Our pilot listening service in GP surgeries launched earlier this year, providing a platform for patients to share their stories.
For three Fridays of the month, Jutta Widlake, our head of social care and one of our volunteers has been spending the day at Ivybridge Health Centre, providing a listening service to patients.
The doctors at Ivybridge Health Centre, which is part of Beacon Medical Group, are promoting the service to any of their patients who are bereaved and want to talk about their experience and what they are going through.
Jutta describes the pilot as an opportunity for anyone who has been affected by bereavement to use the service as a chance to tell their story. She said, “It is not a counselling or therapy session, it is a chance for someone else outside of their close social network to witness their story, giving them the time to be heard.”
One point that Jutta is keen to reiterate is that the sessions are for anyone, not just someone who has an involvement with St Luke’s. They are open to anyone who is bereaved and would like the time to be listened to.
Dr G Davies, a GP at Ivybridge Health Centre, said, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with St Luke’s on this pilot project. The listening service fulfils a much needed gap in giving time and support to bereaved patients during what can be a difficult and distressing time. We recognise the importance of this resource and also the need for this to reach wider into the community, our patient advisors who regularly talk to our patients are able to sign post to this valuable service, and we have also engaged with our community nursing team who may see families who do not approach the surgery directly.”
The pilot is initially being run on a six month basis at the Ivybridge surgery. They are holding four slots every Friday, (excluding the first Friday of the month) two in the morning, two in the afternoon, both of which will be 90 minutes long; allowing enough time for each individual to share their story.