Dr Sally Marlow

Sally is Engagement and Impact Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, and a BBC radio broadcaster.  She has made and presented a number of BBC radio documentaries on addiction and mental health, and has managed a number of film projects including Stories Behind the Bottle for the NHS, and An Introduction to Addiction for the SSA. Sally was also awarded the first ever SSA PhD studentship in 2010.


Stories behind the bottle

Negative attitudes amongst healthcare professionals towards those with alcohol problems had been identified by the Health Innovation Network as a barrier to assessment and treatment.  Stories Behind the Bottle was a film-making initiative, addressing this.  The aims were: to produce a short film recounting the negative experiences of service users in healthcare settings; to package the film with educational materials; and to make the package widely available for training.

The project was presented to film-making departments in universities within the Health Innovation Network catchment area (South London).  Student film-makers were invited to submit an application to make a funded film exploring stigma from healthcare professionals towards those misusing alcohol. Shortlisted students worked with service users, film-making mentors and alcohol experts, to refine their ideas.  The students produced films, from which a winning film was selected.  Following piloting with stakeholders and samples of healthcare professionals, slight modifications made.  A training package was designed to accompany the film, accessible online in two formats: for face-to-face group training, and for individual online training.

Three films were shortlisted and made in collaboration with Roehampton University, with one selected as the winner.  Evaluation of the film suggests it achieved its aim of encouraging health professionals to reflect on their practice, and consider personal views they may bring to the workplace.  The film and accompanying training materials were made available to all NHS employees through Health Education England ‘s e-Learning for Health (e-LfH) online training resource.

The film is an effective way to convey patient experience for this group of service users, and can be delivered directly to staff in group training, or undertaken by individuals online.

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