09 September 2019
Putting communication and co-production at the heart of patient care and support for carers
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
"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
"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
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