Health & Care Bill: Bishop of London supports greater advocacy for patients

On 11th January 2022, the House of Lords debated the Health & Care Bill in committee. The Bishop of London spoke in the debate, supporting stronger voices for patients in the NHS, particularly in governing boards:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I declare my background as a former government Chief Nursing Officer and non-executive director of a number of healthcare trusts. I was not going to speak, but I have listened to noble Lords’ comments today and I come down with the noble Baroness, Lady Harding, in saying that we should not stipulate what skills are required of a board too tightly. What is in front of organisations changes over time, so the chair needs to be empowered to change. However, one caveat is that it would be wise to consider having somebody on the board with a background in patients. I speak from experience as a clinical professional: we can too easily forget the patient and to see things through their eyes. Far too often, we see things through the eyes of the clinician, which is not always in the best interest of patients.


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