12 Dec

Our Activity Transformation

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Guest Blog Hi, I’m Jim Armstrong. I’ve been working in mental health for over 25 years. Before this I worked in heavy engineering from leaving school (quite a career shift, hey!). I wanted to work with people, while being hands-on and practical. For the last year I’ve been working as part of Lowry and Collingwood […]

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9 Nov

Blue Nile House Full Monty

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  By Geoff Brennan One bite of Vincent’s Almond and Vanilla cake told me I was in a special place. I can taste it now, rich, not too sweet with a perfect balance of flavours. Fabulous. But I am getting ahead of myself. Blue Nile House, based in Chase Farm Hospital in North London was […]

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7 Nov

Self-medication

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Guest blog by Steph Beale-Cocks, (mental health service user at time of writing – now an Eating Disorder Clinician) I have to be one of the worst people for taking meds. It doesn’t matter what it is I will either forget, not care, fear it, hide it, take too much, etc. – and for so many […]

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24 Oct

Joanna Cannon – another artist in our psychiatric midst

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By Geoff Brennan, Executive Director, Star Wards   I know we are always saying how talented, creative and downright superb ward staff can be – but the we are constantly being proven right! So, if it’s alright with you, we’ll continue. Recently the amazing Joanna Cannon joined Star Wards on our new individual joining form. Here […]

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19 Oct

The whole unit was buzzing

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Guest blog by Dolores O’ Doherty, Occupational Therapist at Hadrian Clinic, Newcastle Upon Tyne   We work at the Hadrian Clinic (Collingwood Court & Lowry Ward) in Newcastle which is an Acute Mental Health Unit. We achieved our Star Award on 13Th September 2017. The whole unit was buzzing on that morning as we awaited Nic Higham’s […]

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17 Oct

Ensuring the safety of service users, staff and visitors

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  Guest blog by Dr. Colin Dale, Chief Executive, Caring Solutions (UK) Ltd In the middle of the 19th Century, Florence Nightingale said, ‘It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as a first requirement in a hospital, that it should do the sick no harm.’ One and a half centuries later it is difficult to […]

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13 Oct

Bright’s response to the Mental Health Act Review

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  By Geoff Brennan, Executive Director, Star Wards Being detained under the mental health act is devastating. It is devastating for the person and devastating for their families and loved ones. But, as devastating as it is, it can (and should) be the start of healing. as it was for Bright’s founder, Marion Janner. In recent […]

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11 Oct

“Mighty things from small beginnings grow”

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  By Paul Rooney, Joint National Lead CSIP/NIMHE Acute Care Programme   It’s Star Wards’ Eleventh Birthday! Who would have thought when Star Wards was launched in October 2006 that just 18 months later the majority of acute mental health wards in the country would be enthusiastically participating, with a number of other health services […]

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3 Oct

Improving Patient-Centred Care: 10 Customer Service Tips

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By Phil Dourado     The language and practice of ‘customer service’ doesn’t always transfer easily over into healthcare. Developing customer loyalty, for example, is a preoccupation among firms in the private sector lately. But, it isn’t something we really want to encourage among patients: We want them to get well and not come back, […]

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19 Sep

Creating therapeutic acute care environments

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  By Paul Rooney, Joint National Lead CSIP/NIMHE Acute Care Programme   When I was asked to write a piece on what is important in designing good acute care environments for mental health services, I started by listing some of the traditional key components; the ward, day unit, team base, etc. But, despite the need […]

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