Reliable health information. Patients' real life experiences, shared on film.
Well the value for doctors and other health care professionals is two-fold, first of all it’s a great thing to be able to tell your patients about but actually, I see it from a slightly different angle, it’s a great way to gain insight into what it’s like to be on the receiving end. You know, we spend a lot of time looking after people, we don’t actually see what happens when they leave the hospital or they leave the consulting room and this gives the opportunity for us to see what really matters to them. I mean, often what worries our patients, or concerns them or creates anxiety, isn’t the same thing that we think they’d be worried about. That’s why it’s important to get the insight.
I wish I’d seen something like this when I was at medical school or a very young doctor. We don’t get taught this sort of stuff. We don’t get the opportunity to talk to patients so that they can tell us what really matters to them and to be able to eavesdrop on their thoughts is very useful. It would have changed the way that I would have practised medicine early on and I think it’s something that you pick up as you go on through your career, you know, doctors, if you’re empathetic, you start to learn what matters to patients. But it’d be nice if you could do that and be taught right at the beginning so you could build on a good base of knowledge and that’s where I think this comes in particular useful.
Communication is absolutely crucial to the consultation in general practice, understanding how the patient feel is absolutely critical when trying to deal holistically with a patient’s problem. And the video clips and the audio clips of course give us doctors a window on the world of the patient: their fears, their hopes, their expectations and I think it’s absolutely crucial that we, as doctors, get to grips with those fears and hopes and expectations at the beginning of the problem and of course the clips of Healthtalkonline are uniquely placed to give us that understanding.
I have a very good example of a colleague using Healthtalkonline, his wife had been ill with breast cancer and he really didn’t know how to best care for her and what things were available for her and so he went on to Healthtalkonline as a carer, as a doctor and he found it absolutely invaluable and has subsequently, of course, told a lot of other colleagues to look at the site, in order that they can gain benefit from it as well.