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The Patient Revolution

The Patient Revolution

How We Can Heal the Healthcare System

David Gilbert

Quick Overview

Powerful real-life stories of 'patient leaders' - ordinary people affected by life-changing illnesses, disabilities, or conditions, who are revolutionising the healthcare system, and improving patient care and support, by putting themselves at the heart of decision-making processes.
2019, Paperback / softback, 8.43in x 5.35in / 214mm x 136mm, 272pp
ISBN: 9781785925382

Availability: In stock



The NHS is in crisis - it's in record demand, and care services are at breaking point - but what if the solution to rescuing the NHS is in the hands of the patients themselves?

In this refreshingly positive and remarkable book, David Gilbert shares the powerful real-life stories of 'patient leaders' - ordinary people affected by life-changing illnesses, disabilities, or conditions, who have all gone back into the fray to help change the healthcare system in necessary and inspiring ways. Charting their diverse journeys - from managing to live with their condition, and their motivation to change the status quo, right through to their successes in improving approaches to health and social care - these moving and courageous stories aim to motivate others to take back control and showcase the pivotal importance of patients as genuine decision-making leaders.

Filled with hard-won wisdom and everyday heroism, The Patient Revolution challenges current discourse and sets out an empowering vision of how patient leaders can change the future of healthcare.


'Healthcare has made huge progress in the last 70 years, but how much further could we have travelled if we'd let patients lead the charge? To design any treatment or service without hearing the voices of those who use it, and knowing what matters most to them, is to set ourselves up for failure. And yet patient involvement is a relatively recent idea. When I trained as a doctor in the mid-eighties, we commonly wouldn't tell some patients what their diagnosis was, for fear of upsetting them. Others were labelled 'not for resuscitation' without any discussion or agreement from them. And yet as this book amply illustrates, there are huge gains to be made from telling patients the whole truth and letting them take a lead in their care, and to take as much control and responsibility as they feel willing and able to do. The patient leaders here tell inspiring and sometimes frustrating stories, but they are all united by a desire to learn from their experience and to improve the experience of those who follow them. We desperately need their help if healthcare is to cope with the demands placed on it. This wonderful collection of insight and experience is a great place to start.'
- Dr Phil Hammond, NHS doctor, journalist and author of ‘Staying Alive – How to Improve Your Health and Your Healthcare’

'At the beginning of my medical career, collaborations with service users barely existed. When they started to emerge, I have to admit I was sceptical. But as I grew older, and hopefully wiser, I started to wake up. Now I think they are indispensable. If anyone still needs convincing, read this book. I promise you won't regret it.'
- Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal Society of Medicine

'David has shaped the purpose of Patient Leadership as a Patient Director in an NHS Service. Bringing his full and authentic self to the workplace David has truly located the Patient as an equal in the planning and delivery of NHS care. There is much for us all to learn from his experience.'
- Samantha Allen, Chief Executive, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

''Extraordinary stories, extraordinarily well told' was my first reaction but that is not the point of this book. The point is that, sadly, the stories may be all too common. The people who have talked to David Gilbert about their experiences of healthcare have done us all a service, as has Gilbert in his sensitive presentation of their voices. We should all listen.'
- Harry Cayton, former Chief Executive, Professional Standards Authority


A profoundly important book about a social movement of patients who are also activists and entrepreneurs and who can make a vital contribution to the NHS. Having read the book, I am left wondering: 'Why doesn't the system wholeheartedly embrace patient leadership?'

Perhaps it's all about power. A chief executive recently tweeted- without irony- that a red chair would sit empty during all executive meetings to remind board members of the importance of patient involvement. Please read this book, please reflect on it and please don't leave the red chair empty.

- Professor Alf Collins, Clinical Director for Personalised Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement

'This book is dangerously good.'
- Richard Pemberton, Director of British Psychological Society


By (author): David Gilbert