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Human experience matters most

You can argue with figures and statistics, but you can’t argue with personal experience”. 

These are wise words from a person who knows that in an NHS driven by targets and performance measures, it is still the human experience that matters most. 

They come from Stephen Elsmere, who has used the NHS both as a mental health patient and as a general patient. He is also a carer. And on top of all that, he is an Experience of Care Partner with the NHS Leadership Academy. This is someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Stephen is one of a number of patients who are helping the NHS Leadership Academy to think about “patient leadership”. You can read their stories in the latest edition of Patient Experience magazine, and can click through to a series of short videos where they outline their experiences and motivations. 

We also hear from Jennifer Johannesen, who was the main carer for her son Owen throughout his childhood, up to his early death. Her book No Ordinary Boy is a record of her “encounters with healthcare”, and how those are uniquely experienced by a family like hers. Her account also shows that although measures matter, the true nature of “patient experience” can only really be found through personal testimony. 

Our third contributor is Liz Pryor, whose mother Anne Robson died in distressing circumstances in hospital. Liz converted her grief to action, setting up the Butterfly Volunteers, who offer companionship to hospital patients in the last days and hours of their life, particularly for patients who have no other visitors. It is an astonishing story of the power of personal experience to effect change.

All this, plus our usual round-up of the latest and best in patient experience evidence can be found in the autumn edition of our magazine.  Enjoy!

You can download the report via our website.
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Our quarterly Patient Experience magazine carries insightful comment from a range of contributors, as well as our top picks of recent reports on patient experience and patient/public involvement. 

Patient Experience in England is our annual overview of the evidence base, drawing on surveys and research from government bodies, health charities and academic institutions.  The evidence is broken down into manageable chunks, and research findings are grouped under key themes for ease of understanding. 

You can browse our Knowledge Maps to see how patient experience is being reported in your area.  

And if you want to wear your patient experience heart on your sleeve, you can download and print our posters and stick them on your wall.  Better still, post them to the Chief Executive of your local NHS Trust!
Do you know of a stand-out report on patient experience that people in CCG's, PALS teams and local Healthwatch should be reading?  If you do, and you'd like to see it featured in this newsletter, let us know! 
The Patient Experience Library offers unparalleled access to patient insight and experience with over 50,000 documents, including...
  • Patient experience reports from health and care charities and think tanks
  • Guidance on matters such as patient-centred commissioning
  • CQC inspection reports and patient survey results
  • All the reports from the local Healthwatch network
  • Quality Accounts from health service providers
  • Valuable archive materials from bodies such as LINk and the NHS Institute
For details of free services, pay as you go services and subscriptions, click here.
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