There have been treatment groups running at Caswell clinic since 2004 facilitated by a friendly bunch from nursing, psychology and occupational therapy. The content of the group sessions is set out in numerous manuals focusing upon a variety of subjects that include symptom management, substance misuse and social problem solving to name a few.
To make sure that there are enough staff to help with the groups I work closely with the nursing and OT teams and the psychology department. As you may be aware from the latest crisis with cleaning and the like the work force is currently stretched to its limit. This has made organisation of staff time especially important as it has become so precious.
You might often see me wandering around the wards and corridors of the clinic carrying various pieces of paper files or bacon sandwich in hand. There are two good reasons for this (although other members of staff might be able to think of more). I have to meet with staff and ward managers to find out when I can run a group who is available to attend and what other activities people are already involved in as not to clash. I am in contact with Sian and her team of OT's so that every effort is made not to run a group at the same time as football, pottery, drama, etc. There are also occasions when I need to ask those about to attend the groups to complete a questionnaire before and after the group. The reason for this is to assess whether the groups have worked rather than whether people have been successful or not.
As a group facilitator I try and provide a relaxed atmosphere so that those who come to the group can learn without being anxious. It is important that people know why they are coming to the group and what to expect so one of the facilitators or team members will visit to pass on the information. I also take the group to people who cant make the sessions this makes sure that no one misses out. The other reason you will see me scurrying from ward to ward is to check out the great variety of biscuits, crisps and other goodies that the staff keep in the office!
Nick (Coordinator of group work)