Forging a partnership between patients, learners and educators in undergraduate medical education

Patients are pivotal in supporting medical student learning. Involving patients and the public in medical education and training enables better patient-centred care, but forging a meaningful partnership remains a challenge.

This case study explores how the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience, Division of Medical Education, University of Manchester has tackled this challenge.

What is the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience?

The Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience was established to involve patients and the public in the training of doctors. The centre works with carefully selected patient and public representatives called medical education partners who are integral to many aspects of Manchester Medical School's undergraduate education. The centre is also supported by national affiliates who come from various leadership roles in healthcare, research and the voluntary sector.

What is the work of the centre?

The centre aims to forge a partnership between patients, the public, students and academic staff in the governance, development and delivery of medical education. The centre helps design, develop and test innovative methods for expanding interactions with patient and public representatives for all students and thereby produce better patient-centred doctors.

The centre also delivers an annual Doubleday lecture open to the students, staff and the public. Speakers have included Andy Burnham Mayor of Manchester, Sir Bruce Keogh and Sir Robert Francis. These lectures provide valuable insight into the NHS and wider health and social care issues which help contextualise the students learning and the public's understanding of the complex and often fluid landscape in which doctors are being trained.

The centre has a medical student ambassador who is involved in promoting work and partnership with patients and carers to other students. The student ambassador also supports the Doubleday lecture series with other students. The centre designs effective methods of introducing the patient and public voice into the governance, teaching, and design of the medical school's programmes.

Detailed information

Medical education partners

Medical education partners are selected patient and public representatives. They drive the Manchester Medical School's patient and public involvement strategy. Medical education partners involved at a wide variety of medical education activities, such as being interviewers for prospective medical students as well as actively participating in teaching and learning. Medical education partners are also members of various committees across the medical school, including the health and conduct panels for medical students with difficulties. The work of the centre has been acknowledged nationally by Nesta and NHS England. It has also featured as an example of good practice by the Beryl Institute, a global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge in the US.

I want to learn more

For further information, contact Dr Robina Shah, Director Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience at Alternatively, see the centre's website.