About the Future Patient Blog


There are about 20-30 posts not included in this contents page. At the moment, you will need to go to the latest post and scroll down for recent posts. This will be rectified asap. And soon, all posts will be transferred to my updated website http://www.inhealthassociates.co.uk

The Future Patient Blog is where you can find musings about the possibilities of patient-led and user-led healthcare by David Gilbert.

I am a mental health service user with 30 years of experience as a patient and public engagement practitioner. I am also Patient Director, Sussex MSK Partnership (Central).

I believe that healthcare needs to change radically so that patients, carers, communities and citizens become partners for change.

Follow me on Twitter @DavidGilbert43

Find out more about the work I do at www.inhealthassociates.co.uk

I am also the author and developer of the Engagement Cycle that supports commissioners to undertake effective patient and public engagement

My book ‘The Patient Revolution – how we can heal healthcare’ was published in October 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

I am a poet and Writer In Residence at The Bethlem Gallery. My new collection of poems, ‘Elephants. Fragile’ was published in January 2018 by Cinnamon Press 

My book ‘The Rare Bird Recovery Protocol’ will be published in Spring 2020 by Cinnamon.

The posts you can find here are:

You Were So Good, So – poems from the psych ward

The Gang Is Still Here – Why 2017 was the year of Patient Leadership 

Beyond The Asylum Mentality: why now is the time for dialogue

Throwing A Sickie: why I am pleased to have been honest about my mental health problems

As Incredible As Love Is – some winter poems

Transitions – some more recent poetry about resilience

Hugs and Drugs – The limitations of ‘mental health awareness’

When My Words Went Elsewhere – true co-production across arts and health

Patient Leaders – what does that mean?

The Hope Frog – poems on resilience

The Broken Compass – personal reflections on control, meaning and choice in mental health 

FAQu – some answers that patient partners can use when they get asked the same old questions

The Road From Nowhere – How Patient And Carer Partners Are Changing Healthcare

What Matters Matters – How my psychiatrist got it right (after so many got it wrong)

Excluded From Power – a Guest Post by Renza Scibilia

Happy Birthday Me – Musings of a Two Year Old Patient Director

Three Poems For London

It’s About Time – why we need a ‘slow-health movement’

Let’s Talk About Death – breaking the taboos that surround suicide

For My Tired Friends – don’t give up!

Let’s (Not) Talk About Depression

Resilience – recent poetry

It’s Not All About You – why we need new stories about healthcare

You Who – an offering on ‘resilience’

Can I Ask A Question? The travails of a grumpy old git

The Forgotten – how non-clinical staff are the key to a better NHS

What’s Stopping You Appointing A Patient Director? An open letter to all healthcare organisations

Poetry In The Mean Time (poems during a dark period)

Like Listening For Glass – more poems written during troubled times

When Elephants Fight: Time for honest discussions (with patients and citizens) about the NHS

This Coldest Day – testimony for a kind soul (for Rosamund Snow)

The Jewel Merchants – a parable for healthcare and what patients can bring

What’s Your Dog – Dealing with troubling times and how to avoid being ‘triggered’ by the events of 2016

A Few Poems from 2016 

A Touch On The Arm – returning to work after mental health problems

How To Be Unhappy – and managing your own self-expectations

The Makers of Bethlem – Words from the Victorian Asylum

If I Still Scream – Three Reasons Why Trumpism Hurts 

Let’s Talk About Power – Here Come The Patientistas

Once I Came This Way – Blog and Poems inspired by the Wellcome Collection’s ‘Beyond Bedlam’ exhibition

The Difficult Art Of Returning To Work After Mental Health Problems

Gazza’s Moment of Madness (And Mine) – a story that I hope helps a little to prevent more suicides

The Hedgehog – What Happens When Policy Making Is Driven By Fear (Also a critique of Secret Transformation Programmes… I mean ‘sustainable’)

Dear Friend – A Letter to Patient Leaders

Mr Robot – Musings On The Personal, Professional and The Political

Is It Worth It? Reflections After A Breakdown

Sometimes A Hill – Poems Written During Times Of Trouble

Say It: I Still Have Mental Health Problems

What If? Patients As Partners

Patient As Refugee https://futurepatientblog.com/2016/05/30/patient-as-refugee/

InThroughOut: Poems of Illness and Recovery

Stop Kicking The Cat – how patients can help change NHS Culture

The Imperfect Patient Director https://futurepatientblog.com/2016/05/15/my-imperfect-blog-how-to-be-a-good-enough-patient-director/

Blame It On The Wine – Daring to talk about the future of the NHS https://futurepatientblog.com/2015/12/04/blame-it-on-the-wine-daring-to-talk-about-the-future-of-the-nhs/

Junior Doctors and the Dishwasher Dispute https://futurepatientblog.com/2016/04/28/586/

Getting Serious: How a Patient Director can help focus the NHS on what matters to patients

Good Death. Bad Death: What my mum and dad’s deaths revealed about inequalities

So Good. So Good. So…: My psychiatric in-patient experience (in poetry)

Being Weird: The Plight of Patient Leaders

The Letter: How a Patient Director can help integration

In Through Out – my mental health poetry journey

Being Valued: What I learned during my first week as a Patient Director

The Patient’s Dozen – What Matters to Patients and Carers

Patient as Hero

Paying the Price: The Emotional Labour of Patient Leadership

Seven Things that Patients Bring: The Benefits of Patients as Partners for Change https://futurepatientblog.com/2015/03/22/seven-things-that-patients-bring-the-benefits-of-patients-as-partners-for-change/

I Should Co-Co: time for patients to say no

No More Eddies: Hitting suicide targets and missing the point?

Beyond Us and Them: The role of patients in governance and improvement

The Engagement Industry: Lots of activity with little impact

Just in Case: Patient-led solutions to A&E problems

Poetry and Healthcare: The meeting of two worlds

Patients as Pus: Why the process of discharge needs to change

The Rep Trap: The Catch 22 of being a patient representative

We Are All Patients: Yes and no

Thank you Mandy et al: How small acts of kindness from non-clinical staff helped me recover from mental health problems

Patients and Data: Changing roles and relationships

No More Lazy Thinking: Let’s get clear on the benefits of patients as partners

Ideas from Patients: How patient-led innovation could work

The Future Patient: A manifesto for patient-led health and healthcare

If you go to futurepatientblog.com you can scroll down all articles.

7 thoughts on “About the Future Patient Blog

  1. Hi David, We met briefly in March at the London Making HealthCare Human conf. I was the bloke who couldn’t talk well. I just found a poem I wrote a while ago, needs more work, but it captures the heart of my inability to communicate properly.

    some people lost their voice
    others never had one
    and i’ve learnt the hardest way
    the ‘sound of silence’ an’t much fun

    and this i know, as i feel the tears,
    the pain is real as are my fears,
    of being a nobody ‘cos nobody hears
    So here’s the deal – open your ears:

    every nobody should be heard
    so melt your heart, emotions stirred,
    and listen. listen. listen.
    listen to the voiceless

    best, you are an inspiration
    iain upton


  2. Hi David, Thank you for your fabulous blogs – we share them here with consumer representatives and health services (I work for a state based NGO advocating for involving consumers in designing and running health care).
    Do you have position or role description of “Patient Director” that you would be happy to share with us? Thanks, Serena


  3. Hi David. Still here and still campaigning!! Our NHS Trust is playing fast and loose with ‘ consultation’ – your advice would be helpful if you have time to email me?


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