I was asked by RAND Professor Mary Dixon-Woods to open THIS Institute, and it was and honour and a privilege to do so. Its aim is to create a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS by strengthening the evidence base for improving the quality and safety of healthcare. Now if that sounds a bit dry – here’s my take on it. They want to bring together all the evidence to prove what does and doesn’t work when it comes to improving the quality of patient healthcare – which has never been done before.
What is so inspirational to me is that instead of solely working with doctors to ask them how to improve healthcare, THIS Institute is working with PATIENTS – who actually receive the healthcare.
Finally – someone will listen to us, maybe even all of us, to find out what it’s really like to be on the other side.
And if that’s not enough, they’re looking outside the box by working with other sectors, such as engineers, to see if things can be done differently. As a doctor it can be very hard to imagine new ways of working, as we’ve been doing things a certain way for many, many years. Getting outsiders in to watch what we do and how we do it could be revolutionary, and improve things for both doctors and patients alike.
Eric Topol, an American physician, in his book ‘The Patient Will See You Now’, says that the patient is the single most unused person in healthcare. Finally, someone is listening. THIS Institute is listening.