How can doctors challenge problems within the NHS, without those problems being seized upon by detractors?

Is the NHS being privatised by stealth?

What makes a good campaign, and campaign leadership?

And how creative can the NHS be, when it is always so stretched?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to former psychiatrist, campaigner and CEO of EveryDoctor DR JULIA GRACE PATTERSON



Known for:

  • CEO – EveryDoctor
  • Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Founder – National Health Singers
  • Founder – The Political Mess
  • Co-founder – Junior Doctors Alliance

The 5 Big Questions:

    1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
    2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
    3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
    4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
    5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes

“It’s difficult for staff to complain in the NHS. They don’t want to be critical of the service because they believe very strongly in the service. They don’t want to contribute to negative rhetoric about the NHS.” 

“I can’t recall a politician openly saying they would like to privatise the NHS, what’s been extremely difficult is that the public hasn’t been aware until quite recently that this has been an ongoing and accelerating project.”

“We do our best work when we are listening closely to our members. If we’re listening and trying our hardest to represent people, on the whole it works well.”   

“I think you can lose something in a campaign organisation if you lose those touch-points every day.”

“Working as a doctor from my own experience is an incredibly rewarding thing to do, it’s such a privilege to care for people. And I honestly think that is what keeps doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers in their jobs, because it is a fantastic thing to do with your life and you genuinely go to work every day knowing that you are making a difference for people and caring for people and that is extraordinary.”

“What I hope is that the public will become enraged enough about privatisation that the project will be halted and reversed.” 

“Our members might want us to come out stronger about a particular issue, but we’re trying to get a meeting with a person and if we say a certain thing that meeting’s not going to happen. So it’s always a tightrope of expectation.”

This episode was recorded in November 2021

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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