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Pictures do paint a thousand words

Update from Care Opinion Scotland

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picture of Gina Alexander

As Dementia Awareness Week 2018 comes to a close, we thought we'd give you an update on how our newest feature, picture stories, is being used.

Picture stories were developed in partnership with Talking Mats with funding from Life Changes Trust, with the aim of supporting people affected by dementia to share their experience.  In practice many more people are choosing to share their stories using pictures.

                                story shared in pictures and words

Doug High is the Senior Charge Nurse in the Elderly medicine unit in Forth Valley Royal Hospital and, supported by Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, Nicola Wood has been encouraging people to share their experiences using Care Opinion picture stories.

The team have a secret weapon in the form of Lynsey, a regular volunteer, who helps people to share their experiences.

Doug says:-

"Getting feedback is absolutely essential in order to keep getting better at what we are doing. This can be a straightforward process for a lot of patients in our ward however there are people who need support with this. Our wonderful volunteer, Lynsey, has been coming to us regularly over the past few months to have conversations with the people on our ward. By using picture stories, they can build a picture between them that reflects the person’s feelings about their time with us. It’s great having someone entirely independent so we know that the feedback we are getting is honest and having the pictures to move up and down the scale is a really visual an intuitive tool to support this.

There are no criteria for using the picture stories but we’ve had great success with people with dementia and delirium."

Getting feedback is absolutely essential in order to keep getting better at what we are doing.

"We’ve had mostly positive feedback so far however there are a few stories around people feeling that there is not much to do and are bored, so we are investing in our activities box and looking at developing our seating area so that people can enjoy these activities with company. Having all of this on line on Care Opinion means that the patients and their families can then see how we have responded to their feedback and see how we are improving.

We would have never had the opportunity to gather these opinions had it not been for Lynsey and the picture stories – long may it continue!"


"It's great to help patients get their voices heard on the ward!" 
                                                    Lynsey, Volunteer, NHS Forth Valley

It's so inspiring to see the enthusiasm and commitment from this team of staff, volunteers and patients, working together to make a difference. 

Take a look at the stories which are being shared about this unit and be inspired. 

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