University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust 


Responding to local high rates of isolation and poor mental health, UHCW aims to improve wellbeing for individuals, groups and communities through a narrative inquiry model.  

The use of story circles empowers participants to engage with their own story and the stories of others, realising new things about themselves personally and as a group.  

The movement has been used to form new communities for long term condition cohorts, enable bereavement support, create compassionate cafes for staff and tackle poor mental wellbeing in young people.

Outcomes have included a new community for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and family members. Positive wellbeing scales have shown improved wellbeing, increased social inclusion, and an indication of reduced admissions.  


Anecdotal evidence from people experiencing bereavement has shown a clear benefit for those being supported. Hundreds of staff have participated in compassionate cafes and story circles with feedback showing an increased ability to cope during the pandemic. The team won the chief executive's outstanding care award for staff support during 2020.  

A distinct element of the work (community connections) has been funded by NHS Charities Together. It aims to improve mental wellbeing among students. Young people have reflected positively on the experience. Warwickshire College wrote "Feedback has shown how incredibly honest the students were about the mental health impacts they'd experienced, being signposted to external support".

The model is now being used to understand the wider needs of the community regarding co-design of services and wider population health improvements. 


To see more you can visit the trust's website below.

Visit their website