Patient leader programme

Helping us to get better

The patient leader programme is a joint initiative between Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP). The programme will put the voice of people at the heart of everything we do in line with our vision of delivering high quality care.

Introducing the patient leader programme

Aim of the programme

By 2022 volunteer patient representatives will be actively involved in the planning and review of health services and research within the Trust, RCHT and UHP.


The programme will be launched in June 2021 across health and social care services and to the population of Cornwall with a recruitment campaign to look for volunteers who are interested in working with us to design and review services and improve patient care.

We are looking for people with an interest in and commitment to improving NHS services and with personal qualities rather than specific qualifications.

The role is voluntary. Full training in the required skills will be given as well as ongoing support. Out-of-pocket expenses will be paid.

The role offers people the chance to build their confidence and gain work experience, learn new skills and make a real difference to the quality and effectiveness of local health services.

About the programme

The programme will be managed by our patient experience team. Managers across the Trusts will be able to request the input of a patient leader to their workstreams and specific projects as well as to staff recruitment.

For further information or to express an interest in becoming a patient leader:

  • write to PALS and patient experience team, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, PALS office, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Room 11, Banham House, Bodmin Hospital, Bodmin, PL31 2QT
  • call 01208 834 620
  • email the patient leader programme team

Request for involvement

The programme has recruited and trained a number of volunteer patient leaders with a range of experience and skills who will work with the Trusts to ensure the patient and public voice is represented in all aspects of service design and delivery.

Patient leaders have been trained in the development of the skills, knowledge and qualities and supported to use their lived experience to shape the quality agenda, work collaboratively with others and improve patient care

Patient leaders are available to support the co-production of quality improvement projects, review services and to participate in staff recruitment.

Leaders are supported and managed by our patient experience team and the team who organise the payment out-of-pocket expenses at locally agreed NHS rates.

Managers and clinicians are requested to offer clear information to patient leaders on the level and type of input required to specific pieces of work and to provide a point of contact and to make any reasonable adjustments in line with the requirements of the Equalities Act. The patient experience team can advise on this issue.

Once your project or piece of work has been completed we will ask you to fill in a brief questionnaire (coming soon) so we can review the effectiveness of the programme.

If you have any questions, contact us. We will aim to respond to your request within 1 week.

Useful links