Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Patient partners

Ray Berris, Co-Chair of the Patient Partners

Working together today, supporting the doctors of tomorrow.

School of Medicine graduates will be practising modern medicine into the next half of the 21st century, so we need to equip our medical students with a skillset that ensures that they know:

  1. how to interact with patients from an early stage
  2. how they can effectively examine patients and
  3. how they can undertake practical procedures to ensure they have the attributes and professional attitude to function effectively as doctors.

Who are Patient Partners?

Patient Partners are volunteers who provide an invaluable role in the development and training of our students. We enlist the help of patient volunteers to act as ‘real patients’ so that students can develop both their communication skills as well as their diagnostic abilities in simulated real-life situations. In this respect students will be better prepared when on clinical placements in hospitals, clinic and GP practices.

Why do we need patients like you?

We need volunteers to help train our student doctors. You can help by being a simulated and/or clinical patient. 

Simulated patients

Simulated patients volunteer to ‘act’ as patients, allowing our students to learn how to undertake consultations, perform examinations and practice procedural skills - such as taking patients’ blood pressure.

Clinical patients

Clinical patients who have an existing or long term medical condition, volunteer to discuss their symptoms and condition with our students in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of different conditions from the patients’ perspective.

"Speaking to real patients via the Patient Partners group has been invaluable. The truth is, however hard you try you can never properly predict how a patient will feel in reaction to your communication skills. A fantastic group of people we are all very grateful for."
ARU medical student

How do I join?

If you are interested in taking part in this invaluable work with us, we ask you to complete and return the short Patient Partners application form below.

We will consider your application and ask you to attend a short, informal selection interview. Once accepted into the Patient Partners, we will provide you with any necessary training.

Where will the volunteering role take place?

Teaching and assessments will be held in the School of Medicine building at our Chelmsford campus.

How often will I be required?

There is no maximum or minimum number of times you would be required as this will depend entirely on your availability. However, we would normally ask you to commit to a minimum of two half-days across the academic year.

Download the Patient Partners information leaflet (PDF)

Download an application form (DPF)

Find out more

Patient Partners newsletter Summer 2023 (PDF)

Patient Partners newsletter Autumn 2022 (PDF)

Patient Partners newsletter June 2022 (PDF)

Patient Partners newsletter March 2022 (PDF)

Email: [email protected] for further details on the group.