So you need to talk?
The active listening service provides patients with the opportunity to chat about their lives with a person dedicated to listening to them.
The volunteer-led service is free to access and based at the practice. Our listener is Louise Burns, who is an intensive care nurse at FVRH and volunteers with the practice on a Friday morning.
There are many reasons a person might benefit from the listening service. These include depression, anxiety, grief, stress, family changes such as the pressure of having a baby and relationship issues.
Each appointment is 50 mins long to give people the space and safety to tell their story and be heard. The principle behind the service is that by telling their story, patients will gain resilience, perspective and understanding about their circumstances. A variety of techniques are used and Louise might take a few notes to keep track of the conversation.
Conversation is confidential - all that goes in your patient notes is a note to say you attended.
What are the referral reasons?
There are many reasons you might find the listening service valuable. These include:
- Grief, loss and bereavement
- Low mood
- Mild to moderate depression. Even if you are being treated by our GPs or one of our mental health nurses, you might benefit from the opportunity to talk.
- The challenges of being a carer or looking after someone
- Relationship or family issues
- Having a new baby
- Change in your support system
- Work-related issues or pressure
If you have pressure that you don't feel like you can talk easily about with your current support system, you might benefit from telling someone you don't know.
Remember: the conversations you have are confidential.
What age do I have to be?
Louise will routinely see patients over the age of 16. If you are slightly younger than this, she may be able to help - please pass on your details and the practice will let you know.
How can I be referred?
Your clinician may refer you directly or you can get in touch with our administration team who can make your an appointment.
What evidence is there for active listening?
There is a substantial body of evidence that the service works in other parts of NHS Scotland. For example, NHS Tayside has rolled the service out across all GP surgeries. One of the reports can be accessed at the following link: CCL report.
What training do listeners have?
Listeners like Louise have gone through the Community Chaplaincy Listening training, which was developed y NHS Eduation for Scotland. They must agree to abide by all requirements of registration and provide evidence of practice, supervision and CPD annually.
Is the listening service religious?
The service is managed by NHS Forth Valley Spiritual Care service, but it is not of a religious nature. The conversation is focused around what the patient brings to the conversation.