Real-World Evidence of Outcomes and Efficacy in Medical & Psychological Practice

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For 22 years I suffered from disorders of the emotions and have helped over 260,000 people who also suffered.

All patients want is recovery, or at very least, relief at any level. Most are left confused, frustrated, poorer, more ill or no better and then there are those who pass away; like my godfather who was critically injured during a simple medical procedure by an inexperienced doctor.

In the vast majority of cases, a patient is referred to practitioners, who often, despite their, often inadequate training, practice a bastardisation of the techniques and practices they have learned. There is no consistency in structure or content delivery. Little is provided by way of structured, sensible instruction on how to overcome the issues they experience.

Certainly in psychological practice, few patients receive real benefits and even fewer experience recovery in the form of full removal of the core condition and its physical and/or psychological manifestations.

We live in a world driven by user content; in which we are constantly guided to the best products and services by reviews and testimonials. Whether buying a book, TV, holiday, evening meal, booking a plumber, or chosing a partner, rating systems are an integral element of modern life, providing customers with vital user feedback, enabling consumers to rate the product based on the real experiences of real people.

We blindly assume that a practitioner is qualified, competent and that they have the ability to help us, but this is simply, not always, the case.

So how are patients expected to evaluate how to spend their time, money or both? Who can they trust with their health and lives?

Having searched dozens of websites of medical and psychological practices, there is very little by way of real evidence. Except for qualifications, which become obsolete if the practitioner fails to deliver the knowledge, or delivers it incorrectly and the usual 'evidence based practice' justification, you might find an 'I enjoyed my stay', 'they were so kind' or 'you made me feel so safe' but an exhaustive search did not result in more than a small handful of patient reviews, ratings or recommendations.

I did find many patients complaining however and over 20 years of working with mental health patients, neither myself nor my team have heard more than a small handful of raving reviews about traetments they have received.

In medical and psychological practice, do we really know who is treating us?

We know that there are people working in high level medical roles, who really shouldn't be; either through lack of appropriate training or because their work is substandard, dangerous or just plain 'strange'.

I personally had psychiatrists and psychologists recommend the most appalling techniques and advice that had absolutely no place in mental healthcare; in hindsight, I should have complained, but, at the time, I was too unwell to tolerate the process.

Since I recovered, I have heard 1000's of similar stories; some that made my skin crawl, some that angered me, some that have led me to report practitioners for the horrendous damage and distress they have caused the patient.

Practitioners often use their qualifications and the words 'evidence based practice' or 'gold standard' to justify the use of, often, inappropriate and all too often, dubious techniques I mentioned earlier, that have no place in psychological or medical practice.

This petition is to bring the despair and perpetuation of illness in millions of patients to the awareness of those responsible for protecting UK citizens and to recommend a system that puts the power back into the hands of those people who are uniquely qualified to comment on efficacy... the ex patients themselves.

I would like the UK governemnt to implement a system that allows patients to rate practitioners fairly using a simple pre and post treatment questionnaire.

For example...

- This was my practitioner
- This was/is my condition.
- This is how I felt.
- This is what I was promised.
- This is the treatment I received.
- This is how I felt after my treatment.
- This is how I felt one month, two months and six months after treatment.
- Do you feel that your conditions was successfully treated?

Of course, whilst anonymity must be safeguarded, it is vital that a system is created which monitors the system for abuse and the posting of litigious content and should only be accessible to actual patients.

Every patient has the right to choose their practitioner based on their performance, safety record and treatment outcomes; qualifications and statistics around their training are not evidence of a practitioner's ability to deliver those services effectively or safely.

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