Patient's story sets the scene

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Reading through the palliative and end of life care strategy, I suddenly realised the size of the task I’d offered to help with.  We’d been asked by the two Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Birmingham South Central and Birmingham Cross City, who were working in partnership, to create a summary of the strategy.  This would form the opening pages of the consultation document that would tell people about the proposed changes, and offer them an opportunity to have their say.

Looking through the strategy I was desperate to find some kind of diagram that would spell out what the proposed service could look like.  On page 10 of 58 I was faced with a large diagram filled with clinical jargon.  Despite the language, it was what I was looking for – something visual that showed the journey of someone in the service – it just needed some work.

My thoughts led me to the people using this service, who would be going through a difficult part of their lives, so I needed to ensure the information in the summary document would be clear, friendly and almost offer a sense of support and trust.  I thought a patient story showing the journey of someone using the service would help explain the proposed changes.  We quickly created a fictional character called Jean and started work on what each stage of the service would look like from Jean’s point of view.  Stock photos were found to accompany the story and bring Jean to life, and we worked with GPs and the design team to ensure the journey was accurate and presented well.

It was great to hear positive feedback from colleagues and other clients on the patient story, and I hope it helps people involved in the consultation to understand the proposed changes.  To view the patient story please follow this link or click the image below.

140630 Patient Story FINAL

Penny Gibbs is a member of the Communications and Engagement currently working on Involvement.

About involvement: Involvement allows people to network and share ideas and experiences about the participation agenda. It offers people who work in engagement the support and guidance to reach deeper into communities so that they have more opportunities to take part in healthcare decisions.

Involvement is a Patient and Public Participation (PPP) programme Midlands and Lancashire CSU has been commissioned to deliver by NHS England. www.nhsinvolvement.co.uk.

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