The 13th March 2013 is NHS Change Day - a national day where staff, managers and patients collectively improve the NHS through a number of pledges to change little things. I must admit I have only recently realised that patients themselves can be involved in NHS Change Day, but think it is only proper that we are. The NHS is often referred to as "our NHS" and leaders say it "belongs to everyone", which it does. As patients, we are in the privileged position to influence the NHS for the better (patient power!) and both as individuals and together, we have the potential to catalyse the transition to a more effective NHS that delivers better services for us more often.
So what can I do on the 13th March to add my little bit to this great big movement?
On the NHS Change Day website, they suggest the following pledges for patients:
- Share your experiences of your long term condition with others who have been recently diagnosed
- Pledge along with your nurse to review your care plans
- Smile: if you receive good care from your team, let them know
- Offer to share your good and bad experiences with medical and nursing students
On the 13th March, I am not planning on having any appointments or direct contact with the NHS (hopefully, unless I have another bad relapse!) so my pledge is going to have to use the Internet and social media on the day . . .
I have already posted on this blog about giving feedback and how important (and easy!) it is. The last suggestion above is particularly important and something I feel very strongly about - sharing experiences with students. Having been a medical student myself before becoming a patient, I understand where both sides are coming from - places quite far apart - and how much we can both learn from each other. It hasn't been pleasant or enjoyable acquiring so much 'patient experience' over the last few years, but if someone can gain some benefit from it and that is passed onto their patients, then I can find great comfort in that.
I am going to write a blog post about my transition from medical student to patient, and share it with as many students as possible. There are so many things I wish I understood about long term health conditions when I was at medical school - I would love for them to learn that without having to experience being a patient in the process!
Watch this space . . . . (or subscribe to make sure you don't miss it!)
I'd love to hear about what other patients are doing for NHS Change Day too - leave a comment here and visit the NHS Change Day website!