An in-patient ward for people with mental health problems at Fieldhead hospital, Wakefield is using a innovative new approach to improve patient’s experience.
Star Wards is a booklet, created by people with experience of mental illness, which has collected 75 practical ideas that will vastly improve the daily experience of ward-life for in-patients. The ideas range from small changes that can help make a hospital stay more enjoyable such as having up to date magazines to high impact changes such as setting up a structured programme of activities. There are also lots of ‘fun’ ideas such as arranging regular comedy evenings or encouraging pets to come to the ward as visitors or even residents!
Overall there are 75 changes, split into sections such as; recreation and conversation, physical health and activity and care planning. Examples of changes Trinity 2 has made include establishing a befriending scheme where volunteers come on to the ward and offer friendship and support to in-patients.
They have also started creating patient record files where each patients builds up information that will be helpful to them when they are discharged. This might include advice on how to deal with their illness, details of resources in the community that can offer help and support and information about their medication.
Practice development nurse, Lisa Archibald says, "Staff have made lots of the changes really quickly and you can see they have a high impact on patient’s experiences. Star Wards has been an amazing tool for empowering staff to make positive changes. It has helped staff refocus their priorities and encouraged them to think more creatively and come up with fresh ideas. Star Wards has also got staff and patients working together in a way they haven’t before."