#PatientsasPartners16 Event


“I felt moved and inspired by the patient stories, confirming my belief that a different way of working between professionals and users of the health service is required to improve outcomes for patients. The stories also confirmed that this will involve major cultural change for both staff and patients. This will require continued use of narrative and open dialogue with mutual learning by active listening and putting ourselves in the shoes of the other. The agenda requires senior level support within organisations and actively planning engagement of staff and service users at all levels. It was useful to talk to others about their experience”  Rachel Warner


Recovery Enterprises were delighted to co-host #PatientsasPartners16 with the NHS Confederation and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust in Sheffield on 15 April 2016. The event was also supported by Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network and the National Institute for Health Research Devices for Dignity

The event brought together a number of pieces of local, regional and national work relating to working in partnership with patients and communities around enterprise, education and digital technology.

Health/care leaders came from across the North and from Sheffield to explore together how to create the conditions where genuine partnerships of trust, shared purpose and responsibility can be built across health and social care with people who have significant experience of being a patient and/or using services who are motivated to lead change and improve lives.

“No badges and safe spaces lead to better conversations” Rob Webster

We purposefully chose a fresh, innovative and relaxed venue, did away with the usual labels and ask people to make their own in an attempt to flatten the platform and create an environment where everyone felt comfortable and valued.

We shared the event online through twitter, persicope and steller . 157 people joined in on twitter making 2 million impressions.

Patients designed the format and the big organisations involved facilitated and supported but did not impose or control the content or the process.

We had five amazing and inspiring ‘patient leaders’ who delivered master class workshops:

* TedX Speaker and Author Kate Allatt shared her inspiring story of recovery from locked-in syndrome and how she has drawn on technology, her own experience and sheer bloody-mindedness to improve the aspirations and experience of care for others.

* Kidney Transplant Patient and Management Expert David Coyle shared his insights on bringing together his own lived experience along with his significant management experience and cool head to work in partnership with Devices for Dignity driving forward patient led technology design and development.

* Trainer, DJ and Poet Ben Dorey shared his story of living with mental health conditions and experience of being employed within Sheffield Health and Social Care to train staff around recovery. He provided listeners with insights into how the NHS can remove tokenism and authentically value people with lived experience as employees.

* Social Media expert Sue Sibbald, who co-chairs the national Borderline Personality Disorder Commission with Norman Lamb MP, shared her experience of successfully managing to infiltrate, influence and change policy and practice across a whole organisation and beyond.

* Professor and Storying Sheffield Founder Professor Brendan Stone shared how he has combined his many talents and skills with his long-term experience of living with a mental health condition to challenge and change culture, policy and stigma highlighting the innovative Sheffield Flourish Digital Wellbeing Hub.

After the workshops we had the opportunity to reflect together on what we had learnt, the headlines were:

  1. Courageous leadership is needed
  2. The importance of local partnerships and relationships
  3. Power imbalance and culture must be explored, challenged and changed
  4. Purposeful action towards equality and inclusion must be included
  5. Strength based approach to unleashing the potential in our people and place is key
  6. The value of authentic co-production and positive human relationships
  7. The need for active listening across all partners


The feedback was extremely positive with 70% of participants completing the evaluation form of which 97% thought the event was excellent or good and felt their objectives had been achieved.

“Very thought provoking. I have come away with a number of ideas and also gained useful contacts to progress the work beyond the conference event” Wendy Joseph

“A truly inspiring event, well-conceived, well-organised and with a positive and collaborative atmosphere” Ted Turner,

A heartfelt thank you to the people who gifted their stories and insights at #PatientsasPartners16. It is now our individual and collective choice and responsibility to act on what we have learnt together #watchthisspace

If you would like to learn more please do get in touch:

by twitter @roz_davies  or email: [email protected]

Further Information:

We have produced a full event report here.

We captured the event visually through the Steller App here.

Pippa Hedley-Takhar wrote a blog about #PatientsasPartners

We will be presenting findings on 15 June at the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network Ecosystem Event






More News

What to expect from our groups!

Here at Sheffield Flourish, we support Sheffield community enterprises which run regular free, fun and mental health friendly activities. Each...