This is Care Opinion [siteRegion]. Did you want Care Opinion [usersRegionBasedOnIP]?

Stories posted by staff on behalf of consumers

Update from Care Opinion Australia

Posted by on

About: Small Rural Health Services - Victoria

In Australia, most stories received by Care Opinion are shared by story authors themselves. However, for some people, submitting a story to the platform is challenging.

To enable the voices from all consumers to be heard and ensure there are no barriers for those who cannot access the platform online, Care Opinion offers additional storytelling mechanisms to enable the submission of stories offline. 

These offline storytelling modes are exclusively available to subscribing services as they require additional support and expertise by the service to implement. By deciding to implement offline storytelling the service is agreeing to:

  1. Use Care Opinion Australia's brand and resources in accordance with the Visual Identity Guidelines, and 
  2. Adhere to offline storytelling guidelines and processes i.e. the Assisted Storytelling Guide and Storytelling Leaflet and Envelopes Process.

Offline storytelling pathways must be used as directed and have been developed with legal advice to ensure consistency with Moderation Principles and Editorial Guidelines.

What does this mean for you? Title image

Supporting all consumers to have the right to have their voices heard through feedback is an inclusion goal for many services. To make this a reality, some consumers will require additional support to share their story. It is important to remember it is still the consumers' story to tell, and storytelling support should not feel like a survey or interview by another name.

The Care Opinion subscriber-resources when used as directed allow for nuanced, authentic and genuine feedback.

There are some enablers that lead to stories being more meaningful, reflective and insightful as part of relational feedback. These include where the storyteller:

  • has been given a chance to reflect on their care.
  • feels free to share that experience in their own words authentically (whether positive, negative or both).
  • can see that their feedback has been heard, acknowledged and perhaps led to change.

Without these enablers, and by over facilitating story generation there are inherent risks in using these offline storytelling modalities, including:

  • the storyteller may not feel safe to give critical feedback, particularly when they are still in care.
  • staff subconsciously shape the story by asking leading questions and using the answers to write the story. This means the story is no longer in the consumer's voice and about what matters most to them, and typically takes the form of survey results.
  • the feedback given may be limited by the need to maintain a good relationship with, or please the staff member taking down the story.
  • the storytelling process is no longer relational.
  • the storyteller will not see or benefit from any response to their feedback if the story is entered under the email address of the staff member taking down the story.

How to choose the right offline storytelling modality? Image title

When supporting people to share their stories on Care Opinion via an offline modality, it's best to ask yourself two questions.

Question 1: Why am I supporting this person to share their story?

Question 2: What level of support does this person need?

The answer to these questions will help to direct you to one of 3 offline storytelling modalities: phoning Care Opinion's storytelling line, the consumer writing their story in Care Opinion's storytelling leaflet and replied paid envelope or having a staff member or volunteer take down the story using the assisted storytelling form.

Assisted Storytelling

Assisted storytelling is a resource for use by care services with consumers who are unable to submit their feedback in any other way. Central to this is the principle of ensuring all consumers of subscribing services have an equal opportunity to have their voices heard.

If a person needs support, it's best to follow the rule of thumb by asking if that person has any family or friends who can support them to share a story via hand written leaflet, the website or a phone call. If not, that's the time to use the resource.

Using the resource to boost the numbers of stories shared on the platform, particularlywhere consumers would be able to fill out a leaflet, phone Care Opinion's storytelling line, or submit a story online is not an accepted use of the assisted storytelling form. At all times the consumer must feel empowered to provide their feedback on their own behalf if they they are able.

Take home message

* The Care Opinion team provides full support to all subscribing services to use assisted storytelling appropriately and effectively to ensure stories shared are meaningful and insightful.

* Assisted storytelling forms must be emailed to the Care Opinion moderation team who will enter the details onto the platform securely. This is critical in order to meet story moderation governance and processes.

* The only staff member at the service permitted to see the completed form is the person who assisted the consumer to share their story. This keeps all parties safe.

Learn more through the following resources - Title imageAssisted storytelling:

Resources for assisted storytelling can be found on our webpage. You will find there the Assisted storytelling guide (page 13 contains instructions on how to send the story to Care Opinion) and the Assisted storytelling form.

The assisted storytelling video below gives a brief overview of how to implement at your service:

Leaflet stories:

Visit the A4 Leaflet page for instructions on how to download, print and display the leaflets and reply paid envelopes. The video below gives a quick overview of how to implement the leaflets at your service.

It's so important for all members of the public to have an opportunity to provide relational feedback through Care Opinion. We will continue to work with our subscribing services to bring innovative approaches to partnering with consumers as the makers and shapers of care through relational feedback.

Any further questions about the storytelling modes will happily be answered by the Care Opinion team. Reach out to us today at

Thank you for your support - You've got this - image

No responses to this post

This blog post is closed to responses.