and The BMJ staff, moderated by the journal’s patient editors, raises editorial awareness of patient led initiatives and issues that matter to patients and carers and informs commissioning decisions across the journal. Panel members are often among the first to comment on articles, and many …

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