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Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cardiac and Stroke Network connects with people with aphasia

11 July 2008

People with aphasia in Manchester get involved in training stroke service providers

Connect works with Greater Manchester Stroke Networks

Feedback from people with aphasia about communication skills is one of the most powerful features of training at Connect. So when the Greater Manchester Cardiac and Stroke Network invited Connect to train stroke service providers in Manchester, it was clear that we first needed to train local people with aphasia on how to deliver that feedback.

People with aphasia came from as far North as Bury and Oldham, as far west as Liverpool, and south from Warrington and Cheshire! The collaboration and bringing together of twenty one people with aphasia from across the region, created a real buzz and excitement. Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) was the setting for this collaborative project. We were grateful for the support of colleagues from Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University, The Stroke Association, Speakeasy, and therapists from local Primary Care Trusts.

Connect and the Greater Manchester Stroke Network

The training was lead by Sally McVicker and Alex Stirling and consisted of a mix of small group discussion and whole group feedback and further discussion. Props were prepared and provided and with communication support on each table, an exchange of ideas between people with aphasia was facilitated.

Group members grew in stature, new confidence gleaned as they took on their new roles as ‘trainers’ and got to grips with the concept of feedback and feeding back on the skills of the communication partner without aphasia. A refreshing change from the more inward focus on self and their own communication!

A few weeks later the trained people with aphasia took part in a two courses called 'Develop your communication skills and make a difference' for nurses, doctors, therapists and support workers to improve their communication skills. And here's some of the feedback

'Should be delivered to all stroke team members as it's so useful'.

'I will be able to change my practice tomorrow as such practical tips'

'I now feel more confident in my job. I will take it back and pass on the knowledge'

'Makes you analyse your own practise - excellent'

'As a staff nurse on an acute unit, I found it fantastic to be able to spend time talking to someone with aphasia. Without the pressure of time, you realise you don't know very much about your patient'.

Connect and the Greater Manchester Stroke Network

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