“Unputdownable” – Medical Journalists’ Association
“This is a cracking read” – ACP News
A Royal College of Nursing essay prize.
Built around poems expressing what could not be said at the time of treatment and explores ‘taboo’ subjects including lack of consent and pain relief. Above all it is a plea for honesty and compassion.
Referenced discussion sections suggest what needed to change; the issues cut across all illnesses; it illustrates the cumulative psychological effects of paternalism; it touches on service user involvement in healthcare; it’s for anyone who really wants to get inside a patient’s skin.
Nothing Personal demonstrates the need for clinicians working with serious illness to have psychological support and sufficient communication skills training to help them acknowledge ‘uncomfortable’ issues, such as treatment side effects, and so meet patients’ needs.
Although primarily written to improve professional practice, a trail unfolds in the search for answers and the account reads like a novel. Nothing Personal has won praise from patients, carers and professionals alike. Macmillan Cancer Support hailed it as ‘a landmark for the patient voice’; this unflinching account enables patients to know what standards they should be able to expect. Copies are held in patient support centres throughout the UK such as the Maggie Centres, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, as well as by The King’s Fund, The Royal College of General Practitioners and others abroad such as The Schwartz Centre. Some of the poems in Nothing Personal have been published in ‘Practice Development in Healthcare’ and in ‘Progress in Palliative Care’, used by stakeholders planning a new oncology unit and set to music for a CD to raise funds for 2 charities.