Why use people’s stories in health?

Every day, healthcare produces stories worthy of any Hollywood screenplay. People give birth and they die. They feel fear. They show untold compassion. They save lives. They face mammoth obstacles and then find strengths they never knew they had. When people talk frankly about their experiences, the story comes alive.

This is important, because today’s sophisticated audiences are no longer touched by polished organisational messages. They want information that is authentic and meaningful.

But when it comes to healthcare, it’s not just about telling a ripping yarn. The Francis Inquiry highlighted what can happen when we don’t listen to the voices of staff, patients and loved ones. Quantitative data tells us much – but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. That’s why a growing number of healthcare organisations are using people’s stories to improve the quality of care and talk about what they do.

Some ways we have used people’s stories

  • Developing strategy
  • Health quality improvement
  • Writing evaluations
  • Training and induction
  • Corporate literature
  • Patient information
  • Scoping and research
  • Case studies to inspire or reassure

During the filming, Eleanor made me feel comfortable and relaxed.
Kelly Radford, staff nurse