22 Aug

Wardipedia – Generosity


As Action for Happiness put it:

Or Dr Seuss (our second favourite doctor)

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”


Working on a mental health ward requires extraordinary personal and professional generosity, starting with the generosity of imagination which enables staff to see past very difficult (often threatening) patient behaviour to understand what might be provoking this. Staff are incredible in their ability, day in, day out, to put their personal needs to one side and respond to (indeed successfully anticipate) what a patient is going through. Patients themselves can be remarkably generous in the midst of extreme trauma and manage to be attentive and supportive to other patients, and sometimes to staff.

The Ideas here look at the giving of time, self and gifts, including the best presy of the lot: appreciation. They extend to the altruism and empathy that over-rides personal views about how people lead their lives, and include the value to patients of being able to exercise their ability to help others and to be supported by peers.


The 11 Generosity ideas:

34. Appreciative culture. Well done and thank you!

Thank you for visiting Star Wards!

35. Bring yourself to work day.  Me, myself and I

Making the most of staff’s recreational, artistic, linguistic and personal lovelinesses.

36. Role flexibility. Shared interests

More fulfilling work, better use of staff expertise and Trust spending, very patient-friendly. What’s not to like?

37. Arriving and leaving. All my bags are packed

These transitions are so worth the thought, creativity, time and kindness invested in them.

38. Birthdays. Make a wish!

For you’ll be jolly good fellows, if you celebrate patients’ birthdays. For you’ll be jolly good….

39. Café. Tea and empathy

Pop-up cafes are fun, weekly cafes are welcome and fab full-on cafes can provide employment for service users.

40. Senior managers. From board to ward.

Back to the floor, regularly and validatingly.

41. Shopping. Buy in.

The Internet helps, but nothing can replace humans and a hospital shop.

42. Charities. Good feel causes

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Maya Angelou.

43. Going green. Thinking out of the refuse box


44. Gay patients. Somewhere over the rainbow.

20% of lesbian and bisexual women have deliberately harmed themselves compared to 0.4 % of the general population.