A series of events held by the Trust has been helping service users to make the best choices for their health by offering an insight into the medicines used to treat mental health conditions.
The two ‘working together to get the best of medicines’ events, which welcomed a total of over 80 attendees, was held at the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley on 12 May and the Hudawi Cultural Centre in Huddersfield on 17 June. They invited service users, carers and Trust staff to find out more about the use of medicines in mental health.
The sessions were organised to help service users make more informed choices about their care through a better understanding of the types of medication used to aid their recovery.
In Batley, consultants Dr Farhat Uzair and Dr Madhuri Rajwal from the Trust’s Priestley Unit and Ian Grace, senior clinical pharmacist from Dewsbury and District Hospital, spoke about medicines for depression, mood disorders and psychosis in adults.
A talk on medicines for depression and dementia in older people was presented by Dr Moe Kapoor, consultant psychiatrist for older people’s services in Kirklees, and clinical pharmacist Zenab Ougradar from Calderdale Royal Hospital at the event in Huddersfield.
The interactive sessions enabled service users to ask questions on topics such as why medications are changed and why they experience side effects and gave them a chance to join in discussions with the doctors and pharmacists.
Attendees were also given practical tips for taking medicines and discovered sources of information and advice available to them.
Aboobaker Bhana, equality and inclusion team manager, said: “We pride ourselves on offering person-centred care and being honest, open and transparent with the people who use our services. By hosting these events we are enabling our service users to take charge of their health through an increased understanding of the types of medication used in their care.”
Earlier in the year, the Trust became the first in the country to invest in an innovative new mobile application called ‘Choose Your Medication’, which gives service users and carers information on mental health conditions and common medications used to treat and control them.
The Choose Your Medication website is already used by Trust staff, but the Trust’s investment in the app means service users and carers are now able to easily access vital information about their condition and medication for themselves.
Throughout June and July 2013, the Trust also held seven large-scale ‘transformation events’ across its localities, providing an opportunity for over 450 service users and carers to have their voices heard. From the conversations that took place at the events, six key themes emerged – one of which was ‘I want you to offer me as much choice as possible and help me understand those choices.’
The ‘working together to get the best of medicines’ events form just part of the action the Trust took to respond to this theme – other solutions included offering a wider range of sport and creative activities as a means of recovery which the Trust provides through its Creative Minds initiative.