UCLH is committed to involving patients, carers, and members of the public in planning, developing, delivering, and monitoring the services we provide. Involving patients and the public in decision-making is crucial to ensuring that those services are what patients want and need.

Becoming a Patient Partner

Patient Partners are patients, carers, families, people with lived experience and other members of the public who are involved with UCLH.

A wide range of activities are open to Patient Partners at UCLH, ranging from becoming a member of a patient working group, to participating in a Readers Group which gives input via email on new patient material about to be rolled out.

It’s important to note, that while some of the work that Patient Partners do is voluntary, the role of a Patient Partner is different to the one of a UCLH volunteer.

The main difference is that volunteers work primarily on site and interact with patients directly – a volunteer may keep patients company in the wards or help to direct patients to the right clinic when they come in through our doors.

Patient Partners, on the other hand, participate in online or in-person meetings with UCLH Staff and bring a patient perspective to specific topics.

A few examples include:

  • Patient Safety Partners (PSPs): This is a new role developed by NHS England to help improve patient safety across NHS healthcare. Here at UCLH we are excited to have PSPs to work alongside our staff, patients, and families to influence and improve safety within our hospitals.
  • Maternity Voices Partners (MVP): Women who have given birth at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital meet with staff from our Maternity unit to discuss areas for service improvement.
  • The Outpatient Transformation Working Group (OWG): patients and carers with lived experience of our Outpatient services meet virtually once a month to share ideas on the several projects that are part of our Outpatient Transformation Strategy.
  • Patient Experience and Engagement Committee: a monthly virtual staff meeting chaired by the Chief Nurse that reviews all activities aimed at improving the Experience of our Patients, with three patient representatives on the panel.
  • The Data Trust Committee (DTC): a collaborative of equal numbers of staff and patients which meets monthly to review and approve data-focused research projects.

The time commitment varies but often patient partners attend one or two-hour meetings every month or few months.

It’s also important to distinguish the role of a Patient Partner to the one of a Patient Governor. Our Council of Governors is made up of 24 elected governors (5 public; 13 UCLH patients, including one carer of a patient; and 6 staff) and 9 appointed governors from partner organisations representing our key stakeholders. You can read more about governors here.

The easiest way to get involved and become a Patient Partner is to become a UCLH Member first. This way, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter listing all current opportunities directly into your inbox. When you find the right opportunity for you, you’ll be given instructions on how to apply.