“Understanding our Patients” – a very impressive event in Cumbria!

The thing I like best about Twitter is when it connects people who would not otherwise have come together. Which happens all the time. People with the same values and passions. This happened in Cumbria last week.

Dr Farhan Amin is a very special GP. Working in a tiny rural community, he has a big vision. He understands that people are experts in their own bodies and their own health care and he wants patients to share their expertise with others. To help them do this, he has established the innovative Patient Memoirs site where people can post video stories of how they are coping with long-term conditions or other health incidents and other people can learn and very often be inspired. Take a look – and, better still, post your own story!

I was not aware of any of this until Dr Amin contacted me back in January. He is someone who likes to bring innovators together and he had spotted Whose Shoes® and was quietly insistent that I should come to Cumbria as he wanted to set up an “Understanding Patients” workshop and thought Whose Shoes?®  would be a good way of exploring issues.

Fast forward to last Saturday, 22 March.

I had written some bespoke material as I realised that senior clinicians, who made up most of the audience, would want something challenging.

Something must have worked as instantly the room was buzzing with conversation and nobody wanted to stop for the coffee break!


After lunch, I could relax.

It was time for Dr Amir Hannan, a colleague I had enjoyed meeting when we were both on the Q&A panel at the King’s Fund AGM last year. Wonderful work around digital engagement with patients and making sure that Care Data works for real people.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to Dr Umesh Prabhu. I had not met Umesh before but had seen how he engaged whole-heartedly with Whose Shoes® in the morning. Now it was our turn to listen to him and we were all spellbound by his ‘straight from the heart’ presentation.

The energy of the event has been captured on Twitter and you can feel that others want a bit of the action. This is how good ideas spread – not by shouting from the rooftops how good they are, just quietly getting on and delivering something of real quality and value.

There was some really good feedback and the buzz continued long after the conference.

And, inevitably, a few more people wanted to be part of the evolving story and joined Twitter!

And some delegate pledges:

The perennial problem:

It is particularly rewarding to receive good feedback from young professionals entering the health care profession, and feeling optimistic that positive change is happening.


I had quite a chat with Michael Wellings and feel that we are in safe hands when passionate people give up their time to learn and connect on a Saturday. AND he is a cricket fan. 😉

Already more and more people are learning about Patient Memoirs. Already we are planning a follow-up event in the autumn, putting real patients in the room as well as video stories. I am very proud to be part of this team.

And the next audience could be altogether trickier!

Never underestimate the power of patient stories.

Wish me luck and watch this space!

Meanwhile I am off today for my very own weekend of storytelling.

Wish me luck and watch this space!

About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
This entry was posted in Blogs, community engagement, compassion, health, in my shoes, personalisation, TLAP - Making It Real, well-being and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Understanding our Patients” – a very impressive event in Cumbria!

  1. Nigel says:

    As a means of spreading news on what is out there Twitter is tremendous. If you have a story to tell Tweet it


  2. pippakelly12 says:

    How v true Nigel. Gill, this is the most marvellous example of the range & depth of discussions that Twitter and the Internet in general can provoke and the connections they can forge. Who would have thought that 140 characters could go so far? In my last blog http://pippakelly.co.uk/ I wrote that I viewed Twitter as “the most fabulous global cocktail party”. It really is – and unlike some cocktail parties it’s full of the most interesting and informed people. Whose Shoes is a brilliant, innovative & timely creation – huge congratulations!


  3. Pingback: ‘Patient Voices: digital stories – a whole new world! | Whose Shoes?

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  6. Thank you, Pippa for your really lovely blogpost. The image and feeling of your wonderful Twitter cocktail party will stay with us all. So thrilled that you have joined Twitter and quickly found our rather special group. I’ve said it before, #dementiachallengers rock! 😉 X


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