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What Matters Matters – How my psychiatrist got it right (after so many got it wrong)

Fabulous – the most important thing any mental health professional can ever do is listen and hear what is being said.

Future Patient - musings on patient-led healthcare

Asking ‘What matters to you?’ rather than ‘what’s the matter?’ has become a clever bit of reframing within the health service, intended as a phrase to re-imagine the relationship between healthcare provider and those who use services. And to get us to focus on the real needs and wishes of those with health conditions.

But be careful. Context is all. And the devil is in the detail of how it is asked, who asks it, with what intent and whether there is the capacity to do something about it.

June 1986: Geneva, prior to the World Health Assembly. I was 24, excited and working with a network of professional and patient organisations lobbying for better pharmaceutical use internationally. With my good friend, the late great, Andy Chetley, we had written ‘Problem Drugs’ an activist’s guide to better use of medicines in developing countries. My life was on the up…

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