"My time at the Edward Myers Unit"

About: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Addiction services

(as the patient),

I thought Edward Myers Unit was fantastically run, with supportive staff and patient confidentiality. I went in after hospital (cirrhosis of liver and oesophagus banding) and I feel, had I not gone in I would have started drinking again. I was on different morphines at different times of the day and EMU put the dose together as one 24hr dose. They also checked my bloods and aligned my other medications so I could keep them under control myself. I also learnt a lot about my addiction (I have now been home and "dry" for 4 weeks and am starting a college course in mental health). My life has been improved a lot from EMU and I can't thank them enough. I would be very interested in fund raising for the service.

The only change I would make is the 2 beds being used by A&E patients - I think it is a conflict of interest when drunken people are in the unit.

I went from being unable to interact very well to being a part of a group where I expressed my feelings. I think there should be more funding for EMU to help people before they get to a serious stage of illness. All of the staff knew me and my problems/physical illness, and this was catered for very well. The food was of a good standard compared to the general hospital (which the food was so poor a lot of patients including myself were not eating).

Everyone at EMU was friendly and approachable and I was escorted to a medical procedure by a member of staff (Sarah) and she was fantastic. I was very apprehensive of going because of past problems but Sarah stayed with me and treated me as a normal person and not an addict. On the general hospital I felt like "a number" and not a person, EMU changed all that.

Again I can not thank the service enough for changing my life for the the better and I feel very privileged to have been at EMU for 2 weeks that helped me to choose a better life.

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Response from Patricia Fraser, PPI Lead, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and your kind words regarding staff attitude and care. It is very pleasing to hear that the treatment and support from staff has helped you so much and that your individual needs were addressed. Your openness in sharing your story and the great progress you have made will be inspirational for people who are experiencing similar difficulties.

With regard to your comment regarding the 2 beds being used by A&E patients; we acknowledge that it can be disruptive and distressing when patients come into the unit who may still be under the influence of alcohol. This is being monitored as part of the pilot and we are currently collating people’s feedback to influence the future of this particular service.

We wish you well with your studies and please be assured that your thanks has been passed onto staff.

With kind regards and thanks on behalf of the Edward Myers Unit

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