For the special 10th year Anniversary Issue we asked some members of staff who have seen the changes at Caswell Clinic to share some of their stories with us. Here is ....Mike's response:
How did you get the opportunity to commission Cardigan Ward?
"I asked the Head of Nursing. I had spent two and a half years travelling around England and Wales, undertaking patient assessments with a view to repatriating them to the 4th ward in the new building (Cardigan). I had completed my Masters degree and had some clear views about recovery philosophy and how it could be put into practice. I wrote a few papers outlining plans for commissioning and no-one had a better idea!"
What was the most difficult aspect of Managing the new ward?
"There were massive expectations built up in the staff and patient groups about all that was going to be achieved and the first 6 months were hard as it was impossible to live up to those expectations as quickly as we wanted. However, we made important contributions / innovations to the Clinic:
Multi Disciplinary Team commissioning
Therapeutic Group Work
Activity Coordinators working across wards
Ward information booklet
Use of rooms as therapeutic spaces e.g., Snoozelem / Gym
Open door working
Recognition events for patients and staff
Ward based computer access for patients
There were huge challenges also. We had two serious incidents of assault on the ward which we tried to deal with in an inclusive way with both patients and staff."
What are your fondest memories of managing Cardigan ward?
"The community meetings. They were, when good, incredibly creative and affirming of interdependence. Apologising to the group when I made a foolish decision, which was affirming and empowering for all, including me. And, receiving a handmade card, caricature and poem from the guys on the ward when I left."