Hearing from people with lived experience of delirium

It is really powerful to get a patient's and carer's experience of delirium (Emergency Department practitioner)

We hear from Liz and Mike, talking about their experiences of two episodes of delirium where Mike was admitted to hospital.


John lives with dementia and experienced delirium during a hospital stay in 2021. John is a lived experience advisor, a Dementia United governance board member and an advisor for the Commons Select Committee for Health and Social Care.

We’ve provided John’s experience as an audio recording

and as a written excerpt Transcript of delirium – a lived experience account by John O’Doherty as well as excerpts from the interview with John and his wife Pat An interview with John O’Doherty and his wife – following his experience of delirium. 2021

John and Pat are really keen for their experiences to be shared, to enable others to learn and understand about the importance of supporting someone who is affected by delirium.

The following are quotes from staff who have heard Liz and John both speak at different events and meetings about their experiences of delirium.

It is really powerful to get a patient’s and carer’s experience of delirium (Emergency Department practitioner)

Never really considered how distressing this could be previously (Emergency Department practitioner)

Hearing John’s account has made me far more empathetic. It could have that impact too on other health and social care professionals, in order that they then do spend a bit more time with someone with delirium. (Quality Improvement lead)

Listening to John’s experience of delirium has really opened my eyes to this condition. The symptoms, we as health care professionals focus on, such as a person becoming more agitated, confused or withdrawn are a drop in the ocean compared to what the person is experiencing. It really has hit home to me the importance of recognising, diagnosing and managing this condition as a priority. (General Practitioner)

Find out more about our delirium programme of work