"visiting a vulnerable young woman"

About: 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as other),

Today I visited Cavendish unit at Leigh infirmary. It was very depressing, and the atmosphere was very smokey. The young lady I visited had been assaulted during her stay and complained of being bullied. Thankfully police were involved but no charges made (she has lost most of a tooth). The staff were mostly very friendly and helpful. She spoke very highly of the activity co coordinator. But she wolfed down the chocolates we brought her saying they would be stolen if she took them back to her bed. So, mixed feelings.

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Responses

Response from Jacqui Sellek, PALS Coordinator, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

Dear G towler

I am sorry to hear that the person you visited reported such a difficult experience. There are times when people who are suffering severe mental health problems do behave in an unpredictable manner and very occasionally this results in the type of incident the lady you visited described to you. The nursing staff do everything within their power to try to maintain the safety of all patients in their care and I had already been made aware of this incident. I would like to reassure you that when I called on to the ward yesterday it did seem far more settled and I am satisfied that the staff dealt with the incident promptly, with compassion for both parties and to the standard that I would expect.

With regard to the smoky atmosphere. We do our best to ensure that smoking does not occur within the wards by asking patients to adhere to the ‘no smoking’ policy and, in the interests of promoting a healthy lifestyle for all, we routinely offer all patients a referral to smoking cessation services. However, as this is a matter of individual choice we do provide areas outside where patients are permitted to smoke, though this provision is currently under review.

I am unsure as to why there was concern regarding the safekeeping of your gift of chocolates as every patient has access to a lockable safe in their bedroom and should be made aware of this either at the time of their admission to the ward if appropriate, or shortly thereafter. I will ask our activity coordinator to include this information as a regular item on the agenda for the weekly patients’ meeting.

Lastly, can I take this opportunity to thank you for your comments about the friendly and helpful attitude of the ward staff. Positive feedback is always appreciated and I will ensure that staff are made aware of your thoughts.

Kind regards

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