A new report commissioned by the Health Foundation has shown that a truly patient-centred NHS would place a higher priority on communicating and giving information, shared decision-making and treating patients as individuals.

Written by leading healthcare academicsProfessor Sheila Leatherman of theUniversityofNorth Carolinaand Kim Sutherland of CambridgeUniversity,it is the first time the evidence on patient views has been brought together in one place.

Patient and Public Experience of the NHSuses more than 40 charts to give a comprehensive assessment of the government’s efforts to create a patient-led NHS.

The need to listen to and communicate better with patients is an area the government has repeatedly committed to act on, and is a fundamental part of its reform strategy through policies such as patient choice and the expert patient programme. However, the report shows that good intentions are not always delivered in practice.

Other key patient priorities that need improvement include predictable and convenient access to healthcare, equitable treatment and health outcomes and to be safe and protected from harm in healthcare settings.

Commenting on the report's findings, Health Foundation chief executiveStephen Thorntonsaid: 'This valuable report shows that when government concentrates on what patients and the public want, great improvements can be made - as can be seen through the dramatic reduction in waiting times. It's now time for the government to make good on its commitments to increase patient engagement in the NHS.'