Redrawing the patient as a consumer

Arthur Thomson Hall, Birmingham Medical School
Medical and Dental Sciences
Thursday 22nd November 2012 (12:30-13:30)
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Redrawing the patient as a consumer. Who benefits and who loses? Where does pressure for such changes come from?

Prof Jonathan Tritter, University of Warwick

Respondent: Professor Jim Parle, Primary Care and GP

In NHS management and in guidance from Whitehall patients in England are increasingly portrayed as consumers, much as in buyers of goods and commercial services. This reshaping of the patient is not well received by many health professionals, who like to think of their work as professional, highly personal and relational, based on trust, quality assured and regulated.

The tension between the increasing emphasis on patient and public involvement on the one hand and patient consumerism on the other hand presents challenges for health professionals, health managers, patients and the public. Where does the pressure for patient consumerism come from? What do those with a stake in health systems think of this evolution in health policy? Prof Tritter will address this topic from an international viewpoint. He is lead author on an extensive 3 country study on this topic- covering England, Sweden and Finland within a EU and wider global context (WHO, World Trade Organisation, OECD).

The respondent, Prof Jim Parle, Primary Care Clinical Sciences, will comment on implications for patients and professionals in the consulting room, potential effects on equity and the research agenda.

Professor Jonathan Tritter is based in the International Centre for Governance and Public Management in Warwick Business School. Jonathan's main research interests relate to public participation and lay experience in policy making and service development particularly in relation to health and environmental policy. He is involved in a range of international and national research and development work that focuses particularly on the evidence base on the impact of patient and public involvement.

Jonathan has degrees from the University of Chicago and Oxford University. He established and led the National NHS Centre for Involvement and coordinates the User/University Teaching and Research Action Partnership in Health and Social Care which supports user involvement in research and teaching across the University and is Editor-in-Chief of Health Expectations. He is Chair of the Health Protection and Society Advisory Group for the Health Protection Agency. 

His latest book, with Meri Koivusalo, Eeva Ollila and Paul Dorfman, is: "Globalisation, Markets and Healthcare Policy: Redrawing the Patient as Consumer" and was published by Routledge in August 2010.