Patient Safety Zone

Patient Safety stories

Information and guidance on collecting patient stories to ensure the patient's voice is heard and to inform service improvement.

Patient Safety Stories

 A story is where a patient or carer tells their story about their healthcare experience in their own words.

This resource on using patient safety stories emanated from the results of the 2013 Patient Safety Stakeholder consultation:

  • Making the most of patient safety stories : enhancing patient safety and patient experiences ( Download, 101 KB)

Also, from Paris 2014, IHI/BMJ Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare:

  • What matters to you? : using patient safety stories to enhance patient safety ( Download, 152 KB)
Listen, Learn, Act

NHS Education for Scotland has produced the publication Listen Learn Act, providing information and guidance for staff on story-gathering to drive service improvement.

Download the publication:

Person Centred

In his collection of poems 'Lights in the Constellation of the Crab', Angus Ogilvy articulates his experience of living with cancer and the care and support he received from the staff at Western General Hospital and the Maggie's Centre in Edinburgh.

Further information about the collection:

  • Angus Ogilvie poems background ( Download, 39 KB)

Read an interview with Angus Ogilvy from the recent NHS Education for Scotland publication Focus:

All proceeds from the book 'Lights in the Constellation of the Crab' go directly to Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres. Copies of the book are available through Angus or at Maggie's Edinburgh. Payment is by donation to Maggie's. The copyright remains with the author. Angus' contact details are

A selection of Angus's poems are available in audio and video format below. Alternatively you can read the recorded poems here:

  • Lights in the constellation of the crab ( Download, 75 KB)
Poems read out by Angus Ogilvy

The following poems have been put in a downloadable file as podcasts or video:

A small matter of refreshment
Calling cancer to account
Final consultation
First screening 
Gratitude for whatever 
How long
New blood
Oncology lift and data capture 
Oncology nurse
Out of the passive voice 
Song of the chemo dispenser
State of the art

Download 10 podcasts of poems read by Angus Ogilvy:

  • Downloadable podcasts of poems read by Angus Ogilvy ( Download, 34 MB)

Download 10 videos of poems read by Angus Ogilvy:

  • Videos of poems read by Angus Ogilvy - Series 1 ( Download, 46 MB)
Patient Safety Quick Links


Patient Stories
Patient Stories uses documentary and drama-documentary film-making techniques to provoke discussion and debate about safety and quality issues amongst healthcare professionals.

Patient Voices
The Patient Voices programme was founded by Pilgrim Projects, an education consultancy specialising in healthcare quality improvement. It aims to facilitate the telling and the hearing of some of the unwritten and unspoken stories of ordinary people so that those who devise and implement strategy in health and social care, as well as the professionals and clinicians directly involved in care, may carry out their duties in a more informed and compassionate manner.

WHO. Patients for patient safety
Patients for Patient Safety (PFPS) emphasizes the central role patients and consumers can play in efforts to improve the quality and safety of health care around the world. PFPS works with a global network of patients, consumers, caregivers, and consumer organisations to support patient involvement in patient safety programmes, both within countries and in the global programmes of WHO Patient Safety.

Patient Opinion
An independent website enabling patients to share their experiences of healthcare services in the UK, existing to facilitate dialogue between patient and health service providers and to improve services and staff morale.



A different way of knowing. Using patient stories as an educational resource
Patient stories can provide powerful messages about the experience of the care our patients receive. This publication shows how patient stories can be used as an educational resource.

Patient and person driven care resources
From 1000 Lives Plus, the national improvement programme supporting organisations and individuals to deliver the highest quality and safest healthcare for the people of Wales.


Audio and video

WHO. Patients for patient safety - videos
A series of films have been developed for Patients for Patient Safety.

Patient Stories
From Patient Safety Canada



Patients Association, 2012. Stories from the present, lessons for the future.

O'Connor P. How we capture and use patient stories to try to improve patient safety. Health care risk report 2007; 14 (1) (pp 12 - 14).

Ottewill M., Renshaw M., Ireland A., Carmody J. Using patient and staff stories to improve risk management . Nursing times 2006; 102 (8) (pp 34-36).

Quaid D., Thao J., Denham C.R. Story power: the secret weapon. Journal of patient safety 2010; 6 (1) (pp 5-14).

Cox L.M., Logio L.S. Patient safety stories: a project utilizing narratives in resident training. Academic Medicine 2011; 86 (11) (pp 1473-1478).