"Not a clear enough forum for patients to open up to staff"

About: Wathwood Hospital

(as the patient),

My experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I have suffered from bipolar for many years, but had been reluctant to speak openly to mental health professionals, for fear I would be "locked up" the key thrown away, and pumped full of drugs etc.

When I finally settled down at Wathwood, I opened up to staff and spoke candidly about my illness. They were all very supportive and I found it a very therapeutic experience. I began to believe that, with the right help, there was light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe I would be able to manage my condition in the community, without the pain and suffering previously experienced.

As I have progressed through the hospital, I have found that the responsibility gives for me to actively seek therapeutic dialogue with staff, where I can talk about my feelings and my illness. Although I am grateful for my opportunities, I am concerned other patients have not passed this "trust threshold" and are still reluctant to speak openly about their experiences.

There is also not a clear enough forum for this to happen. I sincerely believe that the paramount responsibility of psychiatric care is to establish a strong foundation of trust, where patients feel safe to discuss their situation; and this process is actively supported, with full provisions made to facilitate it.

Only then can the healing begin.

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Responses

Response from Philip Dickinson, Ward Manager and Involvement Lead, Wathwood Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Firstly thank you for raising this issue.

I am glad that you are now able to speak openly and have trust in staff.

We currently promote a very active threaputic programme offering numerous groups. Named nurses weekly have inerventions with patients. We also have CBT staff and CBT nursing staff leads on the wards adressing individual needs. We also have a comprehensive psychology team who along with the doctors that see patients weekly. We are also looking at reestablishing the peer support/buddying scheme to help patients orientrate to their surroundings quicker. On the admission ward we also have the moving in group, again to try and help indivuiduals feel comfortable in the hospital.

Despite these we accept some indiviuals need more input and this issue will be taken to the patients foum for a discussion on how best to adrees this need.

Thanks again for your posting

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