3 Dec

Three reasons why I love Star Wards

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3rd December 2014 | By Geoff Brennan  

 

 

 

  1. geoffStar Wards knows how important it is to be positive about inpatient care.

How many times have you read that inpatient care is an area that “has problems/issues/struggles?” Loads and loads. How many times have we read that inpatient care saves lives? That it assists people when they are in the darkest place imaginable? That it does this for hundreds and thousands every year and year on year? We should celebrate the fact that there are thousands of brilliant people who have dedicated part of their lives to making inpatient wards better places.

Star Wards does that.

  1. Star Wards believes that patients themselves have a huge amount to offer.

People who use psychiatric wards are every shape, size, colour, creed , age and shoe size. They come with their edges and foibles and nuances. They are colourful and interesting and unique. Oh yes – and thy have their troubles and challenges and needs. But give them half a chance and they have loads to offer themselves and each other.  Give them a whole chance and they could revolutionise how we do things.

Star Wards does that.

  1. Buddy is adorable.

Best  till last. She is so adorable the Ortus Centre at the Maudsley named a classroom after her and had her in for a photo-shoot. They only invited Marion to hold her up to the camera.

What’s that Buddy? There is a ward out there that needs some fun and recognition?  Do you think we can help them?

Buddy says Star Wards does that

So, I love Star Wards. But I love Star Wards because I believe in the potential of the people who both stay on wards and who work in them.  As it happens I have a bit of experience to back this up. For instance:

 

  • But the last was possibly the most interesting. In September 2013 I left the Safewards Project after helping to both carry out the research and tell people about the fantastic results. Safewards shows that simple interventions make a huge difference on wards and also that patients can be empowered to be part of that difference.  safewards.net.

The nice thing about Safewards is that it took a great deal of inspiration from Star Wards.  Safewards and Star Wards are totally compatible and wards can take on ideas from both at the same time without having to ask permission from anyone.

So now I have been given the opportunity to actually WORK for  Star Wards, with a fantastic leader and  a colleague who is one of the most creatively brilliant people I have met (take a bow Nic). And it’s supported by sponsors and trustees who totally get what   Star Wards is about.

But best of all – I get to see a lot of Buddy!

 

(Geoff is particularly interested in helping areas who are thinking of implementing any of the ideas from Star Wards, Wardipedia, Ward Stars or Brief Encounters. If this is you, send me an email.

 

 

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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. You can donate on the website or discuss fundraising by e-mailing here. Thank you for all you do.