Mental health inpatient care rocks. This isn’t usually the message that’s out there, for a whole bunch of reasons including the reputational legacy of the asylums, dissatisfied patients being more actively vocal than the very content majority and crass campaigns by some charities. But despite regrettable inconsistencies in quality of care across the country, there’s no question that inpatient care is safe, therapeutic and gentle. In rating the quality of their care for the 2009 Care Quality Commission survey of mental health inpatients, 73% of patients said it was excellent, very good or good, 12% said it was poor.
We won’t go on and on here about what an incredible achievement it is that the majority of patients have positive experiences of inpatient care, including those who are there very much against their will and perhaps believing they aren’t even ill. (But it is an incredible achievement, along with impressive safety levels and falling suicide rates.) And these are particularly tough times on mental health wards, with service re-organisation, cuts in staffing and resources and patients’ stress levels being greatly exacerbated by the benefits’ cuts programme.
Wardipedia is designed to help! Mental health inpatient staff have generously shared their best practice ideas so that others can adopt and adapt these and have flung in some other information and examples. We’ve collected together:
- almost 1,000 examples of great practice on wards
- 200 articles, papers and other docs of research evidence and examples from and beyond inpatient care
- links to useful resources, information and services
- a few gags eg Reflective practice. A time to share.
- opinions – unsolicited and occasionally deviating from the (current….) evidence base
- revelations – Marion comes out as a user of transitional/comfort objects (i.e. she shares her hospital admissions with a fluffy rabbit.)
- mini-campaigns – eg abolishing ward rounds
- stuff that’s simply fun eg celebrating National Talk Like a Pirate Day
and haven’t held back with photos of Buddy. Here’s another one:
“We could do that.” We are regularly told by staff that when they read ways in which other wards are tackling problems or creating new opportunities for patients, this is their response. Wardipedia is a giant exercise in enabling ward staff to feel inspired and informed so that they can do that, or most often, do their own variation of it.
There’s some new stuff, some stuff you’ll already know but may perhaps find presented here in a refreshing way. Vast thanks to all the wards which have generously shared their great examples and ideas, and for letting Buddy and me visit. Wardipedia relies on practitioners’ contributions – the 959 examples are just the start!
We hope you enjoy using (and contributing your own great practice examples to!) Wardipedia. As with all Star Wards’ resources, we’ve collected and created a bunch of ideas, suggestions and possible solutions – but they’re just ideas. Definitely not standards!! They’re examples of what can be done, to use as a springboard for you to bring in your own expertise and for you to adapt to best meet the needs of your patients. Staff often tell us that it’s about doing things differently, not about doing more things.