"Life on the wards in general"

About: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I have been on the wards many times both as a patient and also as a volunteer for the trust and while today most, if not all, the patients on the wards agree that the ward staff do an excellent job running the wards on a day to day basis regardless of how many problems occur.

The most common complaints these days are the ones that I would guess everyone should know about, which is the lack of communication and secondly that the staffing levels on the wards are too low most days which leaves the staff who are working having to struggle and juggle their time between looking after those people on the ward (that as nurses they are there to look after) and in between times trying to keep up with their paperwork.

This is not just ward staff griping about their workload because this is what I have heard the patients on the ward saying most of the time week after week and in my opinion if there is a major crisis on any ward, or one or more people on a ward are on constant obs there are not enough ward staff to effectively run the ward.

The third most common complaint is that there quite simply isn’t enough to do even though most people do say that occ. therapy staff do an excellent job. and finally the new rowanwood unit was this morning described as the best ward in the country.

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Response from Joanna Coleman

Thank you for your feedback. It’s great to hear your positive comments, with regards to the issues you have raised I have passed this onto our Inpatient Services Manager who will come back with a response soon. We have given them 25 days to respond because some of the issues you have raised need looking into and consideration. I notice you mention you are a volunteer on the wards, thank you for your contribution, our volunteers put a lot of hours in and add huge value to the NHS especially in improving the patient experience and creating a patient-led service .

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Response from

Thank you for your comments. We welcome your thoughts about our services at the Carleton Clinic and we are pleased that you think our staff are doing an excellent job.

We have instigated changes following your comments and would like to reassure you that we are reviewing our staffing, including on Hadrian Unit, and we are currently recruiting to where posts are required.

Communication is also an area that we are working on. We have recently introduced a daily meeting for service users and staff members which has been positively received. We are also implementing the National Programme ‘Productive Mental Health Wards’ to further improve the quality of services provided to service users looking in detail at the patient journey. We believe that this will improve communication between the different health care professionals in our teams and service users and carers.

With regard to activities and Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy provides assessment and treatment on an individual referral basis they are not responsible for general activities or groups on the wards. Activities are provided by ward staff and are reviewed on a regular basis, there are currently daily activities on all our wards but we plan to have more structured groups and activities. Copies of current group timetables are be available from our ward teams.

We hope this gives you some reassurance, if you would like to discuss this further please email us your contact details and we will be pleased to respond in more detail.

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