Since Chayim joined Bury Shared Lives in 2018 he's gained lots of new skills and he's keen to help in the community in any way he can. So when he heard that The Patients Association wanted people to join their lived experience advisory panel, he applied immediately and was thrilled to be accepted. Going to hospital is daunting for anyone, but it can be much more frightening if you find it difficult to understand what people are saying, if you feel your beliefs and wishes are not understood or when communicating your thoughts and feelings to others is difficult.
The panel members have named the group Patient Voices Matter (PVM). After the first meeting in September 2021 we asked Chayim why he wanted to be involved in PVM and he said 'Some of the times I stayed at hospital were not as positive as they could have been and it's good to share these experiences with others.' He said he thought the group was important because 'everyone wants the same thing - to help others through their experiences.'
Sarah Tilsed, Head of Patient Partnership, at explained 'The lived experience advisory panel will provide an important forum for people with lived experience of being a patient or a carer to share their insights and experiences by working with us.
The Patients Association wants to see patient partnership at work at every level of care, from individual consultations to the design of health and care systems. LEAP (PVM) will advise on how we implement and commit to true patient partnership; we cannot tell others to work in patient partnership if we are not truly doing it ourselves.'
Originally intended as a 6 month project, Chayim's PVM experience looks set to continue for a while longer. 'Different topics are discussed every time we meet, like how we can make people's stays in hospital better or how people feel about the NHS. We all agreed on our new name, Patient Voices Matter, as it's about us having a voice' he explains.
Chayim has gained a lot from being on the panel, such as working with people from different backgrounds and hearing about their experiences. He hopes PVM will 'help The Patient's Association and help other people to have it easier if they ever visit hospital'. And what was his favourite part of being involved? That the group is set to continue for a while longer and 'it gave me time to talk about my experience of being in hospital and I got paid for attending the sessions.'
Patient Voices Matter is yet another string to Chayim's busy bow; read more about his job at Shine and how Bury Shared Lives has made a difference to his life . He also plays a role in , serving on the Bury Shared Lives Committe and Persona Your Voice. As parrt of the Bury Shared Lives committee, Chayim feeds back on Persona's Easy Read documents to ensure that everything we produce is informative and simple to understand. He's probably got more planned too, so watch this space!