Star Wards’ Newsletter #16

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24th June 2007

Welcome to the latest newsletter and a warm welcome to the new members of the network. Continuing out of sync because of the fabulous volume of best practice to share…. I very much enjoyed a visit to Bowmere hospital in Chester, thanks to the modern matron, Colin Jones. But details of that will have to join the orderly queue, and this fortnight we’re featuring the energetic and inspired work going on in Merseycare. Many thanks to Eifion Ingman for sending me the rich information, and for not sounding fed up about the volley of questions he kept getting back from me.

News from trusts – Merseycare.


£7,500 to purchase items that will make a service user’s stay on an acute inpatient ward more therapeutic and pro-active.

Improvements planned by the Star Wards’ group

  • Small library of books, from the Well Read Collection a list of self help resources / books developed by Merserycare’s  library services.
  • The Star Wards group have purchased CD walkmans, DVD’s, two computers, board games, giant connect 4, and giant Jenga
  • An exercise bike has been purchased for each inpatient ward – whilst there were concerns raised as to the monitoring of service user’s physical health care needs and ligature risks. This has been addressed through liaison with the Risk Manager and ensuring that the use of the bike is approved by a medic.
  • Checking out local authority support with exercise initiatives

Implementation of Star Wards

  • Recruiting a service user to be involved in attending the Star Wards and Acute Care Forum, for which they’ll be paid.  A person specification has been produced and the post will advertised through a mailing list of service users and carers. The successful applicant will attend the Patient Forums on the wards and act as a conduit for communication between service users on the wards and the 2 groups.
  • Planning to pilot an Action Learning Set to assist ward staff in the implementation of the Star Wards initiative


  • Piloting daily Community meetings on one of the Wards within Liverpool Inpatients.
  • Considering whether it would be beneficial for domestic and catering staff to be involved in attending ward forums, as well as current training initiatives available for inpatient staff.
  • Current ward recreational budget of £35 a month to be  discussed at the Patients Forums to facilitate service user input into how it is spent.


  • Planning an Art Exhibition in the Reception Area of the Broadoak Unit.
  • OTs are becoming involved with The Music Zone, and are currently exploring funds available for the purchase of musical instruments for the Inpatient Unit.
  • Involvement of the Reader in Residence for Merseycare in the development of Reading Groups within Inpatients.
  • Clive Parkinson employed by Manchester Metropolitan University and part of a 2 year project which focuses on working with agencies on developing skills/ confidence in staff in working in creative ways with service users. Is currently working collaboratively with the STAR wards group to develop the skills of inpatient staff. Each ward will work on a project entitled What Liverpool Means To Me, which will be supported by the Artist employed as part of the Creative Wellbeing Initiative.

Service User and Carer Information and support

  • Working with PALS’ worker on updating Service User and Carer Information
  • In contact with Queer Notions – local lesbian and gay mental health support group.


  • Developing concept of ‘sacred space’ – provision of spiritual care rather than the provision of a room for people to pray in.

So many fantastic patient-centred initiatives, and an impressive range of partnerships with community groups. We’ll be really interested to hear about how the Star Wards action learning set develops, as along with other innovations, this might well be something that network members would also like to introduce.


All the best