Talking Mats: Making it Easier for Everyone to Share Their Feedback on Patient Opinion

Update from Care Opinion Ireland

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We have some exciting news... Talking Mats will soon be available in Ireland!

It is core to our mission at Patient Opinion that we aim to make it safe and easy for everyone to share their experiences of their care, and make a difference.  And we are especially keen to make sure we hear from those “seldom heard voices” – people who are ignored, marginalised, or find it hard to speak up.

So we are very excited about our partnership with Talking Mats, a fellow social enterprise, with a mission to “help people organise thoughts and express views”. Thanks to encouragement and financial support from Life Changes Trust, we are busy working together to make it easier for people with dementia to share their views and experiences of care online.

The Talking Mats system is simple but powerful. It is centred around placing pictures on a mat to reflect both the issues that matter, and how you feel about them. And of course, in the process, to have a conversation about what matters, and why.

Here is a real example of a story recently shared on our sister site Care Opinion 

To see how the process works in practice take a look below...

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Why does this matter?

This work is hugely important to us at Patient Opinion. It directly supports our core mission. To our knowledge, it will be globally unique in extending the use of an online feedback platform for people with dementia. That will allow us to hear from people who traditionally have not had a say. We hope this work will also support the wider movement of people challenging stigma and changing attitudes towards those with dementia.

Overall, we anticipate that bringing the Talking Mats system into Patient Opinion will make it easier for many, many more people to “organise their thoughts and express their views”, helping health and care staff to learn from even more of the people they care for.

Response from Joanne O'Halloran, Clinical Psychologist, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service, HSE on

What a great way for people to be able to express their opinions and experiences of our healthcare services. We are looking forward to promoting Talking Mats here in the Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services.

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