By Nic Higham, Inpatient Care Project Manager
Congratulations to Kinnersley for achieving the Star Wards Full Monty award!
Kinnersley encompasses a range of independent living bungalows and houses in a homely “close” within St Georges Hospital in Northumberland. What a fabulous concept. A 6 bedded core house is also provided for males who require additional support whilst working towards living in bungalow or house.
Because it isn’t a ward environment, Kinnersley has a wonderful “club house” which includes a lovely lounge, kitchen, craft room and a games room with a pool table in. A lot of groups and activities are held in the club house and it serves as a good meeting place for patients. Staff also do one-to-one activities with patients in their own bungalow or house.
A special well done goes to Rose Armstrong for being selected as ‘Health Care Worker of the Year 2017’ in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust’s ‘Staff Excellence Awards’. After making the transition from Support Worker to Activity Coordinator, colleagues knew that Rose had found her calling. On my visit to Kinnersley, I could see that it’s a role that fits her qualities and skills perfectly. Like many support staff including Health Care Assistants, Rose is warm and empathic with a lovely sense of humour that she used with great effect with service users. One of Rose’s key skills is adapting her approach for whoever she is caring for, so she was key to Kinnersely’s Full Monty success. The team told me that they regularly receive very positive comments from their service users and their families about their experience of Rose.
While we’re on the subject of star support staff, do check out Ward Stars (another Bright resource especially for mental health staff) which provides a helpful structure for professional development. The scheme can be used to build up a portfolio of the work support staff feel most proud of and that patients particularly appreciate. One of the aims of Ward Stars is that it will enhance the status and reputation of amazing staff like Rose. In turn, we hope this will be a huge confidence-boost for some of the most important members of staff who care for some of the most unwell and vulnerable people.
For Kinnersley, working through the Star Wards 75 ideas has revealed to the team just how creative they are when planning activities as it’s so different to a ward setting. A staff member said:
“Star Wards has enhanced the patient experience by revisiting what we do and what we can offer patients.”
Well done, Kinnersley!