Whilst the Therapies and Education staff have been on the Learning Disabilities wards, they have offered a wide variety of activities, often fine-tuned to the individual ward they are working with.
There has been lots of external activities, such as fresh air walks, football skills, outdoor fitness, and potting on seeds in the ward gardens, and the tallest sunflower competition.
On the wards there has been a competition to design a ward poster, about their time during the COVID outbreak, and the winning ward will receive a fruit bowl. Lots of arts and crafts, movies, music, card making, bingo and many other resources that the patients and Staff have developed.
From the point of view of the Therapies and Education staff, things are very different. They have staff from different areas working in small teams, often with staff they don’t know, or usually work with, directly on to wards. They would usually see patients in the Day Centres, or other educational or vocational areas. But the skill mix has led to some fantastic ideas and activities for the patients.
Many of the staff are anxious about the current climate as are the patients, but have put that to one side to develop a first class service – on the down side though they hope it’s not too good, and patients don’t want to revert back to the previous model after COVID subsides.
The wearing of uniforms and other PPE (personal protective equipment) has been challenging for some but many have embraced it, and are now requesting a simple uniform going forward.
The patient’s have said that life is very different at the moment, and where they could usually go off ward for some “head space” or a change of scenery, this is not happening as much, so there is more anxiety between the patient group. They report finding it difficult at times to communicate with staff wearing masks for example, but most are accepting of this, and have said they are as worried as staff.
The majority of patients are really accepting of the effort being put in by ward staff and TED staff, and some have said they like this new way of working, as it feels more personal.