I’ve just stumbled on the best website in Britain and can’t believe it’s taken me til now. It is run by excellent people and is incredibly informative. It also tells it as it is. Where end of life issues are concerned there’s not nearly as much of this about as there needs to be. This site really is as good as any site can be.
It’s HealthTalkOnline.org. It is, they say,
a unique database of personal and patient experiences through in-depth qualitative research into over 40 different illnesses and health conditions. The results of our research are … aimed at patients, their carers, family and friends, doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
The Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford … uses rigorous and systematic research methods to sample, collect and analyse interviews with individuals of all ethnic groups over the age of sixteen.
DIPEx was created by Dr Ann McPherson CBE and Dr Andrew Herxheimer after their own experiences of illness. Ann had been diagnosed with breast cancer and although she knew all the medical information, couldn’t find anyone else to talk to about what it was really like to have the disease. This, and Andrew’s experience of knee replacement surgery, prompted them to come up with the innovative idea of a patient experience website.
Our aims are:
· To share the experience of illness or a health problem and to provide support for patients and carers who may feel that they are on their own.
· Answer the questions and problems that matter to people when they are ill or have a health-related problem and to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare.
· Provide reliable, evidence-based information about illnesses and health problems
· Be an educational resource for health professionals
· Promote better communication between patients and health professionals
There’s masses of first-person information and discussion about what it feels like to have what you’ve got. And there’s masses about dying and bereavement. Simply, a fantastic resource, one where we can spend hours and hours reading and learning.
Find HealthTalkOnline here.