"My view of Wathwood Hospital as a governor ambassador"

About: Wathwood Hospital

(as a staff member),

As part of my governor duties I wanted to be involved in the ambassadorial programme.

I have an interest in recovery within forensic services, and I also wanted to work in an area that wasn’t so familiar to me.

I had heard a great deal about Wathwood and was keen to discover how recovery and social inclusion was working within a custodial institution.

The General Manager showed me around Wathwood with such pride and indeed the environment that I observed was something to be truly proud of.

The patients that I talked to were clearly happy in their recovery journey; one young man said to me that he now had value in his life; he was working in the farm shop and benefitting from being a director of this social firm.

The patients volunteered in the hospital shop, the library and the farm shop. There were many areas where patients could learn new skills and improve their education. NVQ courses were also available in a number of vocational areas.

The staff were clearly very much available to the patients; ‘Releasing Time to Care’ was evident wherever I went. Staff also appeared to be most keen on supporting patient in their recovery. I spoke to Lee a gym instructor who had organised a sponsored walk involving the patients, one patient managed to raise £500. The patients appeared to enjoy being involved in raising money for charity. Lee spoke strongly about reducing stigma and how putting on such events as sponsored walks helps to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and the hospital itself.

The hospital library staff were also working closely with the patients in supporting educational pursuits on the Internet and ensuring learning materials were available for the patients and staff.

I am looking forward to working as a governor ambassador to Wathwood and will offer my support wherever this is needed.

Thank you to Steve, his staff and most of all to the patients who made my visit so worthwhile.

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Response from Philip Dickinson, Ward Manager and Involvement Lead, Wathwood Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

It is pleasing to hear that Mr Wood had such an enjoyable experience when visiting wathwood.

The posting captures the essence of Wathwood, the collaborative work the staff and patients have and the relationship that the hospital has with the local community.

I hope people reading this posting feel they know the unit a little better.

Other posting on the unit can also be found looking at other aspects of the care and involvment that Wathwood offer.

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