28 Oct

Ward Stars Foreword by Marion Janner

Bright’s Founder

I’m was not an easy, (or cheap!) inpatient and my deep appreciation for the kindness and skill with which I was treated led to me setting up Star Wards. One small, low-key experience illustrates for me how staff don’t simply ‘enable’ treatment and recovery, they are the main treatment! During an admission, I got a lot of support from one HCA, who was wonderfully responsive, kind, bright – and very, very patient. After a fraught day, she told me she’d come and say goodbye before the end of her shift but I realised that with everything going on this might end up not happening. At 9PM she hadn’t come into my room, but at 9.10 there she was, apologising for being a bit late and checking on how I was feeling. It was a big deal for me as I’m really reliant on a trusting relationship with staff in order to stabilise, stop the self-destructive stuff – and get back home to Buddy.

This mini-example does illustrate some of the many characteristics of HCAs which are so appreciated by patients – reliability, empathy, stability, flexibility and going the extra mile. These hugely important qualities can be hard for managers, regulators and others to ‘measure’ and acknowledge, compared to clinical skills. We hope that Ward Stars will help HCAs and colleagues to identify the vast range of personal qualities and clinical expertise that HCAs use continuously, and that this contributes to you feeling proud of and applauded for the caring, skilled, enormously demanding work you do. Thank you! You truly are the heart of inpatient care.

More information about Ward Stars



Click here to make a donation


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.