28 June 2019
Real people, real conversations – check out a human book from the NHS Living Library
As part of Health Information Week Avon and Wiltshire Mental
Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust and
United Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are coming together
to form Bristol's NHS Living Library, giving people the opportunity
to 'check out' staff from a wide array of health disciplines and
talk to them about their roles and experiences.
Living Libraries work like normal libraries - visitors browse
the catalogue, choose titles they are interested in, and 'borrow'
them for a defined amount of time. The difference is that the books
are people, and reading consists of a conversation.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, AWP's Head of Occupational
Therapy, consultant haematologists, nurses and nurse trainers are
amongst the 'books' available to check out for 15-minute slots,
providing people with an insight into what it's like to work in the
healthcare sector through open and informal conversations.
Dr Sian Clark, Clinical Psychologist for AWP, said: "I have been
a living library book a couple of times now. Both times, I have
been booked out for the duration of the events, which has been
"My motivation for getting involved in this event has been to
offer an opportunity to engage with people around what clinical
psychologists do. I will be sharing an insight into how we work
with people to support them with their mental health
"People have been keen to understand a day in the life of a
clinical psychologist. How do we manage to switch off at the end of
the day and what inspired us to become clinical psychologists? Some
people who have 'borrowed' me are keen to hear about how they can
pursue a career in psychology, and, of course, the age old question
of how psychologists and psychiatrists differ comes up
John Loy, Library and Knowledge Services Manager at North
Bristol NHS Trust, said: "There have been several NHS living
libraries in Bristol over the last few years, but this is the first
time we have had such a collaborative city-wide event. The beauty
of a breathing book is that you have a conversation with a human
being. Unlike a printed book, with the words static on the page, a
living library lets the borrower interact with their human book and
find out more about what really interests them. This is a terrific
opportunity for the public to find out about what staff do in their
NHS jobs, in the beautiful setting of the Central Library."
The Living Library is part of Health Information Week (Monday
1st to Friday 5th July) and aims to provide an interactive way to
find out about the wide range opportunities for a career in the
Julian Feasby, AWP's Director of Human Resources, said: "The
Living Library offers people a real insight into a range of roles
within the health service. Hearing from health professionals
first-hand about their day-to-day work can be really powerful.
There are a wide range of opportunities available to work in at AWP
and across the NHS, including clinical, medical and corporate
roles, and we hope that those attending the event will be inspired
to find out more."
The free event takes place at Bristol Central Library on
Wednesday 3rd July, from 2-4pm and is open to everyone, whether
you're a student looking for an insight into a career, or a member
of the public who wants to find out what it's like working in
Books can be reserved before 3rd July through Bristol Central
Library by calling 0117 903 7250, or on the day at the Living
Library Helpdesk, in the foyer of Bristol Central Library.
To find out more about working for AWP click here