Monday, 4 May 2009

Conference on Patient's rights and Public Involvement in Healthcare delivery.

A conference exploring the challenges and opportunities of strengthening patient rights and public involvement in healthcare delivery will take place on Tuesday 26 May 2009, at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel, in Edinburgh

Featured speakers include:

Margo MacDonald MSP, Author of the Proposed End of Life Choices (Scotland) Bill; Professor Kenneth Boyd, Professor of Medical Ethics and Director of Clinical Skills, Personal and Professional Development, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. Cathy Jamieson MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing; Professor John Smyth, Assistant Principal, Cancer Research Development, University of Edinburgh.

The Scottish Government's vision for a ‘mutual NHS' outlined in the Better Health, Better Care Action Plan is beginning to take shape. The shift from viewing patients as ‘service users' to ‘active partners' will have a profound effect on NHS policy and practice. There are significant concerns that statutory patient entitlements will create a culture of litigation and that legally enforceable healthcare standards will have huge implications for service providers. How will the implementation of such legislation be monitored, what form of sanctions will apply should it be breached and will this lead to resources being diverted from direct patient care? Health professionals are confronted with an increasingly diverse range of ethical dilemmas throughout their careers. An increased emphasis on patient rights and public involvement in the NHS is likely to ensure such dilemmas become more common than ever and that ethical judgments - often made under the extreme pressures of limited time and resources - may become increasingly subject to legal review.

This conference will review the Government's proposals for developing a ‘mutual NHS'. It will explore the proposals outlined in the Patients' Rights Bill and the potential implications for service providers and will encourage discussions on a range of medico-moral dilemmas which test the boundaries of patient rights and involvement in healthcare delivery. If you have any queries regarding the conference or would like find out more information, please email


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