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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
New drive to foster patient power
Doctor and patient
The chief executive of NHS Scotland will chair the conference
Health staff and patients are meeting in Edinburgh to discuss how patient views could improve the NHS.

Organisers said the conference would provide the first chance to build a national picture of how health services have been engaging with patients.

There are currently variations in how NHS boards collect and use feedback from patients.

The event was designed to identify best practice and help develop a more co-ordinated, national approach.

Voluntary groups, academics and consumer organisations were represented at the meeting.

The Scottish Health Council organised the event in conjunction with the Scottish Executive and Edinburgh University.

The council was set up last year to ensure that the views of patients and the public were taken into account by health boards.

'Genuinely listening'

Director Richard Norris said: "A health service that listens and pays attention to the people it serves is a more effective health service.

"NHS boards are required to give the same weight to the views of patients and the public as they do to clinical and financial considerations.

"The Scottish Health Council will be working closely with NHS boards to ensure that they are genuinely listening to patients and taking account of their views."

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