Safewards in Dorset

A large number of staff and service users/carers turned out for an evening presentation of Safewards in Dorset. For many this was after a day’s work.

Dorset Mental Health Forum (with help from Andy Mercer from Bournemouth University and D Phil Morgan from Dorset Healthcare) kicked us off with a moving presentation of service user experiences of restraint . The clips from their DVD were striking in that they reminded me of why this topic is so important and just how corrosive containment can be. The clips were also balanced in service users recognising the difficulties for staff and acknowledging good care. Needless to say I am looking to get a copy.

One of the service users who gave a brave, insightful and inspirational interview was also in the audience and I was very fortunate to talk to her afterwards. Lisa, thank you. I was also fortunate enough to talk to two peer workers, Tom and Liz, and Tom had even lived in Denmark Hill, near the Maudsley, for some years. Small world.

Then on to Safewards slot and a very attentive and receptive hearing. The nicest thing about the presentation for me was being able to run through the website!

The end result? Paul Lumsden, the newly appointed Director of Nursing, is now looking for four ward managers in Dorset Healthcare to volunteer to be in the first wave of roll out with the support of the very capable Liz James. Interestingly for me, another PICU ward manager, who also gave me a lift to the station, was very interested and keen to hear of the reaction of other PICU’s. With the interest we are getting from NAPICU and other ward managers such as Sian Williams in Bangor, there does seem to be a PICU focused group emerging, or is that wishful thinking?

Geoff Brennan