The power of patient stories: sharing the patient experience through art

Key contacts:

Dr Katherine Malbon

Dr Kate Sullivan

Dr Katja Freund

Paul Doyle

Chris Bound


Patient stories are an important tool for organisational improvement, as they help health professionals understand the patient experience and shape health services to better address the health needs of our community. The Adolescent Health Big Room at Imperial was launched in ??2017 with the aim of ??improving young people’s health. To connect its attendees with the needs of the population it serves, the weekly meeting commences with a Patient Story. Since its induction, the Adolescent Big Room has collected 30 Patient Stories. However, once shared, these stories are not revisited or discussed.

We are hoping to use the Patient Stories that we have collected creatively, as a way of engaging young people and staff with our health service, encouraging interaction and discussion around themes within adolescent health.

SMART objectives

We aim to host an art and photographic competition, inviting patients, families and staff to illustrate the themes contained within the Patient Stories that we have collected. We aim to exhibit the best submissions in an art/photographic exhibition in December 2019, and to award a people’s choice prize to the best artwork displayed.

Progress made: What have you learned from doing this?

We have collated stories from our big room meeting and will consult our Imperial Youth Forum, which consists of young people and patients at Imperial, to advise us on the best way to engage young people in this project. Staff have begun to liaise with local venues and exhibition spaces. Once the venue and dates have been confirmed, we will put out a call for submissions.

What’s your take home message

Patient stories are an impactful way of illustrating need, and the creative arts are an innovative medium through which patients and healthcare professionals can explore the patient experience. Through sharing stories, better ways to improve our services for the community can be found.

Leave a Reply