"Redwood 2: How it feels to be on the ward"

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Posted on behalf of a service user in Redwood 2 (adult mental health ward) at Highbury Hospital:

The best thing about the ward is that all the staff are approachable. I see mainly nurses and support staff, don't often see doctors. I would definitely recommend this ward to anyone else who needed this kind of care.

I think there should be more activities. Some of the suggested activities are a little bit kiddy, and when you're trying to regain control and independence, the last thing you want is to feel like you're being treated like a child.

They do offer some activities, and we do have a pool table, but it would be great if more therapeutic activities could be offered. I have a part to play in getting better, I want to talk to staff and work on recovering and getting back to normal life - sometimes I feel like my recovery is in the hands of the staff when I just exist here on the ward.

It would be great if we could be taught about money management and skills for when I'm discharged. I want to prepare myself to life back out 'in the wild.'

There are a couple of things that are not so good about the ward. One is that I'm not even sure who my key worker is. I think this is important, and I'm surprised no one has told me.

Secondly, visiting times are very difficult for my family and me. I have four children, all of whom are under 15yrs, most are at school. Visiting hours in the week are 6-8pm. This is incredibly difficult for my wife, it's very late to keep the children up and if they don't get home until gone 9pm and have school the next day then this will do them no good at all. My kids are important to my recovery, they motivate me to get home and be the best I can be. It would be great if there was more flexibility with visiting hours.

In general, I think the ward is a good place to be and the staff are definitely helping me.

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Response from Amy Gaskin-Williams, Service User and Carer Involvement and Experience Manager, Involvement Team, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Amy Gaskin-Williams

Thanks for helping to gather comments at the Highbury Listening event. I am particularly interested in the comment relating to this person feeling as though their recovery was in the hands of other people rather than in their control.

All comments gathered at the Listening Event are being shared with the senior management team who oversee Highbury services, and I'm sure they or a responsible manager will respond in more detail shortly.

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