Patient partnership

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The BMJ‘s patient partnership strategy, launched in 2014, introduced innovative internal editorial changes aimed at making patient partnership integral to the way the journal works and thinks. We did this because we see partnering with patients, their carers, community support networks, and the public as an ethical imperative essential to improving the quality, safety, value, and sustainability of health systems.

The strategy was drawn up with and continues to be informed by a dedicated international patient advisory panel.

Key changes introduced:

  • Authors of research papers are required to document if and how they involved patients in setting the research question, the outcome measures, the design and implementation of the study, and the dissemination of its results.
  • Establishing patient review of all relevant research papers and many of our education and comment articles, alongside our standard scientific peer review processes. To do this we have established a database of patients, patients advocates, and carers to comment on papers. We welcome support to build this further and encourage readers to extend this invitation to patients and carers.
  • Requesting authors of educational articles, and comment articles including editorials and analysis papers to co-produce their papers with patients and carers and invite contributions/ comment from them. Most of these articles are also sent for review by patients as well as peer reviewers. Patients are invited as sole authors for some comment pieces, including editorials.
  • Publishing a monthly patient led, patient (and carer) written series called ”What your patient is thinking.” and inviting and encouraging submissions for the BMJ Opinion Patient Perspectives series and a newly established series called Partnership in Practice where illustrative examples of initiatives where patients and health professionals are working together to co produce change in clinical practice, education, research and policy are published.
  • Appointing patient and carer editors as members of the editorial team to bring the patient's' perspective to internal discussion and decision making bodies. Patients and patient advocates are also members of The BMJ Editorial Board.

Additional initiatives

The BMJ supports the “Patients Included” campaign and has integrated its key principles in the conferences the journal runs and co runs. In recognition of the journals work to promote patient partnership, The BMJ was the first medical journal to receive a "Patients Included" certificate in 2015.

The BMJ also actively campaigns for shared decision making, full access by patients to all their health records, and ownership of this information.

Selected resources

Terms and conditions of our work with patients


Senior editor/patient partnership: Tessa Richards ([email protected])
Senior Researcher/evaluation: Sara Schroter ([email protected])
Patient Editor Strategy: Anya de Iongh ([email protected])
Patient Editor Education/ "What your patient is thinking": Leah Hardy ([email protected])
Patient Editor Research/ Evaluation: Amy Price ([email protected])

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