As the end of the year approaches, we’re taking time to reflect over the past twelve months and look at the highlights.

Gordon initially came along to the Rosewood Centre in 2011, took a break and then started actively volunteering with our Trust in 2014.

I’m a volunteer, but firstly a carer for my ex-wife and my daughter. I went to the recent Carer’s Event in Rampton. It was really good, really well thought out and they seemed to have more people than ever; it was packed solid and people had to stand as there wasn’t enough room!

I’ve done about four interviews this year, but the one I did with Tim Constable (Operations Manager) stands out. I really enjoyed it. I think you appoint a more rounded person who puts patients first with Involvement volunteers taking part in panels and having an equal say. I got to choose my own questions for the interview. I make sure to try and ask questions that are relevant to service users and carers.

I’ve enjoyed doing the gardening too; I like to see things grow and mature from little seeds and the smile on people’s faces as I give the plants or the produce to them. We’ve had carrots, radishes, spring onions, beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, potatoes and willow from the garden at Rosewood this year! I’ve even sold a few plants at the Millbrook Summer Fayre. I enjoy the Millbrook Fayres as the food is always good on the events days!

The Kings Fund Collaboration has been interesting, working with people from the Trust and partner agencies on a common cause on how to do service changes. I enjoyed it because everyone had an equal say, everyone’s point of view was taken into account and I learnt quite a lot about myself. I learnt about my thinking patterns and how to read a room and how to hold a meeting.

This year I also joined in with the Ideal Ward Round Project which has been running for a while and is nearly at an end. I was surprised they were still doing Ward Rounds the old fashioned way with ten people standing round you, I thought it had changed. Meridian also joined us and came up with a policy that is now embedded in Trust policies; a minimal amount of people in the ward round; one laptop for taking notes; the patient is asked who goes into the ward round and what they want to talk about; things that can be spoken outside is done elsewhere; and that patients aren’t hanging round all day waiting, they should be told when it will happen in the morning or afternoon.

I’ve been involved in the Workstream 1 Meetings too.  This is the transformation of services, how Health Partnerships and Local Services have joined together to become Local Partnerships. Everyone had issues about how it was going to work, but over the last year, most of these issues have been resolved and we’ve hit all the targets for when the transitions were supposed to take place. Only a fraction of patients have noticed differences, so it’s been a relatively smooth transition with hardly any complaints.

Interested in getting involved and having similar highlights to your year? Contact us to find out more about volunteering.

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