Friday, 27 April 2012


In recent months, Leicester Council of Faiths has been working with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust on a few interesting projects.

One we're working on now is called "Faith Community Health Champions". This project is intended to help local NHS staff understand how the religion or belief of individuals impact on their experience of health, illness and well-being and how it influences their access and attitude to health care services locally.

This is being done by means of short video interviews, which will be used for internal training purposes.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has asked me to film a number of these video interviews with individuals from a variety of religions or beliefs living in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland. That includes Secular Humanists and people of no particular beliefs.

We're not necessarily looking for dramatic, life-threatening medical conditions. While that would be interesting of course, we're also keen to talk with those living with conditions such as insomnia, gastric reflux, flat feet - the kind of everyday niggling things that don't grab the headlines but can still make life miserable. They are all of interest in this project. If you have any kind of medical condition, have experienced illness or are in recovery from a medical procedure, then you could help.

The interview should last no more than ten minutes. The whole experience should take no longer than half an hour. Respondents are asked to sign a Release Form, giving Leicestershire NHS Partnership Trust permission to use the video interview for internal training purposes.

There's a set of seven simple questions which everyone will be asked. Nothing personal or confidential is involved:

  1. What’s your name?
  2. Do you identify with any particular religion or belief?
  3. Do you have any kind of medical condition?
  4. How does your religion or belief impact on your health needs and how you access health care services?
  5. Would you like to say something about your experiences with the local health service (good or bad)?
  6. Has anything happened to you with the local health service that you found either frustrating or supportive?
  7. If you could change one thing in your relationship with the local health service, what would that be?

Abida Hussain and I film the first of these interviews with one of our respondents this afternoon. We're hoping to do a dozen or so within the next two weeks. Any offers from volunteers will be gratefully considered.

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