Service users on our medium secure unit in Wakefield have been given more opportunities to take control of their care with the introduction of a weekly community meeting.
Staff members on Johnson ward, a female ward on Newton Lodge at Fieldhead, set up the meeting so that women detained on the ward could have a platform to share their views and raise issues.
The weekly meeting, held in an open and inclusive area of the ward, helps the women and staff to come together to discuss and make decisions on things such as entertainment and practical needs. Staff also provide updates on ward issues and wider Trust news.
The team also take the opportunity to update their weekly activity planner with suggestions welcomed from the service users of interesting new things to do.
The women are encouraged to prepare questions for the meeting and are given decisions to consider and bring back the following week.
Jen Howes, ward manager, said: “Holding the community meeting helps to develop relationships between staff and service users. It also enables the women to have more involvement in their care.”
Carol Harris, director of forensic services, said: “People who are detained in hospital have more restrictions on their choices – especially people who are detained in a medium secure unit. That’s why it is really important we maximise every opportunity for people to be able to make choices where they are available about the things that affect them.
“On Johnson Ward I saw the staff and the women working together to agree how they could manage things like access to the laundry, get exercise, support healthy eating and manage visits from friends and relatives. Working in this way promotes good relationships, supports individual choice and control and of course keeps important decision-making skills in use. The women are able to develop and maintain the skills they will need when they are ready to move into a less secure environment and make decisions from a wider range of choices.”