01782 450760

Tags: lived experience

Listening and Learning with the NHS

VOICES listening and learning
By Samantha Fairbanks, Learning and Evaluation, VOICES Special thanks to Lee Dale, Expert Citizens   VOICES and Expert Citizens recently attended and helped to facilitate the ‘patient experience’ section of the monthly NHS board meeting. Each month a previous patient is invited to the meeting to give their honest experience of accessing NHS services, and this time around that came in the form of Expert Citizen Lee sharing his experience of accessing A&E during the period that he was experiencing homelessness.   Lee was asked to hold nothing back and be completely honest about his feelings around this, explaining how when he was homeless he tried to take him own life and that’s how he ended up in the A&E department. Lee felt that because his injuries were self-inflicted he was “shoved into a corner and forgotten about with nothing but a paper hat to be sick in”. He was then told at 11pm that he couldn’t leave until he signed a form saying he would attend a psychiatric appointment in Hanley the following morning at 9am. Lee signed this and left but did not attend the meeting the following morning. The board asked Lee if the staff knew he was homeless at the time. Lee’s… Continue Reading

Valuing lived experience and busting the lifestyle choice myth

VOICES lifestyle choices
Photo: Andy Meakin congratulating Jason Smith on his speech and poetry performance By Andy Meakin, VOICES Director This year’s national Insight Conference and Awards from Expert Citizens was spectacular.  From the moment our friend Bishop Geoff Annas opened proceedings, the event delivered one powerful message after another about lived experience as a vehicle for systems change. Jason Smith told his story of reflection and redemption from a prison cell.  Unable to free his body, Jason decided to free his mind.  The walls and bars could not confine his search for wisdom which began in the pages of comic books, then travelled through reading philosophy, and ultimately to self-expression through writing and performing poetry.  His journey of learning and growth is a humbling testimony.  People can and do change when the tools and services are accessible. Rideout, B-Arts, and Expert Citizens delivered a thought-provoking forum theatre based on real stories and experiences.  This demonstrated the barriers that people too often experience to both accessing services and to moving on from homelessness in to accommodation then employment. It would be difficult to overstate the powerful story told by Sammy Woodhouse of her experiences as a survivor of the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham.  Sammy chronicled in… Continue Reading

Scroll to Top