Issue 27

Caswell Clinic – Caswell Chat

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Following a visit to Caswell Clinic, psychiatrists from the Royal College of PSYCHIATRISTS asked if service users could write an article about our in house magazine (CASWELL CHAT) and other things happening in the Clinic. We thought that you may like to see what we said.

The Caswell Chat is an in house magazine produced by patients in Caswell Clinic, Bridgend. It was started in 2001 and we have produced 26 editions since that time. There are regular articles such as "Twitcher" (nature), Simon Says (book and CD review), Richards Roving DVDs (DVD Review) Compost Corner (gardening section), Koestler Awards (competition for secure units) Caswell Stoneware (concrete products), poems and jokes, Groups Timetable and also "The User Friendly Group" (UFG) and UFG Shop

More topical articles are featured in "Caswell Chat" as they happen , for example, quiz nights arranged by "Friends of Caswell" (a group of people in the community that promote Caswell Clinic in the local area), a local band run by a member of staff, fun days and fetes and charity events such as Children in Need.

User Friendly Group

The UFG was formed in 1998 by ex-patients of Caswell Clinic and acts to improve the quality of life for patients in the Clinic. The UFG meets once a month and some of its achievements can be listed as follows:
The idea to start activity coordinators in the clinic so that time is spent doing activities during weekends as well as in the week.
Church of Wales and Catholic service held monthly in the clinic.
Shop: Sale of confectionary, toiletries, crisps and flavoured mineral water. £5 phone cards, postage stamps. Second hand book section and clothing given away free of charge. Welcome packs for new patients coming to the UFG Shop (Patient Information Leaflet, phone card, cereal bar, water and clothes if required)
Recycling plastic bottles
Drama group with the Vale and Valleys Arts Community
Toe by Toe Reading Scheme. This helps a patient to teach a fellow patient reading skills in an informal way.
"Butty Scheme". This enables new patients to benefit from the experience of other patients who have been through the system in the clinic – This is a support mechanism and acts to build up the confidence of patients.

You can access all the information regarding Caswell Chat and UFG on our web sites. The addresses are and We hope that you enjoy accessing our articles and reading them as much as we have enjoyed writing them.

The Groups Activities Time Table

The "Groups Time Table" team has been going since 2005. The group aims to gain patients views and feedback on the various groups and activities that are available in "The Clinic". It meets up every other month to discuss and table group activities on a daily basis. The chair is rotated by patients. We review group activities that are successful and those that are not. Some of the groups that are happening include gardening group, swimming, cycling, gym, drum tuition, African drum music, visits to different places, arts and crafts, drama group, rambling, concrete workshop and many more activities besides these.

Community Meetings

This is where patients and staff get together to comment and make changes to the running of the ward. New ideas are discussed and action implemented. This happens on a monthly basis.

We hope that you find this information useful and can perhaps use some of these ideas yourself.

If you have any comments please let us know as we are always looking to improve our services.
Meeting peoples Spirituality needs at the clinic

A few years ago, we were not meeting the spiritual needs of some of our patients. It′s no good hiding this fact, if we did we would not be able to move on an address this matter. Because there ia a very fine line between psychiatry and religion, everyone from the top down who work at the Clinic were happy that this important subject was now open for debate. We now have a slot in the ongoing training about meeting people′s religious needs. All people who work with this client group need to understand their beliefs, because if they don′t then they cannot understand the person they care for. It is therefore a very good thing that the User Friendly Group is an active group here at the Clinic, because it can approach subjects that sometimes are better left alone. Spirituality and Psychiatry is now being looked into on a national all Wales level.

Service Users at the Caswell Clinic