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Learning from Patient Voices

Pip Hardy from Pilgrim Projects talked about her work in starting the Patient Voices project while working for the Clinical College of Learning over five years ago.

The project is based on the belief that patients should be at the heart of healthcare. Digital storytelling is a great way to convey the points of view of patients, but also carers and clinicians in a way that helps everyone to understand each other better.

People are too often treated as symptoms and not individuals whereas, the experience of being a patient, and their parlticuar health journey is only one part of their life story. Patient Voices epitomises what healthcare should be about. Telling stories, both to entertain and to teach, is one of the most human characteristics that we share.

Patients were asked to tell their stories, which were then edited and digital pictures were identified to help tell the story. Many stories were told from the patient’s homes as some people found it difficult to travel.

Pip showed the digital story of Ian Kramer who has HIV and bi-polar disorder. Ian’s story demonstrates how patient care could be improved if patients and carers work together.

Cleopatra Phiri’s digital story is another heartfelt piece that explores her experience and decision to work as a Healthcare Assistant in the UK after coming from Zambia. The insight the story offered meant it was later shown at the Royal College of Nursing National Congress.

So far, the Patient Voices project has:

  • facilitated and recorded 236 stories
  • carried out 39 digital storytelling workshops
  • expanded through outreach work and home visits
  • released 147 stories via its website
  • 30 stories being viewed every day online

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Key facts

This blog is part of the Spark discussion Digital storytelling.
This discussion includes:
-Intro: Digital storytelling
-Learning from Patient Voices
-Digital stories: benefits and tensions
-Key issues to emerge

Read more about the Spark project and other discussions


Background paper | Digital storytelling (640kb)