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How we produce our information booklets

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Lauren blog photo

It’s surprising how long it takes to produce one booklet from start to finish. Although lots of people get to see the final product, not everyone is aware of all the work that goes into making it. Since all of our patient information is accredited by the Information Standard, there is a set procedure that I have to follow for us to be able to put their stamp on everything that gets created.

Throughout the process, a lot of time is spent waiting for people to get back to me. Whether it be someone agreeing to take part in the project, reviewers reading through drafts or making amends, there is a lot of back and forth with a number of people and external organisations which can make deadlines tight and, sometimes, quite stressful.

Before the booklet

To get started, we have to clearly define the type of booklet we want to create and who we want to create it for. This might have come about by doing research, a suggestion by a patient or because of something we have heard in the news. Either way, without a need for the booklet, there is no point in having one.

Putting a pen to paper

After the brief has been written and the content has been planned, our CARE Director signs the proposal off, allowing production to begin. A suitable medical writer is sourced and – usually after a phone call to clarify the structure and body of the booklet – they write the medical content, which normally takes about 78 hours (not all in one go!).

The review

When the medical writer has finished, they send over the first draft for me to take a look at it, which normally takes a week or two. This is when the initial proof read takes place to hunt out any grammatical or spelling errors and to make sure all the necessary subheadings are covered thoroughly. Once I am happy with it, it moves onto a medical professional to get an expert opinion. They are able to make sure that any jargon is clearly defined, all the information is correct and nothing is missing for a patient to feel fully informed on the respective topic.

At every stage where a new draft is made, it is filed, both electronically and as a hard copy. There is a clear step by step process that I follow and this has to be backed up with evidence.

The review of the review

The next stage is probably the most important part; I send it over to a patient or carer for them to review. It is vital that every booklet we make can be easily understood and helps to make patients feel at ease, wherever they may be in their blood cancer journey.

Once these two reviews have finished, the content is given a final read through by our CARE Director before going to the designers. The mock up is checked, rechecked and checked again until myself and our Communications Manager are happy with content, design and layout. One final check is then done by our CARE Director to give the booklet the go ahead.

The final product

Then, the most exciting bit, it gets sent to print! This part makes all the hard work worth it. Seeing something you have worked on for months as a physical copy is a very rewarding feeling. This is also the time where an electronic version gets uploaded to the website, all of which can be found here.

However, this doesn’t mean that the booklet is finished. To make sure that all our information remains up to date, reviews are also done regularly. Every two years, our booklets are reread by medical professionals and patients, checking that everything is still correct and understandable.                        

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