The Patient-Centred Organisation

We provide strategic advice and support for health and social care organisations so that they can:

  • Work with patients, service users, carers and citizens as true partners for change.
  • Turn the rhetoric of patient and public engagement into everyday practice.
  • Make sure engagement makes a difference to people’s health and lives.

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Engagement Cultures and Systems

We support effective engagement that impacts on decision-making, leads to better services and is value for money. We help hard-wire engagement into everything you do – to develop a clear vision, strategies and plans and the right cultures and systems. We tackle the tricky issues too – making good use of data, working with seldom heard groups and supporting staff and patients do the work well.

Patient Leadership

We foster new forms of engagement and patient leadership by creating opportunities for patients to contribute in different ways. We go beyond ‘representatives’ on advisory groups, focus groups and consultations. We support patients as partners in service improvement, peer support workers, community champions, user-researchers and patient-entrepreneurs. See ‘Bring It On’ Guide.

The Transformed Service

We provide implementation support to professional teams and patients to work together in order to:

  • Review, improve, and redesign services and clinical pathways
  • Undertake work to transform services so that they are more integrated and patient-centred
  • Discuss and decide on controversial issues, such as prioritisation, reconfiguration and decommissioning

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Service improvement

We help professionals and patients work together to review and improve services and clinical pathways. We adapt process mapping, quality improvement and co-design methodologies to ensure that patients and professionals are equal partners. We often model service improvement in one area, alongside senior leaders to ensure corporate buy-in, shared learning, spread and sustainability.

Change and reconfiguration

We do the hard stuff and provide safe spaces in which people (as citizens and taxpayers) hold honest discussions about resources, priorities, trade-offs, change, decommissioning and reconfiguration. We support the development of new models of care and are experts in deliberative methodologies that support difficult decision-making and facilitate improved relationships.

Patients as Partners for Change

We support patients to have the capacity to be equal partners in health and healthcare:

  • At ‘individual’ level (my say in health, care and treatment decisions).
  • At ‘collective’ (our say in practice and policy decisions).
  • And, we build the capacity of patients to be change agents.

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Shared decision-making

We build better partnerships between patients and professionals that support shared decision-making. For example, we can help you develop better patient information, care planning processes, communication with patients and carers and patient access to medical records. We are well equipped to support commissioners and providers within the Patients in Control and ‘personalisation’ agenda.

Patients as change agents

We help patients and carers have a better say – We train patient and lay representatives to be more effective, and help build the capacity of patient groups and voluntary sector organisations. We also work with Mark Doughty Associates to run patient leadership training programmes.

The Engaged Comissioner

We help commissioners work with communities, the public and patients throughout the commissioning cycle. Using our tried and tested model, The Engagement Cycle we can:

  • Develop engagement strategies for CCGs
  • Help embed engagement cultures and systems to support effective commissioning.
  • Undertake engagement activities at each stage of the commissioning cycle – needs assessment, prioritisation exercises, redesign, etc.

Visit The Engagement Cycle Website

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The Engagement Cycle

The Engagement Cycle is a tried and tested model that supports commissioners to engage with patients and the public throughout the commissioning cycle. It features in NHS England Participation Guidance and in the Engagement Strategies of over 50 CCGs.

Engagement Cycle Workshops

We run workshops and seminars on the Cycle, and can tailor its use to organisational needs – Board seminars to get strategic buy in, staff workshops to assess who is doing what at each stage of the cycle, or implementation support to ensure getting the maximum benefit from working with the Engagement Cycle.

Recent Blogs and Articles

Latest News

Our new research report: Making Sense and Making Use of Patient Experience Data is launched on 4th June. Undertaken in partnership with MES (you can view the report here), this is an in-depth study of how organisations are using data to improve services

On behalf of the Centre for Mental Health (http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk) we are evaluating implementation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services around the country. These are schemes that provide people with enduring and serious mental health problems paid employment.


  • The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

    "David Gilbert's contribution on how we take our involvement strategy at the Trust to the next level has been invaluable.  His approach is challenging and sensitive at the same time and he has brought a wealth of insights on how, in a meaningful way,people who use services can be put at the centre of our work. I and my team have really enjoyed working with him.
    Paul Jenkins Chief Executive
  • St Giles Trust

    "David provided advice and support recently for our senior team on health commissioning, which was both illuminating and engaging. The session was pitched just right and enabled the team to have an informed discussion around the potential options we could consider and the strategy required. As a result, we have developed an approach towards health related funding which starts from a more knowledgeable position, and already identified routes to funding. Thanks to InHealth Associates, we feel more confident in pursuing these opportunities".
    Andy CrossDirector Of Services
  • National Voices

    "I have known David Gilbert since early in my time as CEO of National Voices. He is a valued colleague, a powerful service user champion and one of the most interesting, engaging and thoughtful people on the patient empowerment scene. He has been very influential in shaping my own thinking and approach".
    Jeremy TaylorNational Voices
  • Diabetes UK

    "I have worked with David Gilbert of InHealth Associates regularly since 2007. I have always been impressed by his unique combination of ‘patient’ focus, informed by his own experience and extensive networks, and his in depth knowledge of the working of local and national health decision making. David has a very flexible and knowledgeable approach to engaging staff and patients in health systems and in finding ways that work beyond the usual (often stale) structures. David has effectively delivered research projects for us and has worked on the development of several funding bids. I can highly recommend David and InHealth Associates as a partner".
    David JonesHead of Involvement and Shared Practice