Monday, 13 May 2013

Patient led workshops, how we did it....

We held a meeting at the Royal Free in Hampstead on 11th May 2013. We called it Patients Voices and we had about 35 thyroid patients attending, with a range of thyroid conditions and varying levels of experience and knowledge about them. Most were London based but others travelled from as far afield as the Lake District and Liverpool.

some of the volunteers (patients and friends) who made this event happen:
clockwise from top left: Theresa, Lorraine, Claire and Karen
We now have an excellent format for these kinds of meetings which you are welcome to copy if you want to do something similar yourself. Here is the programme:
British Thyroid Foundation support meeting, 11th May 2013 
10am – Registration and refreshments 
10:05Introductions – Who are we with thyroid disease?
·       Everyone is invited to sit together in a circle and share: our names, how we found out about this event and what we are hoping to talk about today, those who wish to can also share what thyroid condition we may have and how we are feeling today.    
11:15 Relaxation session – those who wish to are invited to participate in a short guided meditation before the break. 
11:20 – Announcements 
11:25 – Break, refreshments will be served and you are invited to choose a breakout discussion group to join after the break 
11:50 – Discussion groups – we will break into smaller groups to explore those issues which have been identified as being of most interest. Eg: Psychological Wellbeing, Getting the most out of our doctors / Managing symptoms...Questions for future speaker topics etc.   
12:40– 1pm The groups will feed back on the key things they discussed and any actions they have agreed which they’d like to share with everyone, for inclusion in a report for the British Thyroid Foundation website and Lorraine’s blog.
1pm – close   
In the first session we identified several common themes that were of interest to most of us and so the discussion groups after the break were as follows:
  • Diet and Lifestyle
  • Psychological Wellbeing
  • T3 - what's it all about? And how do we access reliable health information?
  • How to get the most out of our doctors
  • Spotting and managing Symptoms
We used volunteer facilitators from within the group who had appropriate skills and had agreed in advance to lead the break out discussions.

Each discussion was lively and fruitful. I will be sharing the notes from each of them in posts to follow.

Patients Voices on Psychological Wellbeing discussion notes are now here.

Patients Voices on Managing Symptoms due to go live shortly:

Comments welcome and please share these posts with anyone you think might find them helpful, whether they are a patient or a healthcare professional.

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