The Dales consists of 3 wards Elmdale, Ashdale and Beechdale. Elmdale and Ashdale wards are mixed-sex inpatient units for working-age adults with mental health conditions. The wards are single en-suite rooms and have a number of day areas for shorter-term treatment. The unit also provides an occupational therapy service with gym facilities and therapeutic gardens. Beechdale ward is for older people. The Unit is run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and is based at Calderdale Royal Infirmary.
Who did you consult with and what did you ask?
Occupational Therapists (OT) at ‘The Dales’ ward consulted with service users and carers on each of the wards. Therapists talked face to face with approximately 60 people during a period of time to find out what would help and enhance their mental wellbeing. People were asked questions and encouraged to provide responses to the following;
- What activities would they like to do during their admission to the ward?
- Service users were encouraged to ask questions about their feelings on being on the ward?
- People were asked to describe their expectations of occupational therapy?
- People were asked what therapeutic intervention they would like to do
What did they tell you?
Following a number of interviews the key areas that the team were keen to resolve from what people had told them were:
- The view from patients that there were not many activities on the wards and that they would like to find things they could do as the wards could be boring
- The suggestion from patients was to alleviate boredom by introducing creative activities to reduce this and prevent a feeling of isolation
- Patients also stated that they wanted something meaningful to be involved in
Staff worked hard to identify solutions to address each of these areas with service users.
What did you do?
The Occupational Therapists leading the work responded to the request by service users to look at solutions that would support creative approaches. The therapists spoke to ‘Creative Minds’ who suggested an arts café model, this had already been a successful and well-established approach. Creative Minds also identified partners who could support this work. They were keen to replicate an art café in a ward environment.
A funding application supported by the Trust charity EYUP in partnership with ‘Creative Minds’ and using artists from partner organisations like ‘Square Chapel’ arts and ‘Arch-way Project’ were brought on to the ward to run a group which was named ‘Art’s Café at the Dales’.
Where can you find more information about this work?
For more information about this work contact Anthony Payne, Therapy Assistant on the following email address: Anthony.Payne@swyt.nhs.uk
Engagement locations: Calderdale, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire
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