Evidence-based Policy Sham

We have been known in the past to bang on that patient involvement and engagement is more honoured in the word than the deed. Research studies, new guidelines, another collection of best practice – they pour endlessly from the presses and litter many a website including our own. We do have to applaud the latest contribution to our industry –  a new Eurobarometer qualitative study sets out to tell us what EU citizens think of patient engagement. You have to applaud their capacity to build bricks from very little straw – the findings are based on a tiny sample of 10 patients and 5 doctors or nurses per each of the selected 15 countries. To string that out to a 74 page report is astonishing. We can spare you the chore of reading any of it by telling you what it said – patient engagement is poorly understood and people in Eastern European countries think their healthcare systems need improving. The great thing about this small a sample, is that you can write what you like since you can always find one person who said what you want to say – note the weasel formulation in the phrase that choice is key for ‘some’. This is sham evidence-based policy-making. The conclusions are fine – no need to pretend that the evidence had much to do with it. You knew the conclusions anyway.

The Moore Adamson Craig Partnership supports user and public participation, trains lay representatives and develops responsive health, care and education organisations. We are ready to work with and support all those who want to make sense and a success of the new structures of patient and public engagement within the new arrangements for health and social care commissioning and providing. Feel free to contact us to discuss the opportunities.


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