How libraries can help to humanise healthcare

‘The Health/Art/Libraries (HAL) project was founded in 2015 by Somerset based GP, Dr Malcolm Rigler and Liverpool artists John Campbell and Moira Kenny: THE SOUND AGENTS.

The aim of the project is to design and deliver a series of Arts Projects, Events, Publications, Workshops and Training Sessions to offer help to patients and carers in their search for information and understanding about health, social care and life changes from 0 to 100 years, working along the theme of “ Libraries on Prescription”…’

The link to the full BMJ editorial, ‘Humanising Healthcare’, mentioned in my earlier post (Robin Youngson & MB, Christmas edition 2016) can be found there under the ‘READ’ heading –

On the same page is the link to ‘Redundant Subjectivity’ by Professor Stephen Pattison, Hon Fellow RCGP : ‘…instead of attending to my concerns, the GP…insists on taking my blood pressure and interrogating me on my lifestyle before giving me unasked for advice about how I could live a healthier and better life (as if I didn’t know that I could do that, and were not ashamed of the fact that I don’t). I leave the surgery edified but effectively deafed out, both guilty and demoralised…’

How many of us have had similar encounters? We are all individuals. We need healthcare to take account of that individuality, not treat us according to guidelines and generalisations.


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Campaigns, Compassion in healthcare, guidelines, medicine's flaws, open access, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How libraries can help to humanise healthcare

  1. adawells says:

    Thank you so much for letting me know about this wonderful project. Our local public library is opposite our local GP surgery, but the library is largely unmanned and only accessible by prior arranged swipe card access now, which is too difficult for many of the very elderly people to deal with.

    Patients desperately want information about their illnesses, and want to help themselves, but the medical centre doesn’t have time to explain diseases or show them where to search, and there’s no librarian in the library to show them.

    I’m sure many patients would be much happier if someone could help them navigate around decent online medical information, such as the NHS or CRUK website pages and help them to print some information out. My elderly mother asks me to do this for her and you can print out the pages in big print for those with poor eyesight. Being told that you have a serious illness is an even more terrifying experience if you aren’t able to access any information about it, and clinicians just don’t have the time to teach you.

  2. bmitzi says:

    Hallo Adawells. Thank you for your response. I wonder if you would be able to message me on Facebook please to let me know which is your library so there might be a possibility of including it in this scheme?

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