09 September 2019

Putting communication and co-production at the heart of patient care and support for carers

September 2019

Patients and carers, who are supported by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, have been sharing with new members of staff the impact good communication can have on providing quality care and treatment.

The group from Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire developed a project designed to enhance communication throughout the Trust, but specifically focused on new members of staff.

Over a number of weeks the group teamed up with third year Creative Media students from Bath Spa University to produce a film providing personal insight into how effective communication with patients and carers can break down barriers and have a positive impact on the journey towards recovery.

Lee Rawlings, Local Involvement Co-ordinator for Bath and North East Somerset, said: "This has been a really exciting project to be involved with. We started with a clear mission - to ensure every new member of staff understands the importance of effective communication with patients and carers, and how it underpins everything we do in our work at AWP.

"Words, attitudes and behaviours, smiling and saying hello, summarising information at the end of an appointment and not making assumptions that patients know everything, are just some of the things that can make a real difference to relationships between staff, patients and carers to build trust and confidence."

Edwart Bowkett, a carer, who is featured in the film said "What's important to me is a service that listens to the carers and values carers on an equal basis through two-way communication."

Carolyn Trippick, a patient who led the co-production project and is also featured in the film, said: "Communication on a human level is the foundation on which effective, compassionate care is built. At the heart of the film is the concept that 'it's the little things that matter'; simple human gestures, showing kindness, understanding are the foundations of an equal relationship.

"As an individual with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa, being filmed was a real personal challenge for me. However, with a passion for supporting staff to aid the improvement of communication with patients and carers it was really important to me.

"Working in collaboration with staff, patients and carers through co-production, has been the key to making this project such a success, a project which we all feel truly proud to be a part of."

The film, along with an interactive activity, personal communication commitment card and handout providing tips and real life examples of effective communication with patients and carers now features as part of AWP's induction programme for new starters. Existing staff are also being encouraged to watch the film and to meet with the group.

The film is now available to view on You Tube here

Cookies on our website

Cookies are used to ensure you get the best browsing experience. No personally identifiable information is collected.
By using our site you agree to these cookies being used. For more information please see our Cookie Policy.