Star Wards’ Newsletter #18

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July 27th 2007

Welcome to the latest newsletter and a warm welcome to the new members of the network. I’m still angling for invites to hospitals, as these are unbeatable for learning about great practice. But this fortnight’s edition has some dazzling examples, gleaned from attending Sandwell and Dudley’s acute care forum meeting and also from the minutes of Sussex Older People’s services Star Wards’ steering group. Many thanks to Martin Luke (of excellent HCC cross-referenced benchmarking tool fame) and Mark Dickens for inviting me to Sandwell and Dudley and Bob Titherington for the unique distinction of being the only member to send me minutes of their dynamic steering group. . It would really help if you could all put me on your mailing lists for your steering groups. Thanks!


News from trusts – Sandwell & Dudley and Sussex Older People’s Services

Notes from Sandwell and Dudley ACF

Building fab new hospital. Using Star Wards to enhance attitudes and practice.

1. Recreation and conversation

  • Pool table on PICU. No problem with cues.
  • Therapeutic outings group – one benefit is seeing how patients are in ‘normal’ environment.
  • Live music evenings. Popular band had gig cancelled – rescheduled in hospital’s activity centre! Karaoke machine.

2. Physical health and activity

  • Inter-ward football tournament.

3. Visitors and carers

  • Carers bringing in music

5. Talking therapies and self-management

  • Psychology running training in group facilitation.

7. Patient responsibility

  • Service users involved in training non-clinical staff – eg domestic, catering, admin. 2 x 2 hour slots, for 6 – 8 staff. Facilitated by assistant psychologist. Lots of incidents are catering related, and domestics working in patients’ bedrooms can make them, or patients, feel vulnerable. Conversely, can form particularly good relationship because of intimacy of working environment.

Sussex older people’s service

1. Recreation and conversation

  • Contacting ‘Music for Hospitals’ to see what they could offer the services;
  • Liaising with IT dept. to see whether there are decommissioned computers that patients could use on the wards possibly initially for games and word processing etc
  • Patient Transport Co-ordinator enthusiastic about the project and happy to contribute where possible

3. Visitors and carers

  • Frail elderly relatives have to travel great distances to visit their relatives looking at possibility of car sharing with provision of group transport by voluntary agencies.
  • Liaising with a voluntary driver with a view to organising pre-arranged trips between Uckfield and Hastings for visitors who had difficulty with traveling distances.
  • To look into volunteers to help with personal laundry and gardening on the wards, and voluntary visiting

6. Ward community

  • PALS contribute to Patient Forums around the service. Looking at the possibility of setting up Monthly Surgeries on the In-patient units for patients and carers.


Some real gems here! Local bands performing on wards, imaginative involvement of volunteers, real attention to the needs of carers.


All the best