Partnerships in healthcare can be transformational. They can support healthcare professionals and bring insights and value to life science companies, and – most importantly of all – they can improve outcomes and experience for patients. But it takes a lot of skill to get them right.

In our new podcast series, we’ll hear inside stories from people in the know about what it takes to make health partnerships work and crucially, what not to do.  

In the first episode, I was delighted to be joined by author and educator Shelley Harris. Shelley is the author of two brilliant novels, Jubilee, and Vigilante, and is the creative writing programme director at the University of Reading. Her writing focuses on the many ways we humans are connected to each other in spite of everything that seems to separate us.

Shelley’s experience with Great Ormond Street Hospital illustrates so many great points about patient partnerships. 

You’ll hear how the discovery of her two-month old son’s heart defect led to life-saving surgery and 19 years of follow up, and the ongoing ups and downs of the relationship between the family and the hospital team.

What’s especially noteworthy is how the hospital empowered Shelley to be a partner in the process of saving her son’s life, and why empowering patients and their families matters.

She shares examples of the impressive interpersonal skills that are the building blocks of trust, and talks about the times when things didn’t go so well.

I hope that you enjoy the episode as much as I enjoyed talking to Shelley. Contact me with any questions or comments about the podcast.  I’d love to hear from you!