Double Success for NHS team


People in Wakefield with acute mental illness are receiving care that is nationally renowned.

The PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) team at Fieldhead, Wakefield have been celebrating after receiving a certificate of achievement at an awards ceremony in Birmingham. The team won the accolade for multi-disciplinary working after taking part in a prestigious national PICU project.

The night was a double success for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust as service user John Girdlestone received a special acknowledgement for the positive impact he had on the whole project.

The 10 bed PICU unit, at Fieldhead provides short term management for people with acute mental illness. It was chosen from many other PICUs nationwide to take part in the PICU Governance Network earlier in the year. For the last 8 months staff and service users have been attending monthly meetings with 7 other PICU teams from across the country to share good practice.

‘As well as looking at ways we can develop and improve services the project gave us a chance to dispel myths about PICUs among a variety of different people from carers to professionals,’ says ward manager Lisa Archibald. ‘PICUs are often viewed as a daunting place and we want to get rid of that image and let people understand what we do and the positive nursing culture we provide.’

The team have already started to implement changes as a result of the project. They are currently piloting a scheme with one of the community teams which involves primary nurses from the ward attending meetings with them – which will ensure better communication between teams and a smoother discharge for service users.

Service user representative John Girdlestone was delighted with the PICU team’s success, ‘It’s absolutely brilliant that we were put forward for this award and got so far. We all put a lot of work in to this project and were so pleased to be rewarded. It was a great night in Birmingham at the award ceremony!’

Lisa Archibald was also pleased, ‘It was great to be recognised in this way it meant a lot to the PICU team and everyone here at the unit,’ she added. ‘We’re very grateful to John for his massive input, service user input is so important and he had something to give to every part of the project. He thoroughly deserved his special mention – he worked so hard.’

The team are to continue their positive work and already have a busy few months ahead of them. They were so successful during the project that they have been asked to set up a regional network for other PICUs across the North of England. The project findings will be published in a national PICU journal and they have also agreed to take part in a national research project. John Girdlestone is going to continue his work with the PICU team to share his knowledge and experience with staff and other service users.

Double Success for NHS team

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