New partnership with The European Society for Person Centered Healthcare

Photo of Dr Ankita Batla, WPP Health Practice, Claire Gillis, CEO WPP Health Practice and Professor Andrew Miles European Society for Patient Centric Healthcare

Pictured: Dr. Ankita Batla, Chief Medical Office, VMLY&Rx; Claire Gillis, CEO VMLY&Rx; and Professor Andrew Miles, European Society for Patient Centric Healthcare

September 2020

VMLY&Rx announced its partnership with The European Society for Person Centered Healthcare (ESPCH). This is the first partnership between a healthcare communications company and an academic society dedicated to patient centricity.

Announced at a critical moment for patients, the partnership will bridge critical gaps in understanding and result in the development of a proprietary theoretical framework for analysing person-centred healthcare for agencies, health systems, health care providers, clients and societies. On a day-to-day basis, it will enhance the development of patient-centric client services and creative communications through multi-stakeholder engagement such as development of frameworks around person centered healthcare for specific diseases.

Following the pandemic, where patient needs have inevitably been pushed down the agenda, the partnership will provide evidence-based learnings to further understand and highlight patients’ continued challenges and needs.

Claire Gillis, CEO VMLY&Rx, says: “Patient centricity has always been a buzz word in our industry, but since the pandemic it has never been more important. We are delighted to be the first agency to announce a relationship with Europe’s leading Society for person-centered care”. Developing the ground-breaking frameworks for person-centred health care, alongside accomplished academics, health philosophers, policy makers and – crucially – patients themselves, is why many of us come to work. Since the pandemic, I think we’ve all become acutely aware of the need to provide this group with a collective academic resource. I’ve no doubt this relationship will flourish as, nestled firmly at the heart of it, lies a shared passion to amplify and represent patients.”

VMLY&Rx will implement insights derived from the partnership in its patient engagement work offering clients access to engage with the ESPCH’s members and knowledge. The ESPCH, in turn, will receive organisational support as well as contributions from key leadership within Chief Medical Office within VMLY&Rx. Significantly, the perspectives of patients and patient advocacy groups will be heard by a wider range of healthcare industry professionals.

Professor Sir Jonathan Asbridge, President and Chairman of Council, says: “VMLY&Rx has a proven track record as leaders in the way they involve the patient in discussions with key stakeholders. It is because of this ongoing commitment to patient centricity that the ESPCH has decided to partner with them in this critical moment for all patients. Professor Andrew Miles, Senior VP/Secretary General of the ESPCH, and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, echoed Sir Jonathan’s views, and confirmed the Society’s enthusiasm for a wide ranging, dynamic partnership with WPP.

Earlier this year, the leadership team from the Chief Medical Office at VMLY&Rx Health Practice co-created the ESPCH’s Sixth Annual conference and Awards Ceremony alongside patient groups, biopharmaceutical industry leaders and practicing specialists of person cantered care. Chief Medical Affairs Officer and Global Head of WG Access Rick Morton participated in a multidisciplinary panel on patient-centricity while Chief Medical Office Lead and Head of Patient Partnerships Ankita Batla anchored the discussion around clinical applications of person centered care and delivered the conference’s closing remarks.

The partnerships’ first task will be to set out a set of guidelines to establish standardised procedures for patient care across a wide variety of situations.


The ESPCH is a unique multi-stakeholder group formed with the sole aim to re-inculcate in clinicians and health systems an ambition to treat patients as persons. It is the only independent academic body dedicated to patient centricity within Europe’

In 2019, VMLY&Rx Chief Medical Office launched its Patient Partnerships Programme. This initiative provides a platform for patient advocacy groups to have their perspectives heard by a varied audience that includes healthcare decision makers and industry leaders, healthcare professionals, clients and those involved in advertising.