Understanding the experiences of families is an important part of our learning so we can make improvements to the family experience.

As part of the Kinnect project, we’ve been speaking to families who have been bereaved to hear their experiences and stories so we can understand the things that can truly make a difference for them. 

On this page, we aim to share some of the experience our families have shared with us.  

Janine's story 

Summary stories

Please be aware that some details have been changed to protect anonymity.

  • Michelle described how she telephoned services in the days leading up her husband’s death by suicide. Staff initially said they could not speak to her. When Michelle started to tell them of her concerns they were totally silent as she spoke, she had to ask if they were still there. Michelle shared that she found it very difficult to speak ‘into a black hole’.
  • Kevin accompanied his mother to a meeting with staff just before she died by suicide. Kevin shared that the nurse who came to take his mother in, did not make eye contact with Kevin and he was not asked to speak in the meeting. Afterwards when Kevin asked if he could share his concerns with staff, he was told his mother did not want this and she had a right to confidentiality. Kevin told us that he wanted the team to listen to him, not to tell him anything about his mother. He believes the information he had would have made a difference to his mother’s treatment and support.
  • Sarah said her step-son was a very quiet person. Sarah feels that the psychiatrist asked closed, ‘loaded questions’ that made it very difficult for her step-son to fully describe his condition. When she tried to provide a true picture she was stopped from talking. She felt the psychiatrist actively disliked her because of this.

A theme from the feedback is families feeling excluded from their loved ones care resulting in service not being fully aware of the service users condition.