Staff working in acute therapy services at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield, which is run by South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust, have developed an innovative tool to help them identify people’s individual care needs during their initial screening. Acute therapy services provide a range of occupational health and physiotherapy services for mental health inpatients, aimed at improving health, wellbeing and independence.
The new tool, which is an assessment form filled out during an initial patient consultation, helps staff to ensure that people receive treatment that suits their individual needs. It also helps them gather vital information to enable them to identify any problems with a person’s physical health that may affect their care or treatment.
The results obtained from the screening ensure care is provided with the individual’s special requirements in mind, and allow staff to work with service users to establish goals for them to work towards. Such goals may relate to hobbies and recreational activities, healthy eating, or relaxation.
Principal physiotherapist and service manager Margaret Freeburn said, "Issues with an individual’s physical health can have all sorts of practical implications when it comes to care provision, many of which staff wouldn’t naturally consider. The screening tool brings these issues to light and gives staff a chance to consider how they might impact on an individual’s care plan, so that people receive care programmes that are tailored to their individual requirements and goals."
She continued, "Essentially this new approach is about improving a person’s journey through Trust services and putting their needs first. It also enables us to signpost service users to other services upon discharge so that support can continue beyond hospital admission."