Healthwatch Surrey calls on citizens to take up leadership roles in the NHS

11th January 2017

Healthwatch Surrey is calling on local citizens who care about the NHS to take up crucial patient leadership roles to support improvement of the quality and safety of health and social care in Surrey.

In partnership with the local NHS body responsible for spreading innovation and best practice – Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) – and the national Centre for Patient Leadership, Healthwatch Surrey is recruiting twelve volunteer Patient Leaders for a pioneering new programme to involve local people in decisions.

Matthew Parris, Project Manager at Healthwatch Surrey, said:

“Our Patient Leaders will help the NHS to see the patient perspective in a new way to help create services that work for local people.

“Examples like the new Mindsight Children and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS), which involved young people from the start of its design, show how local NHS leaders are beginning to see the benefits of working in partnership with patients…how designing and delivering services with – and not ‘doing things to’ – patients is resulting in improved services for everyone. ”

Pauline Smith,Senior Improvement Manager at KSS AHSN said:

“The focus of this project is to bring an external perspective to the work we do, supporting organisations across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to improve care.  I am confident that these leaders will bring us a different perspective, ask questions and offer views that will steer our work and improve outcomes for patients and service improvement.”

The Patient Leaders will work on areas such as:

  • reducing medication errors
  • making sure patients are safely discharged home or to their next care provider
  • How Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury can be detected early and treated effectively.
  • Applying their perspective as a patient or carer to key discussions about how to improve services, to sound out ideas and plans.

It is hoped that this pioneering programme could set a new standard and expectation about how the expertise of local people can applied across the NHS, and beyond, to accelerate progress towards treating people as partners.

For further information and an application pack people can contact Healthwatch Surrey on 0303 303 0023 (local rate) or please email Erika Lorimer at 





  1. Participants in the Patient Leaders programme will be supported in their roles through a learning and development programme run by the Centre for Patient Leadership. The time commitment will vary but will be a mixture of days and mornings/afternoons over nine weekdays in the next 12 months, commencing on the 10th March, with other dates to be agreed.