Being a patient with long-term health conditions (LTCs) requires patience . . . something I am learning through my experience. I am not always very patient, getting cross quickly when letters don't arrive for weeks and doctors are running late. But sometimes apathy takes hold - chasing the doctors never seems to work anyway, so what is the point!? - and I can become too patient! I'm not sure whether the title of this blog, The Patient Patient, is ironic or not!
I completed the first 3 and a bit years of medical school at Cambridge before stopping because of ill health. From being very clinical and straight about everything, my perspective has been turned upside down and inside out having been on the other side.
After finding my feet (literally and metaphorically) I now live locally in Dorset, working as a self-management coach for the NHS, supporting people with long term health conditions to self-manage through one to one coaching and group courses, as well as training local health care professionals in the key enabling skills, and working at a strategic management level to develop the service. I also lecture medical and healthcare students on self-management and the biopsychosocial model of disease and support the wider involvement of patients in medical education. Within the university system, I am also involved with several health services research projects. I champion self-management and other components of person-centered care at a national level as a patient leader working freelance on difference projects. Most recently, this has included independent evaluations, workforce training frameworks, faciliation, network development and peer reviewing. I find myself on the conference circuit as well.
In May 2013, I was awarded the College of Medicine Individual Self-Care Award for my personal and professional work in this area. In December 2014, I was included on the HSJ's list of Rising Stars, and in 2015 was included on the HSJ list of Patient Leaders.
All views on this blog are personal. This blog is a collection of my thoughts, ideas, feelings and reflections as I negotiate living with long term health conditions and my career in this field.
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