There is to be a new build IPCU (intensive psychiatric care unit) at Stratheden Hospital with government monies. I had this confirmed by a high heid yin in Fife, at a meeting the other week and in Emails since. And not before time in my opinion. Because the Mental Welfare Commission had been describing the present IPCU as "not fit for purpose" for some time. An old building and ward on different levels, dormitories and layout unsuitable for therapeutic care.
Meanwhile I have been informed that there has been lots of painting and decorating, fixing of showers and other handiwork going on, in both the IPCU and Lomond wards. Also good to hear as this will improve the environment inside the wards and should have a positive impact on clinical practice of the mental health nursing teams. Resulting in a more safe inpatient experience and recovery focused attitudes. Which is my hope and the outcome I'm working towards.
The clinical effectiveness team has been renamed Mental Health Quality Improvement, and I checked out the new laminated sign pointing to their offices above the hospital canteen last week. I am told this change of name will mean more of a focus on evaluation of practice and services. From the patient/user/carer/family perspective. Customer feedback as in other public services.
And this will correlate to what's written in the new mental health strategy, the first key theme being 'working more effectively with families and carers'. Although we shouldn't forget the user/survivor voice and its importance. The strategy has person-centred care in primary place, describing it as:
"Mutually beneficial partnerships between patients, their families and
those delivering healthcare services which respect individual needs and
values and which demonstrate compassion, continuity, clear communication
and shared decision-making."
I am pleased to see the efforts now being made by NHS Fife to work with me, as an equal, in the task of improving services at Stratheden Hospital. It's not been easy for either of us, as we sometimes thrashed out our relationship, so that each could be heard and understood. It's still a work in progress and that's how things are in a changing world, in my experience.