"Mother of teenager as inpatient at Watcombe Hall"
Our daughter's voluntary admission to Watcombe Hall was handled very sensitively by the staff. We were greeted by the ward manager and procedures explained and then introduced to a staff nurse and Psychiatrist who completed the admission procedure, spending some time with our daughter on her own. Reassurance was given regarding visiting and the routines explained before we were shown around parts of the unit, including our daughter's bedroom and the light and airy school room with a view of the sea. Our daughter settled quickly at Watcombe Hall and attended the school when her health allowed. The head teacher organised study and GCSE exams and encouraged our daughter with her music lessons, playing guitar with her and introducing her to new artists. There have been opportunities for cooking and crafts and trips out for the day with all the young people or with the OT. The unit provides for film nights and takeaways and caters for the interests of young people. There are also plans to build a gym. We have on two occasions had problems with the phone line the inpatients use but this has been swiftly repaired within twenty four hours each time. I believe that the menus have recently been adapted to allow for more choice of meals which has been welcomed. The nursing and administrative staff are always friendly and keen to help with any problems. It is a shame that the IT department was unable to solve the problem regarding access to Cyber School during our daughter's admission as this would have kept some continuity at exam time and with her normal routine. I hope that this is a problem that will continue to be addressed as it may be beneficial to other young people in the future. We were continually kept up to date with our daughter's progress and able to talk to the Nurses and Psychiatrist regularly and so felt fully involved in our child's care and recovery. We have taken part in family therapy sessions with the Psychiatrist involved in our daughter's care, which have been beneficial because their role in our daughter's recovery meant we did not have to discuss sensitive subject matter with a separate therapist. The staff have been sensitive of the need to travel some distance between home and the unit and so the meetings, home leave and visiting arrangements have been adjusted to take this into account. I understand that this is one of the smaller Huntercombe Group units and our daughter has benefitted from being in a small group of people whilst unwell. The staff have kept her safe and provided reassurance and encouragement to her and to us as parents. Thank you to everyone.