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National Service User Awards: Celebrating five of the best jointly designed projects

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is celebrating a record-showing in the National Service User Awards, with five projects being nominated as finalists.

The annual awards celebrate the large number of service user projects in mental health, learning disability and autism services nationwide, taking notice of all the good that service users have done and what has been made possible at a local level. 

The Trust’s shortlisted projects come from across Rampton Hospital and Arnold Lodge.

Dr Sue Elcock, Executive Medical Director/Executive Director of Forensic Services said:

“Both units have an excellent focus on meeting the needs of service users and listening to what they want. Allowing the service users to play a key role in each of these projects offers a very special experience that can both provide future benefits for those who take part and a legacy that will improve care for those who come into Trust services in the future. I am very proud of everyone involved in these projects and wish them all luck for the next stage”

The shortlisted projects are:

Rampton Hospital

Create & Resonate (Health and Wellbeing category) : Over a 10-week period, service users from Rampton attended a specially designed programme which aimed to explore performance and improvisation skills and raise self-esteem.

The project was supported by staff and two local electronic artists, Rezzonator and ShelterCalm. It culminated in five patients from the male mental health service each performing live for an audience of almost 40 peers and a range of staff.

Glenn Painter, Senior Occupational Therapist (OT), said

“As an OT I was interested in supporting service users with digital technology – in today’s world all activities seem to involve it in some way, such as communicating, online banking and so on. My colleague Rebecca Roberts, a music therapist, was also keen to see the benefits of music including both emotionally and physically, as music can boost brain chemicals and activates the pleasure-reward centres of the brain as well as the areas related to attention and wakefulness.

“The project aims to develop further with the creation of a Digital hub with recording studio, filmmaking and animation software.”   

Group members gave some very positive feedback, including ‘Music can give a different perspective on certain matters’, ‘This project has been fun and insightful and has given me an interesting task to work towards.’

Breaking Down Barriers (Breaking Down Barriers category) : Patients of Grampian (Deaf) ward planned and hosted events for Deaf Awareness Week, including a "voices off" football tournament, challenging hearing patients to play without sound; a charity event with activities like lipreading challenges and "Guess the Sign"; and co-writing a Deaf Awareness presentation to deliver to hearing peers.

Darren Lount, Ward Manager, said: “The service users wanted to share the Deaf experience with others from around the hospital. The week offered great practical experiences for other service users and they really embraced it.

“It was important to the service users to promote deafness not as a disability, which they don’t see it as, but as a different culture.”

Arnold Lodge – medium secure mental health services

Never Lose Hope (Health and Wellbeing category): Service users worked with author and mentor Sam Houghton to compile an anthology of uplifting and inspirational stories which empower themselves and others. Through a creative writing workshop, service users describe their struggles and how they overcame these as part of their recovery journey.

Fiona Evriviades, Occupational Therapy Manager, said: “A number of service users had said they would like to share their story in a way that could help and encourage others. Sam met them to guide their writing and four decided to put their pieces into a book. They were delighted with the final product and were very brave in sharing their experiences.

“It’s a motivational book that we now share with new starters at the Lodge to help them understand the journeys of recovery and hope that service users go on. We’re planning to get more books published in the future and we’re very proud of the service users, their hard work and resilience.

Care Programme Approach training (Excellence in Co-Production category): At Arnold Lodge, service users have the opportunity to lead the staff meetings around their care – ward rounds, that cover immediate plans for the next couple of weeks, and care programme approach (CPA) meetings that are held around once every six months.

Impact, the collaborative partner in the medium secure mental health services in the midlands however identified that too many patients don’t have the confidence to lead their ward rounds and CPA meetings. Impact’s Lived Experience Facilitator launched a pilot to help patients co-produce a co-delivered training programme.

Andrew Gale, Senior Peer Support Worker, said: “Arnold Lodge has paved the way with involving patients. We’re working with Impact to equip patients to chair their CPA and ward round meetings to support them in having a say in their care. We are also developing a ‘train the trainer’ programme for service users to learn about training others.”

Patient Forum (Outstanding Service User Leadership Award category): For the last 18 months, an individual from Cannock ward has chaired the monthly patient forum and Divisional Involvement Meetings for Arnold Lodge. These meetings promote hospital-wide involvement and allow service users on all the wards to have a voice about their care.

Fiona Evriviades, Occupational Therapy Manager, said: “This individual lacked confidence initially, which put him in a challenging situation, but he has become one of the best chairs – he steers so well, creates a good atmosphere, is inclusive and welcoming of new people, manages in a kind way, keeps boundaries, runs a polite and inclusive meeting. It’s wonderful to give patients a platform to raise views on how Arnold Lodge is run, so that the service user voice is the main voice in the meeting.”

The 2022 Awards Ceremony will be held at the Lakeside Pavilion, Colwick Hall, on Wednesday 14th September 2022.



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