Case studies from documentation projects

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Samaritans Procedures documents Clarified and put online

Samaritans is a charity that provides confidential emotional support 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings. The service is provided by over 20,000 volunteers from 202 branches.

The Samaritans Operations Manual explains in detail the policies and processes which volunteers must follow when delivering the service. This new online manual replaced four paper manuals and is accessible in every branch by every volunteer. Cherryleaf has provided conversion and editing services so that Samaritans can make the manual available online through its intranet.

Miriam Piterkova, Samaritans’ Operations Officer, said:

“The Samaritans Operations Manual will be one of the most important resources volunteers use to support them to deliver our service. For the first time, all the information they need will be in one place. This will make it so much easier for volunteers to find what they need quickly.”

The manual is written in such a way that volunteers can skim through it, or read every detail. It is be stored on the Samaritans intranet and is fully searchable. It is written in plain English and version-controlled, so it will be always up-to-date.

The Samaritans are also in discussions with Cherryleaf about turning other manuals into online resources.

HARDWARE USER GUIDES THAT SAVE SOLDIERS’ LIVES

A recent project involved creating a four page user guide for military equipment that is being used by infantry soldiers in the British and Pakistani armies. If the soldiers don’t attach the equipment correctly, then it might fail in the field and leave them vulnerable. We changed a very wordy guide into something similar to an Ikea installation manual – containing pictures and arrows to explain, simply and clearly, how to install and use the equipment.

Making hospital trust policies easier for staff to understand

Another project involves communicating to staff working in mental health trust policies to ensure patient records are kept private and confidential – that they are never sent to or seen by the wrong people. We are rewriting the policies, processes and procedures in clear and understandable English. We are also working with them to reduce the amount of information by consolidating policy documents and eliminating repetition. The feedback so far has been positive – staff now have a better understanding of the trust’s policies and they can find the information when they need it.

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