Lucy Lloyd is Communications Manager at the University of Cambridge Primary Care Unit.
I’m a bad patient. I’ve always avoided medical intervention if I possibly could and argued with gentle, kind and clever doctors and nurses trying to give me anaesthesia, intravenous antibiotics and transfusions through the various travails and health events in my life so far. But I know well that the day will come when I will welcome medical help. When it does, how safe will I be? THIS Institute promises to work with the complex moving parts of the biggest healthcare system in the world to learn how large and small improvements can be made to improve quality, patient safety and experience.
The launch of THIS Institute on 31 January 2018 was an exercise in collaboration. The centrepiece was a vivid theatre show exploring one man’s journey into the land of the sick and out again. It was easy to see how carefully organised and systematic healthcare must be, if patients are to move through the system with the right bits attached or removed, the right information shared, useful medication that they actually take, aftercare that they can actually access.
I thought: that so many of us emerge with dignity and reduced morbidity is remarkable and a tribute to the NHS and the skills and humanity of the million men and women who look after us when we need them.
I thought: THIS Institute will focus on learning how the healthcare systems we rely on are organised and delivered and what works best for patients: that’s really important. And, listening to Professor Mary Dixon-Woods describe the scale of the undertaking and the breadth of the partnerships that THIS Institute is developing, I thought: keep a close eye on this. It’s going to be very, very interesting. I don't expect I'm alone.