Patients join University of Leicester in enhancing medical training

Posted by ap507 at May 16, 2016 11:52 AM |
Participation group launched on 17 May to put patient experience at the heart of practice

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 May 2016

Photo/media opp: Tuesday 17 May, 12-2pm in rooms 0.31 and 0.32 of the Centre for Medicine, Lancaster Road. Confirm your attendance at

An innovative initiative that aims to put the real-life experiences of local patients at the heart of medical education is to be launched this month.

The Medical School at the University of Leicester is formally launching a patient participation group known as ‘The Patient and Carers Group’ on 17 May. The launch comes as the Group makes an appeal for new members to make a positive impact on the way medical students learn.

The Patient and Carer Group aims to form a bridge between theory and practice, and working in partnership with students, academics and clinical teachers it will draw on the Group’s experiences of today’s health and social care systems, informing teaching to improve the quality of patient care.

Ann Johnson said: “As a long standing member of the Patient Group I was honoured to work with Professor Liz Anderson to produce a framework document that formed the basis of the Medical School’s Patient Carer Group.  I have long felt that the voices of the patients and carers who use and experience the services of the NHS is an invaluable teaching resource.  I am looking forward to the growth of a lively and diverse group that will support teaching of medical school students.”

Professor Liz Anderson said: “Modern health care curricula aim to place the patient experience at the heart of student learning.  This should start from the beginning of training, inviting patients and carers to meet students during their early class-room teaching and in preparation for when they meet patients in practice.  As staff we look forward to closer working with patients to help shape new ideas for our teaching and ensure our students continue to listen to the needs of the people they seek to help.”

Since 1995, patients have been involved in designing student learning within the interprofessional theme of Leicester’s curriculum. This early work of involving patients in steering groups led to the design of the Leicester Model of Practice-based Interprofessional Education, where ethical principles for working with patients were outlined.

Over 60 people are involved throughout the year with teaching that takes place during the clinical component of the medical school curriculum. Patients and carers have been given formal training to take on these roles.

The intention is that the Patient and Carer Group will grow over time into a diverse group of patients who represent the many groups within Leicester and with whom students will learn preparation for their work as qualified doctors.

Current member Emma Smith was just weeks away from finishing her degree in speech and language therapy when she was involved in a terrible road traffic accident. She hopes to help students to relate to her life-changing experience of receiving treatment for severe brain injuries and a broken pelvis.

Emma said: "I can't emphasise enough how important it is to be treated by compassionate doctors, health and social care professionals. Not everyone responds in the same way to conditions and it makes all the difference to be treated by professionals who recognise this."

The initiative enhances work already taking place in the Medical School and the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology to work more closely with local healthcare providers. It will also form a cornerstone of a brand new medical curriculum that will radically improve the patient experience by delivering safe and compassionate care. The University aims to completely overturn accepted wisdom about medical education by putting patients at the heart of practice.

Professor Nick London, Head of the Medical School, said: “Leicester Medical School is absolutely delighted by the launch of the new Patient and Carers Group. Leicester Medical Students will benefit enormously from the ‘real life’ experiences that these patients bring to their education.”

These innovations come alongside the University’s new Centre for Medicine, the largest investment in medical teaching and applied research by a UK university in the last decade. The cutting-edge facility will act as a hub to bring together, for the first time, the University’s leading academics, researchers, clinicians and students; currently spread across multiple sites in the city, the new Centre will completely transform medical teaching and improve the lives of many patients in the region and beyond.

  • Are you a former patient, or carer for a patient, and would like to contribute to and influence the training of future doctors in Leicestershire and beyond? Contact Sharon Hague 0116 252 3739 or register you interest using the email below to find out how to join the Patient and Carer Group.
  • You can listen to an interview with Emma Smith on BBC Radio Leicester’s Ben Jackson Show (from 2 minutes): 


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Administrator Sharon Hague on email:



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