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Patient Voices: Ian Kramer’s stories

Ian Kramer’s stories

‘First and foremost, the patient’s journey is the patient’s journey through life; we don’t, I think, experience one minute “I’m being a patient and the next minute I’m being a person”, much as the system might try and do that by taking my clothes away and putting me into a hospital gown. The journey is the journey of my life; it includes negotiating my way through a territory called disease, but it is part of the larger journey of life.’

Ian Kramer

Ian’s stories cover topics including concordance with treatment, working as a team, and developing systems that benefit patients.
Ian Kramer died on the 28th of May 2006 at St Nicholas’ Hospice in Bury St Edmunds. Ian was passionate about making things better for patients and gave generously of his time and stories. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Patient Voices programme from its inception, and we are privileged to have known and worked with him.
If you have been moved by Ian’s stories, or have found his contribution to your educational or quality improvement programmes useful, please consider making a donation to St Nicholas’ Hospice, where Ian spent a lot of time in the last months of his life. He could never say enough good things about the care they provided. To give, please follow the ‘fundraising’ link on the St Nicholas’ Hospice website (

As a person with HIV and a bi-polar disorder, Ian Kramer has plenty of experience not only of the NHS but also of healthcare systems in other countries; he is sure they could learn from each other.

Another pair of eyes
Ian has his blood taken regularly by the same nurse who never gloves up UNTIL one day a senior nurse asks to observe.

Serving the patient’s needs
Ian had to take one day a month off work in order to collect his various prescriptions from different places. Although before a dedicated pharmacy was eventually installed. He pleads with Trust boards to review systems to ensure that they meet patients’ needs.

Measured innovation: working together
Ian faces a daily cocktail of drugs that often make him nauseous. Together with his consultant and pharmacist, they work out a regime that is more acceptable to Ian and thus encourages concordance with treatment.

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