Ben Bravery’s call to put patient perspective at the heart of medicine is spot-on and prescient, given the legacy of the Covid pandemic, which has left millions with stubborn Covid-related symptoms (As a cancer patient, I felt dismissed by doctors. As a doctor, I am desperate for the system to change, theguardian.com, 13 August). He is absolutely right to recommend a patient-led approach for doctors, but this is also necessary for all health and social care providers.
The treatment for those with long Covid and other post-Covid issues presents a once- in-a-generation opportunity to use patient insight to shape how complex health conditions are treated. Two years into my own long Covid recovery, I was invited by Health Systems Innovation Lab at London South Bank University to take part in a series of workshops involving health and social care professionals (including clinicians). We worked to improve pathways of support. The success of this project has directly led to a new plan to embed patient input into their work.
I’ve also volunteered to share health information locally. This is supporting my rehabilitation, while at the same time ensuring that my knowledge and experience, alongside other patients’, is shared for the benefit of others. I encourage doctors and health and social care providers to listen to patients, to be bold, and to explore ways to collaborate that allow more people to feel empowered and valued after experiencing health challenges.
West Wickham, London