Star Wards Website Stats 2018 in Review

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It’s February 2019 already. What happened? Well, now we’ve just realised how quickly this year is progressing, it seems like a good time to take a look at last year’s site stats. We always enjoy seeing what content gets the most clicks from you, our lovely loyal visitors. We hope the site continues to be useful, inspiring and encouraging in 2019 and for years to come.

The four most visited pages in 2018

Along with Marvellous Care and Ward Stars, Wardipedia got a new home in 2018.  We moved some of our most popular online content to starwards.org.uk to make it easier for you to be inspired and informed and to help keep our work sustainable. Wardipedia is the home of inpatient mental health care frugal innovation. Need some ideas for your Star Wards project or to support your continuous improvement efforts? Wardipedia is your one-stop compendium of great inpatient care. If you haven’t already done so (and even if you have), do have a good browse.

We’re glad the ‘Download Star Wards’ page is still getting loads of traffic. One of the great things about the original Star Wards publications is that they stand the test of time. We think their popularity is mostly due to Buddy’s (Bright’s founder Marion Janner’s support dog) furry face gracing the covers. From ideas on recreation and conversation, physical health and activity, visitors and care planning, to talking therapies and self-management, ward community, and patient responsibility… these free PDFs provide practical ideas for improving the daily experiences and treatment outcomes of mental health inpatients. The page also offers the Star Wards ‘ideas chart’ and ‘benchmarking sheet’, essential kit for running the project where you are.

We’re always super delighted, excited, impressed and heartened to receive Full Monty applications, and they continued to be completed and submitted in 2018 via the application page. Ahhhh, the fabulous Star Wards Full Monty Award. This, stunning object, six foot high and made of pure kryptonite, is given to wards who implement all 75 Star Wards core ideas – or as many as are relevant to them. (Actually, it’s about eight inches high and made of shiny metal. But it’s still jolly nice.) Quick FM fact: did you know that the first hospital to win the award was Huntercombe Roehampton?

Another popular page and timeless resource, TalkWell is a practical booklet to support ward staff in their fantastic work, by focusing on the continuous but complex and often fraught process of talking with inpatients. Do you want to become a better listener, enjoy and feel able to manage conversations about anything from Coronation Street to coping with compulsions, have a greater awareness of what’s happening in patients’ minds and their own, and have richer relationships with patients? If you found yourself nodding, saying yes mentally or verbally to these questions, then TalkWell is for you.

The four most read blog posts of 2018

Providing meaningful activity on a busy ward. This corker of a blog, written by the brilliant Sam Wilson (Therapeutic Liaison Worker at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) is for a second year running way up there in the stats. In Sam’s own words, the blog aims to provide visitors “with a few ideas you could use in the therapeutic sessions you create, an insight into how we tackle some of the challenges we face in inpatient therapy and give you a brief account of some of the success stories we’ve had.” Given the success of this blog, we’re inviting other ward staff to write a new posts for 2019 on the same topic. Are you up for the challenge? If so, please contact us.

At the end of June last year, the fabulous Ellie Walsh and her sister Gwen-O travelled 1100 miles and swam 3 lakes in 3 different countries in just 24 hours! This was to fundraise for Bright, generating an amazing £5000. Ellie is both a valued Bright Trustee and a senior manager at NAViGO Healthcare. Here’s what Ellie says about Star Wards in this inspiring blog: “To this day Star Wards remains an integral part of all inpatient services and the benchmark for delivering high standards of care that you would want your family to receive… [Now] I want to get behind Star Wards by supporting the Bright Charity that runs it. Bright is a small charity, has a vibrant Board, works to the patient agenda and operates at minimal cost.” Hungry for yet another fundraising challenge, NAViGO are braving a skydive in May! Please get behind them and support them via the special Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/starwards Go team NAViGO! If you would like to do some fundraising for Bright, please get in touch with us.

This excellent blog by Bright Associate Dr John Hanna, sets out to promote the involvement of psychologists and the provision of psychological therapies on mental health wards. The evidence base for psychological therapies has grown substantially over the past few years. Inpatients often state a preference for talking therapies, or a combination of therapy and medication, over medication alone. Moreover, most ward staff want psychologists working alongside them and want training so that they, too, can feel competent in providing psychological interventions. So, it’s great that psychologists and psychological therapies are on the rise within inpatient settings. The more inpatient service users find benefit from the efforts of psychologists and those they train and support, writes Dr Hanna, the more demand there will be for psychologically-oriented wards in mental health hospitals.

Buildings are the biggest and most powerful advertising ways to convey positive messages about mental health, writes Paul Rooney in this blog about therapeutic environments. He asks the important question: what is important in designing good acute care environments for mental health services? Acute mental health buildings need to be both containing and therapeutic. Units need to be outward looking and be designed to consciously build positive working relationships with the community served. It’s so important to make sure they’re not isolated from their surroundings, and that inpatient services are not detached from the rest of the mental health system. Meaningful and fun activity is at the heart of Star Wards. Paul rightly states that buildings should include multi-purpose large and small group activity spaces that can accommodate a varied timetable of therapeutic and recreational activities. Particular attention needs to be paid to ensuring good access to and the design of gardens and outdoor spaces.

Our Top 4 Most popular Resources of 2018
1.    Star Wards
2.    Wardipedia
3.    TalkWell
4.    Animal Magic

And an honourable mention to…

Brief Encounters, our resource created with the help of the amazing Dr Joy Bray, continues to be a source of inspiration for acute general staff. The wonderful people at Canterbury University have even made it a cornerstone of one of the modules they teach. Our stats show that the resource and accompanying booklet get a high number of visitors every month. Although free to download, due to popular demand we produced a print version on Amazon last year and this has been a huge success. Also be sure to check out CAMHeleon, which is also available from Amazon.

So, no matter how you have used our resources over the last year, we thank you for your continued faith in us. So feel free to take/nick/adapt/mould/polish/develop from our stuff and have fun in 2019.

Keep in touch
The Bright Team

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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.