Change that leads to better lives

Making a film with the Misfits Theatre Company – some reflections

I have recently had the pleasure of working with the Misfits Theatre Company to make a film for NHS England about what social care providers can do to improve the health of people with learning disabilities by making sure they are on the health check register and get their annual health check.

Misfits video

The process was really interesting...We started with a list of key messages to work into the film and I had a vague idea about following someone through the health check process, which was rather dull. The key messages proved to be the first stumbling block, as although they seemed quite clear to me they were not clear to the Misfits and on reflection contained some quite complicated concepts that required background knowledge to understand. Things like:

  • The importance of being on the GP learning disability register
  • Needing to be on the register to get a health check
  • What a Summary Care Record was and why it is important

All of this needed careful explanation, and consideration of how to get the information across in an accessible and interesting manner. Having a health check is not particularly exciting after all. We had to think about what the proposed audience may, or may not understand, and what could reasonably be got into a short film without overloading it with information.

View the film here:

As this film was aimed at social care providers we also wanted to make sure the messages were right for them, so at an early stage we had a meeting with provider representatives as well as the NHSE commissioner to check we were on the right track. The film maker was also there which was helpful as he had worked with the Misfits before. He knew their strengths and was also able to keep us on track about what was, and was not possible.

Making this film was not an easy task for anyone, but the Misfits were able to do it because of the way they work, which is not to a script, but by trying out different scenarios until they get something that makes sense and is entertaining as well. They solved the problem for us.

Where we started was not where we ended up – but where we ended up was much better. A huge thank you to the Misfits for this!

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