Wardipedia – 03. Therapeutic liaison worker

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TLC from the TLWs Introduction The role of ‘Therapeutic Liaison Worker’ (TLW) was originally created on Ashby Ward at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit in Leicester by Nic Higham,  a Healthcare Support Worker. (Happily for Star Wards, Nic now works with us!) The unit recognised the need for a role on acute wards to help […]

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Wardipedia – 56. Mealtimes made special

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Food for thought. And feelings. And health Introduction “Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson Warmly endorsed by Marion and, in particular, Buddy. And it’s not just donuts. Not even just fried treats. And even, not just food. Mealtimes can be really special occasions in hospital, with the nutritional aspects almost a bonus! […]

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Wardipedia – 57. Friends, relatives and carers

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Since you been gone Introduction Even patients’ warmest relationships with staff can’t provide what mates and mums can – not least for obvious reasons of appropriate boundaries! Being in hospital, and specifically a mental health hospital, makes contact with friends and family very welcome for most patients. The hugs, the concern, the latest anecdotes about […]

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Wardipedia – 20. The really great outdoors

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Wardipedia – 59. Social media

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Keep clicking! Introduction In the old days, patients may have turned up fully armed with a pen and some paper. Nowadays their bags can contain mobile phones, smart phones with full internet access, ipads, laptops, e-readers (which might also have internet access). Thus equipped, patients are able to continue to their daily social, work, leisure, […]

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Wardipedia – 19. Gardening

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Green fingers, green socks Introduction Gardening offers a unique combination of physical, emotional, spiritual and sensory pleasures. Patients can spend a leisurely morning in the sun, pulling out a few weeds, or do a full day’s aerobic and horticultural workout in an allotment. And if there’s no sun or allotment, most wards now have access […]

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Wardipedia – 60. Ward website

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E-wards Introduction Ideally your hospital/Trust will have a fantastic website – informative, easy to navigate, reassuring, honest, colourful, attractive…. But even if they don’t, it should be possible to set up your own ward website. Well, the easy bit is finding a free DIY website builders such as Weebly. The challenge will be to convince […]

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Wardipedia – 61. Kids visiting

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Hugs, Harry Potter and hoodies Introduction Everyone wants children to have good experiences and memories of a hospital visit, to help them and the people they’re visiting enjoy this time and manage the enforced separation a bit more easily. Children can feel isolated, abandoned, confused and afraid when their parent goes into hospital, and wards […]

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Wardipedia – 18. Landscape pictures

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Bright outlook Introduction “Landscape paintings reduce anxiety and need for medication.” This is a corker. It is so simple, cheap, therapeutic, calorie-free, evidence-based. What’s not to like? We’ve seen some beautiful landscape paintings and photos on wards around the country; perhaps one of the therapeutic benefits is from the conversations that realistic and relaxing pictures […]

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Wardipedia – 62. Help with housing

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Homeward bound Introduction Ward staff are all too aware of the relationship between housing and mental health. Having a good home is central to everyone’s well-being, and unsuitable housing can be a significant factor in triggering a mental illness. Neighbours can be a major source of support, or conflict – or indifference. With swelling problems […]

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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:

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