"Not what I expected, based on local info, but glad..."

I went there just over a week ago, for alcohol detox, after it being suggested by my local hospital. Whilst it was not what I expected (local hospital alcohol-nurse gave me incorrect information), once I had clarified things with the place after arrival (Chapman Barker Unit / RADAR Ward) I had a really good time there. There was lots of free time; I felt as if I was on holiday. If you go there, take books etc. to keep you occupied (they also have lots of board-games and there are 2 TV rooms). Note that although I refer to RADAR Ward, it was not a ward; everyone had their own private room. There was a good mix of group sessions (which were compulsory, and the men joined us from their area of the hospital) & one-to-ones (including doctors, consultants, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and volunteers), as well as things such as acupuncture. I also recommend doing the computer-course on alcohol & where you are with regards to dealing with it (you get 90 days free by registering when you are there, then can continue at home), as well as completing paper (not computer) 'Node Link Mapping', which lets you reflect on past/current behaviours plus plans for the future - you can then discuss these with a member of staff. I was also visited by a member of my local community alcohol team, to arrange support for after my discharge. The group of women were from very diverse backgrounds, but it didn't matter - we all got on well (and even bought things from the local Tesco to share, which apparently was unusual: biscuits, pork pies + pickled onions, butter - only flora was provided by the Unit - cheese and crackers, and hot chilli sauce). Great for late-night feasts!!! Also, I must say that the meals provided were fantastic! Compliments to the chefs!!! Beef Madras, Rhubarb crumble and all the soups were particularly great. Serve-yourself cereal & fruit for breakfast, plus they made us toast; 3-course lunch & 2-course dinner. Throughout the day you served yourself tea/coffee/hot chocolate/yoghurts/fruit - and whenever someone went to make a drink they would also ask whether anyone else wanted one; such was the friendliness of the place.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Prestwich Hospital

Dear Julie, Thanks so much for providing us with your views about our Chapman-Barker Unit in Prestwich. We really value your feedback and our staff will be so pleased to hear that you had such a positive experience on our unit. It is really useful to hear first-hand what worked for you and sharing your experience will help people to understand what it's like to complete a detox from alcohol in hospital and what support is available both whilst you are an inpatient and when you return home. Our Catering Team will be over the moon to hear you thought the food was fantastic. We’ll make sure that this is shared with the team. If you would like to attend any further courses to help with your recovery, our Recovery Academy runs a range of courses that help people to learn about the nature of alcohol dependence and identify unhelpful and unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that contribute towards alcohol dependency. Some courses currently running that you may be interested in are; 'An Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy' and 'An Introduction to Motivational Interviewing Skills'. If there's no places left on these courses for sessions running in August and September look out for our next prospectus in October 2014. Visit www.gmw.nhs.uk/recovery. We are always looking for people who are keen to share their stories with us to ensure all of our services users receive the same high quality care. If you’d be happy to do this, please contact our C.A.R.E Hub on Tel: 0161 772 3985, email CAREhub@gmw.nhs.uk or visit our website: http://www.gmw.nhs.uk/news/talk-about-mental-health-addiction-or-your-role-helping-someone-678. Thanks again for providing such a comprehensive review and we wish you all the best for the future.

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