Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Posted on Oct 16 2023 by Fiona Bailey

Two wards within St Andrew’s Healthcare have jointly scooped the Ward of the Year prize at an awards ceremony taking place in Nottingham.

Both teams were praised at the IMPACT Provider Collaborative 3rd Birthday Conference, which featured an awards ceremony at the Trent Conference Centre.

Sports & Exercise Therapist Tom Bodkin was also named the winner of the Collaborative Working Award, alongside Amie Melvin from Berrywood Hospital, which is part of Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

They received their accolade for establishing a positive collaborative relationship that has consistently benefited the emotional and physical wellbeing of patients at both hospitals.

Their working partnership has ensured Berrywood patients have had regular access to friendly, unthreatening and non-judgemental physical activity facilities, where they can swim, exercise, play racquet sports or kick a ball.

Our Prichard and Spencer South wards were also recognised for inspiring hope in a young man, who started his recovery journey in a High Secure hospital for eight years before he was moved to Medium Secure ward, Prichard, in March 2021.

Quality Matron Simon Jackson, who was Ward Manager of Prichard at the time, remembers planning his admission.

He said: “Before he came to us, he was very anxious. Very often when patients transition to a new service they can destabilise, so in order to ease his anxiety we arranged bespoke calls between us and his care co-ordinator team before he was admitted.

“This meant he could meet us, ask us any questions and get to know a bit more about the type of care he was going to receive. It really helped him.”

The patient had a good understanding of his diagnosis of schizophrenia with paranoia, and engaged fully with staff, therapy and extracurricular activities.

Simon added: “You could see from the start of his care that he wanted to move forward through the system. He managed his frustrations when he had them well, and started regularly going to the gym. Once he had been with us a few months and our staff got to know him, we were able to grant him Grounds Leave which served him well.”

While the patient was on the ward, staff got to know him and found out more about likes and dislikes are. The patient felt safe and well supported and he started showing significant signs of improvement. In fact, he was doing so well, that it was decided he could step down to Low Secure and he was moved to Spencer South in January 2023.

Spencer South Ward Manager Jodie Johnson said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure having him on the ward, but to be honest we don’t see much of him now as he’s so busy. We’re really thrilled at how quickly he’s progressed, I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone move on so quickly from us before. As a team we’re quite proud at how well he’s responded to our therapeutic approaches.”

Now settled on the ward, the patient attends mindfulness sessions and engages in all offered Occupational Therapy sessions. He self-caters for himself, often cooking breakfast for his peers.

In addition, he shops for other patients when out in the community and has become a regular speaker at inductions and internal awards where he talks openly about his recovery journey.

He is supported and encouraged to make plans for ad-hoc activities, which have recently included making packed lunches and prepping for a ward BBQ.

His confidence has grown and he was encouraged to volunteer on site at one of the Charity’s cafes. There he has learnt some valuable life skills, such as dealing with customers, handling money and working with food.

Lisa Loveridge, Catering Team Leader, said: “He’s fast become a very popular member of the team. He’s punctual, hard-working and really good with the customers. We’re really proud of him and his recovery journey so far.”

Now, just two years into his recovery journey at St Andrew’s, the patient is preparing to be moved to community housing which he is “thrilled” about. He says he is looking forward to having even more independence and is already hoping to secure a job as a Peer Support Worker at St Andrew’s when he is fully discharged.

The patient said: “I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. There was a time when I didn’t think I had much of a future, but now I’m about to move into a house which means I can come and go as I please. I’ve loved volunteering at the café as it’s given my day structure and purpose, so I’ve decided that when I’ve been officially discharged I want a job. I really want to help others who – like me – thought there was no hope for my future, so I am planning on eventually joining the St Andrew’s Peer Support Team so I can share my lived experience.

“I’d really like to thank St Andrew’s for all they’ve done for me. All the staff here have believed in me and on the days when I might have been struggling a bit, they reminded me why it was important to keep on going.”