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We believe that the benefits to all those involved in healthcare from the use of reflective digital storytelling as an educational methodology and developmental tool warrant wider use of the stories.

The idea

The idea for Patient Voices (captured in Patient Voices: the rationale) arose from the desire to harness the power of patients’ stories to bring to life the 20-credit e-learning courses Clinical Governance Matters and Clinical Governance Works that the Royal College of Nursing had commissioned Pip Hardy to write for the UKHEP BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences. Digital stories provided the perfect format with which to to put patients’ experiences firmly at the heart of healthcare. The first Patient Voices digital stories were funded by the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team.

Interest in the use of digital stories in healthcare education was not restricted to the NCGST and, in 2004, Pilgrim Projects were asked to enter the stories in the Dartmouth Clinical Microsystems Film Festival, at the 2004 Fall Invitational in Vermont. We were delighted to win two awards, including the Paul Batalden People’s Choice Award. More recently we were delighted to be runners-up for the John Horder Award for Innovation in Interprofessional Learning, presented at the Higher Education Academy’s 2007 Festival of Learning.

Digital storytelling

We at Pilgrim Projects believe that the benefits to all those involved in healthcare (staff, carers and patients) from the use of reflective digital storytelling as an educational methodology and developmental tool warrant wider use of the stories. It seems that we are not alone: there are now many hundreds of stories on the website, which receives over two million total hits per year. Patient Voices: a valediction, written three years after Patient Voices: the Rationale, attempts to convey something of the flavour of the programme as it has developed.

The collection continues to expand, and we have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful people from a wide range of NHS organisations and educational institutions. We have carried out research into the impact of the stories and are regularly invited to give presentations about their creation and use. We are now working with the University of Leicester Medical School to evaluate the use of a Patient Voices digital storytelling methodology as a reflective tool for medical students, and the first of these stories told by Junior Doctors about their experiences in medical education can now be seen on the site.

The elements

The elements of the Patient Voices programme are:

  • the production and distribution of the Patient Voices digital stories themselves
  • workshops that enable healthcare professionals, carers and patients to develop their own stories and narratives
  • consultancy and support on the integration and use of digital stories within healthcare development programmes
  • research into the uses and applications of digital stories in healthcare quality improvement and as reflective tools in healthcare education
  • development and identification of resources that support the use of digital storytelling in health and social care.

These are underpinned by an ongoing academic programme in inter-professional education and lifelong learning. To find out more, discover what’s new, find out when our next workshop is running, or view some of the Patient Voices digital stories, click on the links above.

Our work continues to provide a vehicle through which the voices of all stakeholders in health and social care may share experience, knowledge and understanding. Looking forward from this, we are in the first stages of the development of Humanising Healthcare, an initiative that aims to look at how healthcare design, commissioning, education and delivery may be made more ‘patient-shaped’.

We hope the stories you see here touch your hearts as they have ours.

Want to make your own stories?

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