Patient and family experiences: We want to hear from you

Introduction

Exploring patient and family experiences is extremely important and is at the heart of the NHS and other healthcare providers.  Patient experiences are captured in a number of different ways, including complaints, surveys, group discussions, and forums. 

Without your input, services aren’t always improved upon because it isn’t always clear where positive changes need to be made.  Why is this? Well if we think about ourselves for a moment, when we are so immersed in something routine, day in and day out, and have busy lives, we can’t always see the wood for the trees.    We can however, start to think outside the box and get a better perspective when we talk to other people or when we stop to think about what we are doing.  Similarly, health care professionals are often so busy that they don’t have time to think in detail about what they are doing and why, and things become routine.  By paying attention to what people think about the services they have used provides evidence to support and encourage positive change. 

Here is an example of how using patient experiences can help make positive changes and/or influence decisions.   My research has focused on learning from patient and doctor experiences within the context of communication and sharing sensitive information.  Stories that patients shared with me during this research has been used to educate healthcare professionals to demonstrate the importance of enhancing their communication skills and emphasises the impact we can have on other people when we get it wrong.  The information has also been used in academic papers. 

When we use information in this way, we do make sure that names are removed to ensure people’s identities are safe.  Patient experiences are just too important not to share. 

I am rather greedy though and want to capture more patient and family experiences to put to good use.  We all have a unique story to tell.

So, what do I hope to do?

Well, I hope to collect your stories about how you felt when a healthcare professional communicated with you and shared information. These might be positive or negative experiences.   Think about:

    • What happened
    • How it made you feel
    • The impact this had on you and your family (if relevant to the story)

We want to use these stories to create some case studies that we can use to help educate healthcare professionals to emphasis key learning points.

We also want to use these stories to share with other patients, to help inform them in some way and hopefully give them some tools to go away with to ensure they have a better experience.

Please use the form at the bottom of the page to write about your experience and click on the submit button when finished.  These stories will appear in the Blog section of this website.

What’s in it for you?

When we have interviewed patients, they often tell us that they find it really helpful to them to talk about their experience with someone else, who is keen to listen to their story.  They also tell us it is really valuable to hear about other patient experiences.

We are not able to respond to everyone individually but we hope that in writing useful stories of patient and family experiences it will help you in some way.  If however, you find it difficult to tell your story and feel that you need to speak to someone, reach out to someone you trust for support; be this a friend, family member, colleague or GP.

Instructions

Please don’t add any names which might identify anyone.  Your identity will also be removed from any stories or materials we produce.

Please complete the form below, by typing in your response to the questions and clicking the submit button.