Background Inspired by Miranda Quinney’s Life Stories presented at Hospice UK conference, a unanimous decision was made to implement the project for patients. Awareness had grown through patient surveys and user groups that the need to be listened to and heard was strong but not acknowledged within a structured format. The Life Stories project known to enhance wellbeing and self-esteem allows the telling of an individual’s experiences in a constructive and supportive environment. A project team looked at need, benefits, training and funding to make Story Telling a reality.
Aims Telling and recording of patient stories meets identified needs of out-patients which were not previously being fully met through planned interventions. Project presents patients with an opportunity to share significant stories from their life with skilled support of experienced facilitators, stories are heard, recorded and acknowledged. Funding was gained through the Burdett Trust, Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNs). ‘Patients First’ Supporting nurse-led innovation workshops were attended. Staff training encouraged understanding of the workshop and selection of people to participate. Recruitment of experienced volunteers ensured stories would be documented and presented. Funding enabled release of staff, purchase of folders, props for prompting stories and further project development.
Results Patients’ positive feedback demonstrates the workshop’s benefit. Impact was particularly significant for a gentleman registered deaf. An interpreter was funded which opened up a new opportunity for the patient. Three courses have run attended by 16 people. Identified themes such as celebrations, home and travel have inspired anecdotes, words, dreams and reminiscence.
Conclusion The story began at conference, a new service for patients is successfully running. It is hoped that sharing this work will inspire others to take learning and put it into action to create service improvements.
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