22 Aug

Wardipedia – Involvement

Information, inclusion, influence, independence

The 5 ins. All crucial ingredients in inpatients having a therapeutic, empowering, admission which equips them well for maintaining their stability when they’re back home. (OK. We’ve stopped doing the in- thing now.) The fact that the government are very keen on patient autonomy isn’t a strong enough reason to avoid this!

Staff have developed imaginative and effective ways of enabling patients to have as much say as possible about how they spend their time, what treatments they receive and how services evolve. This isn’t easy! It’s particularly complex when patients have severe cognitive impairment, whether temporarily (eg through psychosis) or degeneratively (eg because of dementia). Staff find creative ways of establishing people’s preferences, often with the help of friends and relatives, and of supporting individuals to be as independent and influential as their health and the constraints of ward life allow.

We hope that the primary organ in mental illness starts to be openly and accessibly discussed in mental healthcare. Understanding how our brains are affected by mental illness is pretty essential to being able to come to terms with the havoc that the illness creates and to learning to manage it as effectively as possible.


The 11 Involvement Ideas:

45. Patient involvement. Co-piloting

Patients as part of the multi-disciplinary team.

46. Patients’ views.

Feedbackwards and forwards

47. Minority languages. Found in translation

Creating a common language on the wards.

48. Advance statements. Planning ahead

Hopping neatly over loads of complex ethical and treatment dilemmas.

49. Graduated self-medicating. Managing my meds myself

Patients who are safely able to, are managing their medication independently before they leave hospital.

50. Electronic access. Open sesame!

No more agonizing about locked doors. Swipecards, fobs and wildly hi-tech kit make things individually tailorable.

51. Personalising bedrooms. A room of my own

An instant boost of homeliness.

52. Physical health.  Hearts and minds

Improving patients’ physical health.

53. Bank staff. Bank on us

Bank staff feeling valued members of the team.

54. Handovers. Me to you

Groovy wards are including patients in handovers. Cool.

55.  Brain. Understanding brain pain

Is the brain the elephant in the mental health room?



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You might be wondering – what difference does Star Wards actually make to mental health wards? It’s a question we continuously ask ourselves, to make sure that we are having a positive impact. Well, we have over 800 wards signed up to receive our resources and, in the past, we have had Star Wards independently evaluated. A micro-summary of what our users have said is that wards who tried Star Wards ideas had:

This is not about us, it is about people like you. These improvements are down to your hard work. And you can check our newsletters for wards doing amazing things right now. So we are told we do help you make a difference – and we want to get better and be here to help you in the future. So, join up, join in and let us know your wonderful ideas – and if you can donate to us or fundraise for us, we would be delighted to hear from you. Thank you for all you do.