About 18 years ago, when I was working in oncology, a patient was explaining to me how they had given consent for a medical treatment that they had subsequently regretted. They recognised that the treatment may have been effective in terms of limiting their cancer, but the impact on their quality of life had been negative. It occurred to me this person may not have been referred to me in the psycho-oncology clinic had they had a different type of consultation.
EC4H started as a series of communication courses in NHS Lothian. We designed courses that went beyond theory to the heart of real clinical situations. Staff were given support to reflect on their communication style. We have refined and developed the teaching and coaching, keeping up to date with the most recent insights from education and psychology.
EC4H has now grown; the majority of NHS Boards across Scotland have licences, hosted by NHS Lothian. Clinical staff support all the NHS Boards with tutor training, new courses, educational materials and a network of trainers so that the quality of the courses is maintained.
The best moments for me now are when people tell me how much they enjoyed the course, how much they have learnt and what that means to them.
One person said to me recently,
EC4H has not just helped me to manage difficult conversations at work that I had previously avoided, but it has also helped me to feel less stressed. I reflect on what I am going to say more now, I think that it even helps me with our teenage children!
Dr Belinda Hacking