The link between good medical engagement and better outcomes and reduced risks to patient safety is widely evidenced and acknowledged. The BMA therefore has called for greater medical involvement, through engagement, in the design and planning of healthcare.
"The active and positive contribution of doctors within their normal working roles to maintain and enhance the performance of the organisation which itself recognises this commitment in supporting and encouraging high-quality care."
Improving the culture of engagement within the NHS will empower and increase morale among doctors and the wider workforce, and is essential as services adapt to challenges and seek to improve patient care.
In November 2017, we hosted two workshops for BMA committee members to explore their views and experiences of medical engagement within the NHS. The widely recognised definition of medical engagement by the academic Peter Spurgeon was used as the starting point for discussions.
This definition was broadly accepted by participants, although their additional reflections are outlined in our summary of the workshops. These discussions helped inform the development of the following principles, which form the foundation of what good medical engagement should look like and will help develop a culture of engagement throughout the NHS.