Healthcare aims to be patient-centred but a large gap remains between the fine words and the reality. Care often feels designed for the convenience of the organisations that deliver it, and not enough around patients and their families, or even around the frontline staff who provide it. Why does this happen? What does it feel like? What can be done about it? This book stimulates reflection on these questions by listening closely to those at the frontline. It provides accounts from patients, carers and healthcare professionals who are patients about what it’s like when services get it right, and wrong, from birth up to the end of life. Quite simply, we want to draw upon the power of storytelling – which is increasingly valued as a tool for learning – to help policymakers and practitioners to understand how to deliver better care. We also hope to enlighten the general reader about how they might go about navigating “the system” while it remains imperfect. There is a growing literature of first-person accounts from patients and from healthcare professionals. This book differs by providing a collection of narratives of experiences of the NHS in England to paint a rich and varied picture. Alongside these narratives we provide some international context, and an overview of the history of moves towards a more patient-centred approach to care. We present the theory and practice of storytelling in the context of healthcare. We also seek to help the reader to draw out the practical learning from the individual accounts.
, behavioural and
attitudinal changes and change in emotions. It aimed to develop an awareness of a person’s potential so that they could become confident, sensitive and
informed. Practicallearning activities were explored to enable the participants to see alternative ways of being to reflect on their everyday experiences and articulate their needs and priorities. The training programmes
also reinforced the collective identity among the participants by building the
information base and capabilities.
• Learners acquired new knowledge and skills through formal teaching
of moves towards a more patient-centred approach to care. We present some of the theory and practice of storytelling in the context of healthcare. And we seek to help the reader to draw out the practicallearnings from the individual accounts.
This book is primarily focussed on England. Our storytellers relate experiences of the NHS in England, and our policy and historical scene-setting is also mostly from an English perspective. The English healthcare system is by far the largest in the UK and one of the largest among high-income countries. It
the Iraqi request for more practicallearning experiences’ ( Dari et al .,
2012 : 56; Troszczynska-van Genderen,
2010 : 19). In Mali, domestic stakeholders criticised that the
European trainers and experts delivered courses too abstract for daily
practice, indicating a lack of knowledge of the reality on the ground
( Bøås et al ., 2018 ). The
competition between, and indeed within,
universities. Each university sourced these ‘raw
materials’ from their partner hospitals and the most
interesting specimens were used as visual support in their theory
classes ( Figure 5.1 ). In this way, in the
anatomical museum, theoretical and practicallearning came together.
Considered within the context of a history of medical learning, the