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P-233 Using visual thinking to harness the right-brain to plan in palliative care
  1. Laura Myers and
  2. Duncan Newberry
  1. Sue Ryder, Nettlebed, UK


Background Thinking in Western culture is traditionally left-brain centred. Planning is often linear and depends on the drive, experience and expertise of individuals. Palliative care is a holistic discipline, but despite this there is often a reticence among some within the field to step outside the boundaries of established planning methods. Thinking creatively enables innovation, the cornerstone for developing services for those who need them. Enthusiasm to develop can be enhanced by using an unfamiliar, enjoyable and challenging method, such as visual thinking (Brand, 2017).

Aims To evaluate the use of visual thinking as a means to plan creatively and collaboratively in specialist palliative care.

Method A hospice education team used visual thinking as a planning tool to develop educational programmes. The technique involved the use of low cost materials, including rolls of brown paper and pens. The focus is on presenting thoughts in a visual way by using creative thinking.

Results From the visual thinking exercises, planning documents were written. These enable the concepts to be recorded, given structure and presented to others in a more formal way. The visual thinking work can be kept in the workspace as a summary of the work in progress or included in reports as a graphic illustration of the planning. The differing levels of expertise and experience of the team members were drawn together to develop plans. Colleagues who saw the visual thinking work in progress, expressed interest; one planning to use the method as the basis for interview material and another used the concept to develop presentation materials.

Conclusions Visual thinking has been helpful in planning within a hospice. It takes some courage to try a new technique. Showing it in practice helps colleagues to see its value. It takes preparation and time, something that is needed however planning is undertaken.

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