Select Committee on Health Written Evidence


  Examples of quotations from day centre users in as-yet unpublished group discussion research illustrate patients' perceptions of benefits, as follows:

  I really feel I would have deteriorated more quickly for a lot of reasons. It's getting me out, meeting different people, and seeing how other patients cope whereas I perhaps would have thought I was more alone and felt more sorry for myself, sitting there dwelling on things. And . . . the thing that has struck me most of all is the time that people have got to give you , because in the hospital they are so busy they can't give you any time at all. And here, the major thing is that people have the time to sit and talk to individuals, listen to individuals, and also, I must say that obviously most of the people that work in the hospital are themselves relatively fit and they don't seem to understand how fragile . . . how fragile a person can be. And here I think it's appreciated by all the staff just how frail we are. And I have enjoyed very much doing the arts and crafts I didn't know and had never found time to do. And all round it's a great benefit and I don't know where I would have been without it.

  I really enjoy being with the other patients. It's like being a member of an exclusive club. Nobody wants to be members but there is this bonding between patients, which I don't think anybody else can experience.

  Sometimes you used to feel like you don't want to go on you know, and [that] there is nothing here in this world for you. [You] begin to see people differently because you feel that people are cruel, you know, but since I've been coming to St Christopher's group, I realise there are still good people. I sit indoors, I do a little bit of walking perhaps.

  I do like gardening and I can't do my garden at home but I can do quite a bit here.

  I've found that the group is beneficial because if you've got a problem you can share it with someone else. Like if it's your family, well it's different if it's family, but when you're among friends that's got the same as you . . .

  I do enjoy coming even more now because I actually look forward to it, to come here, where before when I was poorly I didn't, I used to say oh I'll stay and lay in bed all day.

  What I enjoy, here now we're doing six weeks of drama which I've never done before and I didn't know that you have so much laughs. I never know'd I enjoy it so much.

  Lovely lunches again that we have. I wasn't eating at all; I did lose my appetite after the chemo and since I been coming here . . . I does only one days a week . . . I am able to eat something. Aren't that wonderful?

  I rested all day yesterday so I could come today.

February 2004

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