3rd December 2014 | By Geoff Brennan
- Star 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- I wandered around London and had a look at a lot of wards and co-wrote a benchmark report for the then London Development Centre
- I was let loose on some great wards as a City Nurse ,
- Len Bowers asked me to help him with some research about how to communicate with people who found it hard to communicate. What we came up with was very interesting. http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/iopweb/blob/downloads/locator/l_436_Talking.pdf
- And I’ve done some different things, like the project to help people with nutritional needs
- I’ve even written the odd short story about wards http://issuu.com/geoffbrennan/docs/justanotherpoxyshift
- 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.