Talk WITH the patient and not ABOUT the patient
The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has developed a brochure ‘patient included’ or ‘patient included’.
Talk with instead of talking about, ‘nothing about them without them’. Involve patients, residents, informal caregivers, experts by experience – in other words, the people we do it for – from the very first moment in policymaking and improving care practice. That seems obvious. How else do you get to know what their daily life with disabilities looks like and what they need?
As logical as it sounds, the practice is unruly and the paper on which “the patient is central” is patient. Incidentally, there is no reason to gloom, because there are more and more inspiring examples in healthcare practice where things like co-creation, decision-making and the patient at the helm are becoming the new normal. And yet there is also a whole world to be won.
Too often there is a gap between what someone needs in care and the care itself. The care does not exactly fit, is sometimes difficult to obtain or, due to all kinds of structures and procedures, is not where it is needed.
And then, as a Ministry of VWS, we must of course also practice what we preach. Experience it yourself and experience what it means to make and implement policy together with experts. Give a good example of how you can bridge the gap between the system world of, in this case, the government and the patient’s living environment, as Lenneke Stabel describes so beautifully in the introduction.
This is possible by working on a large scale ‘patient included’ and with that, we are well on our way, as is evident from this edition. It requires an open view, respect, mutual understanding and patience from all parties.
Dr. Erik Gerritsen Secretary General
This brochure is only available in Dutch.