Using storytelling in health and healthcare

Using storytelling in health and healthcare

Storytelling is the most ancient of communication techniques – and one I use every day to help people connect with my clients’ messages. In my area– health and social change – I use storytelling in multiple ways:

  • Case studies bring a project, health condition or treatment to life by showing its impact on the people involved.
  • Short quotes and minute journalistic details are like details in a painting, helping you conjure up the events in your mind.
  • Stories of lived experience inspire change and help others feel they are not alone.
  • Even when I’m writing reports or strategies like the NHS People Plan, I’m always thinking carefully about the narrative I’m crafting – the overall message we want people to take away, and the voice and tone we are using to share it.

But communications is only one of the areas in which storytelling is used in health and healthcare. It plays a crucial role in quality improvement and research– and in measuring impact. And of course, it sits at the heart of health care: in the consultation, where the person shares how they are feeling and what has been happening to them.

That’s why I’m very excited about the forthcoming symposium run by two organisations who know more than most about listening to the voices of people across healthcare– including patients and staff – Picker and the Point of Care Foundation.

On this topic, in particular, it feels important to be learning alongside others, face to face. So I’m heading to Birmingham in November to spend a day immersing myself in ideas and insights. Come and join me!

1058 1044 Articulate Health