How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places?

26 Oct
llustration by Karolin Schnoor for The Pool

llustration by Karolin Schnoor for The Pool

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How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places? Your suggestions please! What would make a difference to your experience of inpatient psychiatric care? What would make it more therapeutic? What would make wards healthier, better places – whether that’s a small tweak or more substantial changes?

I’d like to hear especially from mental health patients who’ve spent time on a psychiatric ward, but all suggestions are welcome including those from staff and carers: we all share the ward environment together, after all. This isn’t just about giving patients a “nice time” on ward but about making wards healthier – and produce better health outcomes for people.

Format of this blog post:

  1. Tweets from the lovely twitter people about how to make wards better, healthier places
  2. Patients can experience wards as untherapeutic, even coercive, places
  3. Resources on making wards better, healthier places
  4. Writing by others on this topic

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1. Tweets where people share what they think would make wards better, healthier places:

Storify stories:

Selection of some tweets from those Storify stories:

.JudgeMental BsC making wards betterSuper Chow Chow making wards betterS B Hart Smith making mental health wards betterLeah making wards betterSevultra making mental health wards matter

Holly McCormack making mental health wards betterSchizoaffected making wards better (3)bc making wards better

Simply Positive making mental health wards betterCombat PTSD Angels UK making mental health wards betterNeil OooOooo White making mental health services bettersoniamaya81 making wards betterDan Beale Cocks making wards betterNicky Taylor making wards betterFoxie making wards betterk l parr making wards betterGeorgia Belam Lancet Psychiatry making wards betterReuben Bainbridge making wards betterJ L making wards better

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2. Patients can experience wards as untherapeutic even coercive places:

Flathooves making mental health wards betterSchizoaffected making wards better (2)Left Loon making wards better

However, shining a light only on poor experiences in psychiatric care isn’t enough to bring about positive changes. It’s not enough for staff and services to know what to leave behind: they also need to know where to head towards. Please help me share with others your views of how inpatient wards can become better, healthier places.

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3. Some resources on making wards better, healthier places:Code of Practice MHA illustration

  • Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act (January 2015)
  • Do the right thing: How to judge a good ward – Ten standards for adult in-patient mental health care – Royal College of Psychiatrists (June 2011)
  • Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights: Your Guide (2013) – British Institute of Human Rights
  • NICE Guidelines (December 2011) – Service User Experience in Adult Mental Health – improving the experience of care for people using adult NHS mental health services (Clinical guidelines CG136) – “This clinical guidance offers evidence-based advice on ensuring Do the right thing RCPsycha good experience of care for people who use adult NHS mental health services.” These are the standards to which to hold NHS care providers.
  • Star Wards – Strapline: “Inspiring inpatient care”. Set up by Marion Janner (Twitter @starwards) – to promote excellence in inpatient mental health care. “75 practical, mainly low-cost & easy to implement ideas form Star Wards’ core, but our role is increasingly as a catalyst to change through inspiring, collecting and disseminating best practice in inpatient care.”
  • Twenty Commandments for Mental Health Workers by Nurse with Glasses (Twitter: BIHR mental health advocacy guide@Nurse_w_glasses), a Dutch community mental health nurse. Take a read, as she says, “because it’s not always as self-evident as we want it to be”.
  • Wardipedia“A world of ward knowledge”, the website from Marion Janner (Twitter: @starwards). “Welcome to Wardipedia: a collection of ideas, examples, information and research about therapeutic mental health inpatient care.” (Twitter: @wardipedianews)

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4. Writing by others on the topic of how to make ward experiences better:

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4 Responses to “How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The inpatient experience – how can we make it better? | georgiarambles - 28 October 2015

    […] @sectioned_ about experiences of people in inpatient mental health settings. You can read it here. https://sectioneduk.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/how-can-psychiatric-wards-become-better-healthier-place… It’s been an area of interest of mine for a while, and I’m currently working on a […]

  2. Banned by the BMJ | Sectioned - 29 October 2015

    […] Ref 6. – How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places? – Sectioned UK blog (26 October 2015) https://sectioneduk.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/how-can-psychiatric-wards-become-better-healthier-place… […]

  3. How the BMJ works – censoring what UK Doctors should read | The Last Furlong - 5 November 2015

    […] Ref 6. – How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places? – Sectioned UK blog (26 October 2015)https://sectioneduk.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/how-can-psychiatric-wards-become-better-healthier-place… […]

  4. A total smoking ban for detained psychiatric patients stinks of coercion | Sectioned - 30 July 2016

    […] How can psychiatric wards become better, healthier places? – Sectioned UK blog (26 October […]

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