The St Barnabas House Education Programme is comprehensive and accessed by hospice staff and external health and social care professionals. We work in partnership with patients and relatives on different study days to provide a focus on what really matters to them. They are invited to be involved by the clinicians in practice and they meet a member of the Education Team. A discussion takes place about how they would like to be involved, this has included the production of short films, discussions, storytelling, art work and group work in the classroom. The stories are very real in their sincerity and sensitivity highlighting many different key issues, particularly the importance of empathetic and honest communication and the very real value of humanity.
Working in partnership we support the patient/relative to feel as empowered and comfortable as possible. This is followed through as part of the working agreement with delegates at the start of the study day and ensures safety for everyone.
Films have included ‘The Reality of Living with Motor Neurone Disease’ and how addressing the little things make such a difference to the patient. A lady, diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s disease made a fabulous film demonstrating the importance of continuing to roller skate despite her severe physical disability. Another lady expressed her difficulty to communicate her feelings through the use of paintings and this was enhanced by art work created by her husband. The richness of the patient/relatives narrative is very powerful and has raised many pertinent issues for discussion in the classroom with the patient/relative.
The evaluations have been very encouraging, highlighting how the patient/relatives story will positively impact on professional clinical practice. A very welcomed and unexpected result has been how valuable the patients/relatives have reported on the experience for them, an opportunity to make meaningful change, influencing the future through evolution.
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