by Nigel Groves
Involvement & Experience Lead, Forensic Services
I’ve been thinking about the NHS and its 70th birthday coming up and wondered what I could add to all the blogs I’ve seen so far? In the end I decided to share a snapshot of a couple of weeks in the world of involvement in forensic healthcare services, where we involve volunteers.
Rampton Hospital – There’s a variety of involvement work going on at Rampton Hospital in the mental health directorate. Once a year they celebrate the mental health oscars awards. Oscars stands for Outstanding Service Contribution and Recognition Scheme. Staff nominate patients for different categories of awards linking to the care and support patients receive at Rampton. This is all about the patient’s recovery and how they transition through the mental health service pathway. These kinds of awards have generated that ‘feel good’ factor encouraging patients and staff to celebrate their recovery focused treatments together.
The Rampton mental health and learning disability services hold an evening monthly patient forum. Over the last few months, our modern matrons have been chairing the patient’s forums and working on collecting feedback from our Trust survey Service User Carer Experience (SUCE) and Care Opinion.
This is helping to make changes to services through listening and responding to feedback from patients. Our volunteers support the meetings. Patients get to know them well and they are increasing in confidence to speak to volunteers about how they feel.
Involvement in partnership working across our Prison Healthcare services is increasing. Involvement champions (staff) from Offender Healthcare come together to review patient’s feedback and involvement in our prison services. Nottinghamshire Healthcare doesn’t run the prison but our Trust staff run the health services provided to prisoners. It’s really important to make sure we listen and understand any issues about the treatment they receive. Another way we work in partnership is through the Involvement Champions meeting Some of our involvement volunteers have joined the group recently. We’ve found it beneficial to move the meetings around the different prisons so we can understand local issues and it’s a good way to share best practice to help bring about change. This helps to raise standards, consistency and quality.
Our volunteers from involvement regularly travel to Arnold Lodge , a medium secure inpatient service in Leicester to support their excellent patient forum. The patient forum is a safe meeting place for patients to bring issues or concerns about the service they receive plus whilst sharing the good stuff too. More often than not the meetings are chaired by a patient and supported by the advocacy service. The meeting is attended by the involvement lead staff member for Arnold Lodge, the occupational therapies manager, and a senior management representative. Our volunteers have built up positive relationships with staff and patients alike and help to collect feedback on the wards for the national survey, Care Opinion and the service user care experience survey. More recently there’s been some targeted work on the wards and patient forums with a focus on collecting feedback. It’s just great to see an outward facing and supportive service. Inviting our volunteers into Arnold Lodge has proved beneficial for the involvement team staff Arnold Lodge and of course our patients. Two-way communication is vital and this is exciting, enjoyable and a rewarding part of what we do here at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
Follow our countdown to the NHS’s 70th birthday as we post a blog a day.