- Primary care is the life-blood of the NHS. At the core of health care in this country are the relationships between GPs, practice nurses, therapists and their patients. What matters most for these users of health services is that they have access to professionals they can trust. Yet for many decades, the health care relationship has been unequal. Doctors have the power and NHS patients are expected to be grateful for what they get. However, the balance is changing and there is growing evidence that patients who are involved in decisions about their treatment may experience better health care results. "New beginnings" sets out to explore the value of public and patient involvement in primary care. No DIY manual, this book analyses the complex issues surrounding user involvement in an accessible way. In particular, the authors explain the shifts in culture and attitudes that are required in order for health practitioners to achieve effective user involvement. Drawn from recent research with a wide range of user groups undertaken by the King's Fund and the Institute for Health Services Research at the University of Luton, the book uses illustrative case studies to show the impact user involvement can have on primary care. The NHS Plan outlines how the health service will become more responsive to patients and the public. This timely book takes up the challenge of effective public involvement and explains how it can add to the value of the NHS.