13 June 2023

How two service users have utilised QI in their recovery

Two incredible stories from Lenna Adley And Craig Donohoe. Lenna was able to use QI in her recovery  and is now working as a member of staff at ELFT . Craig’s journey from representing People Participation at ELFT and going on to lead QI projects is inspiring. In May, these stories were presented at the International Forum on Quality & Safety. Lenna was unable to attend however Craig Donohoe (service user and QI coach with lived experience) got the crowd going in the session by leading a singalong to the ELFT authentic co-creator charter song.

Lena’s story

Craig’s Story

I attended the International forum on quality and safety in healthcare, in Copenhagen in May 2023.

I was representing people participation, and ELFT quality improvement, as I presented my own story about my own journey to recovery through using QI and taking leadership within quality improvement at ELFT. I spoke about how making and seeing improvements through chairing QI forums, teaching QI, and leading QI projects, broke the paralysing effect of the OCD perfectionist cycle on me.

As a part of my story, I shared the Co-creators charter song I co-produced with QI and PPL staff. To have the song words heard internationally made me understand that I am needed. As the ability to influence others to see service users as QI leaders has given me finally a meaning of life that makes sense of my family bereavements and their impact on my diagnoses.

The experience for me was so healing and cathartic because by presenting my story internationally, as I was able to stand outside of it, and the limitations of my diagnosis reduced its power over me.

The effect on others had a profound impact on me, as I received heartfelt feedback from health professionals across the world. I realised I can make a difference in my life and gained so much confidence that I now have something to live for. Because by being a public speaker sharing my QI and PP story, on larger platforms has given me a purpose that I have searched for all my life.

I meet people participation leaders from other countries like Canada, Denmark, and the USA, who regularly speak at global public health conferences. Meeting these international people participation leaders was hugely inspiring and has opened a whole new world for me of possibilities beyond my own anxiety and perfectionism. As I learnt that some of these PP leaders were even part of a W.H.O committee on patient safety.

I also heard talks by global health leaders, like Thea Kolsen Fischer who went to Wuhan, China,  at the start of the pandemic to understand the exact origins of the virus.

My learning from the conference as a service user, carer, and expert by experience, is that all experts by experience are needed across the world to tell their stories, to redefine how we deliver health care, and find meaning and healing to use your experience to improve the care and lives of others. There are many international conferences, and so many professionals need to hear your story. So, I hope my international conference story will lead you to start your own profound journey of life changing storytelling, as you become the leaders our global healthcare system needs.


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