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Using Partnerology to broaden engagement with patients and the public

2 February 2017

The Bristol Health Partners walking game Partnerology got another outing on 24 January, when People in Health West of England (PHWE) borrowed it to play with public involvement leads and public contributors from their network. The PHWE team felt it would be a useful an interactive tool to encourage organisations to work more collaboratively.

The game, which is a room-sized quilt made of textile, was first played at the annual Bristol Health Partners Health Integration Team (HIT) conference in June 2016. Then it was used by the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) at their annual conference, to model the collaborative working required by the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. The original version was adapted to the needs of the West of England AHSN at a sewing bee.

Based on the board game Monopoly, Partnerology is a life-size version where the players are the pieces. Participants are challenged to come up with new ideas for collaboration as they move around the board.

At the January Partnerology tournament, the game was used to enable organisations to consider how they could use the game to help their staff to work more collaboratively, both internally as well as externally. The session also looked at how the game could be customised to organisations' own priorities and stakeholder groups.

Mike Bell, Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator at Bristol Health Partners, said:

“I was really impressed with how Partnerology stimulated so many ideas and discussions. I hadn’t seen it in action before, and was amazed at the quality of the conversations people were having as a result. I am a convert to the power of Partnerology!”

Partnerology is the brain child of Jan Connett, Senior Project Manager at Bristol Health Partners. She created a table top version which she brought to her interview for the job. She said:

“It’s fantastic to see Partnerology taking on a life of its own. It’s been played by many people from different organisations during the past six months or so, and each time participants have wanted to take the game to a new group of people. People can really see the benefit of using Partneropoly to explore collaborations in new and exciting ways.”

As a result of playing the game at the January session, NHS England have now booked to play it at their Integrated Personal Commissioning event in March. Macmillan Cancer Support are also discussing using the game with their stakeholders.

If you’re interested in finding out more, or using Partnerology in your organisation, contact Jan Connett on

Using Partnerology to broaden engagement with patients and the public
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