30 Jul 2014

New Members’ Quick Start Guide


Download Star Wards

Click here to get the kit and get started!



You’ve probably already got a group of people together who are keen on being involved with Star Wards. These are likely to be a mixture of staff from different disciplines (including non-medical staff like those from catering and domestic services), patients and patient reps, and perhaps carers.


Star Wards’ group

So that you’re not personally stuck with doing everything, and of course to be democratic, inclusive etc etc a steering group is pretty invaluable. Even a less structured but committed group of people is also a real help.


Deciding priorities

The Star Wards’ group, whether Steering or just vaguely hinting, can decide what are the priorities for your ward. Again, this can be done in quite a structured way or on a gut instinct basis. The structured route will probably take you to completing a benchmarking sheet – downloadable here.

You’ll see from these that wards are using benchmarking as a way of gauging where they’re currently at with providing an actively therapeutic environment for patients and as a way of action planning. But one of the main benefits of the exercise has turned out to be that it invariably gives staff a real morale boost to have acknowledged all the good practice that’s already in place.



We really want you to HAVE FUN with Star Wards, so set aside time to CELEBRATE! Every small positive change is a wonderful thing. Say thank you, have cake, tell others.

And tell US. We publish a seasonal newsletter filled with stories from wards like yours and also have a dedicated site called Wardipedia for great ideas – all from great people like you.

Many wards work towards the Full Monty Award – and it is a fantastic accomplishment, representing exceptional expertise, commitment and caring by ward staff. As well as this providing some ‘official verification’, wards have found that the process of writing it up provides another boost to staff morale. So if that floats your boat – go for it! Apply for the award here.

Apply for the award here.


Beyond the 75 ideas

The 75 ideas are just that – ideas. Definitely not standards, eligibility criteria or anything that would look comfortable in a government document. (The easiest way to differentiate between anything from Star Wards and anything Official is that the former will have exquisite photos of a Tibetan Terrier and the latter won’t.) Wards have been very diplomatic about some of the ideas but we’ve been able to crack the tact code and recognise that things like departing patients staying on an extra couple of days to support new patients are unrealistic. So feel free to ignore any that aren’t helpful to you.



All our resources and publications can be downloaded from our website – navigate to the downloads page.


We look forward to hearing how things go for you, and to visiting. In the meantime, please do get in touch if there’s anything we can do to support your involvement with Star Wards.




Click here to make a donation


We are so touched and grateful for the donations we receive and for the generosity of all those who share our zeal for making all mental health wards wonderfully therapeutic.