Sheffield, Barcelona…and more…

The e-Criterium team was in Sheffield last week (10th-14th March). As you may know from past postings in our block, Patient Opinion (PO) is based there. Our team could meet the full PO team, could work together and learn from their five years of experience in the web. Shared with us their history, their beginnings, their development, their actual work and their plans. They showed once more their generosity and their real cooperation ethos; something we all mention several times, but are not always able to practice.

We learned a lot, felt  encouraged and also slightly scared for the amount of work we are now facing; although knowing we can count on them is always reassuring.

I was surprised by:

–          The enthusiasm of a lot of the NHS health professionals to encourage their patients to tell their stories and to share their experience in PO.

–          The answers from the health care institutions: justifying, explaining, adjusting but eventually… answering!

–          The real changes implemented following patients’ suggestions and the reality of one of the PO basic statements: “your story can change the NHS”.

–          The stories shared by the public, their maturity, their responsibility, the ideas put forward…

I liked:

–          the exceptional working atmosphere at the Patient Opinion’s office and the cohesion, involvement and passion for the work of all the team.

–          Sheffield, a city from which I knew very little that surprised me very favorably. A very pleasant centre, a nice countryside from where you can see the city.

And we (I include here also Josep and Oriol) thank :

–          Kate, Amy and Sarah’s for their warmness dedication and explanations; Julie for her kindness; Tim, Jason, Donya and Malte, for his patience for accepting our Mediterranean voice volume during work; James, Paul and Miriam for everything: time, encouragement, knowledge, lessons, invitations and for having taken care of us and shown their city, for their chating and the laughing together…and all friends who were with us celebrating PO’s 5th birthday and a special mention to Tom, Alicia, Sergio and Miriam, who without belonging to the PO team, came with us, given their family links, to different events.

Ah! And I do not want to forget it: an international agreement with an Italian group was also signed. We are very pleased. There is only one thing I did not like: the coffee. In my second day I shifted to tea and looked for a coffee shop with an expresso machine. They exist.

Olga Fernández Quiroga

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