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Patient Voices: Working together


Working together

The stories in the Working together series were created at NHS Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust in January 2013 at Patient Voices workshops that formed part of the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge Both Sides NOW! project.

The NHS Patient Feedback Challenge is intended to promote existing best practice in patient engagement and feedback. It is funded by the UK Department of Health and run by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. The Both Sides NOW! project is led by NHS North East London and the City on behalf of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

Pilgrim Projects/Patient Voices is a Specialist Collaborator on the project, with responsibility for facilitating the digital storytelling workshops at which patients and staff from the three spread partners create their digital stories.

As part of the project, pairs of Patient Voices workshops (for patients and staff) are being held at each of three Spread Partner sites, one of which is NHS Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. During the three-day workshops, participants are helped to create their own digital stories about their experiences of delivering or receiving care.

After the stories have been created within the Patient Voices workshops, the issues within the stories are themed and coded, and the stories are then taken back to the Spread Partner organisation as the underpinning basis for a quality improvement intervention.

More information on the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge can be found here.

The invisible woman
Undiagnosed mental health problems dogged Beryl’s life since she was a teenager and caused her to feel invisible. When she eventually received a diagnosis, she was able to make a fresh start and discover hidden talents that restored her faith in herself. Her cloak of invisibility returns when she reaches the age of 60 and extends to her partner when he is diagnosed with cancer and dementia. Despite many setbacks, and with the help of a supportive psychologist, Beryl sets off on her travels and discovers her own strength, resourcefulness and resilience. Now, nearly 80, she looks forward to a brighter future.

Two lives wasted
Caring for a child with a mental health disorder is exhausting, stressful and relentless. When Gaynor eventually acknowledges that she is a carer, she discovers that she is not alone – and she is still a person! But even the support and companionship she has from Manchester Carers’ Forum can’t make up for 27 wasted years.

Painting the trees
What is it really like to care for someone with dementia – someone who was, once, your mother…. George is nearly at his wit’s end when an Admiral Nurse steps in and relieves the pressure, offering George and his wife the support they needed to care for Mam and, eventually, to find residential care for her. Although they couldn’t save Mam’s life, they saved George’s.

Paul’s life has gone well until a period of unemployment triggers a series of events that lead to depression and breakdown. After a spell in hospital, Paul begins to rebuild his life with the support of staff in the rehabilitation centre. Learning new skills and balancing independence with responsibilities offers the chance Paul needs to move on and grow even stronger.

Take a chance
One of the best parts of an OT’s job is when a client doesn’t need you any more. But to get to that point often entails evaluating possible risk. When Antonia decides to take a chance on a client, she is more than amply repaid by his blossoming growth and recovery – and his ability to stand on his own two feet.

The other side of the coin
When Jenny’s grandmother’s house catches fire, Jenny learns what it’s like to be on the receiving end of care, after being the one delivering care for over 20 years. One of the lessons is discovering what it feels like to wait for calls and conversations, and how important it is to do what you say you are going to do, no matter how busy you are.

To Hull and back
Reflecting on his career, Mike discovers that he has his father to thank – or to blame – for ending up, via a somewhat circuitous route, as a senior manager in mental health, meeting targets, counting beans and speculating on the cause of the problems in the NHS.

Just another day
As an occupational therapist on an acute psychiatric ward, Pete knows that conversation, discussion and debate about current affairs can help patients to make connections – with each other and the outside world. His enthusiasm for this part of his job is sometimes mitigated by disappointment and frustration when other ‘priorities’ seem to get in the way of making these important connections with patients.

I love my job!
Jackie loves her job as an assistant practitioner. She loves helping people recognise and deal with physical health problems and supporting them through life-style changes that can make a huge difference to their lives. But pressures on her time mean that she is often not able to spend her time in the most productive way or make the difference she knows she could make if she had the chance.

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