Friday, 1 May 2015

management and leadership at Stratheden - the challenges - involving the Experts by Experience

The Bridge Collective CLC Exeter
Since having to raise another complaint against nursing staff at Stratheden it has again focused my attention on the management and leadership in the hospital.  Linked to culture, resources, training, skills, insight, accountability, responsibility and the meaningful involvement of Experts by Experience (EbE).  Or lack of.

I'm a good manager and natural leader.  These skills were useful in the work I used to do, for most of my life, in community development: grassroots, in various settings, on the ground, with people, alongside, empowerment and lifelong learning.  For all of us.  Mutual.  Shared.  Level playing fields.  Making straight paths. 

It's why I get very fed up with the game play at Stratheden.  The hierarchical management structure shoring up the barriers between patients, carers and nursing staff.  Middle managers stuck in a rut.  Disempowered.  Ineffectual.  Impotent.  And we all have to suffer for it.  Particularly the customers of the service.

Strong words.  But if the managers aren't up to the job or getting the results then they need to move on, move out, do something else, let someone else get the job done right.  Or alternatively bring in the EbE to advise, to teach, to work alongside and mentor them.  As equals.  Give us our place.

Especially the psychiatric survivors.  Those of us who have survived, recovered from, psychiatric treatment and mental illness.  Who have overcome the stigma, tapered the drugs, resisted the labels and got back on with our lives.  By all means involve the "service users" and carers but I challenge you to start meaningfully involving folk like me.

Go on.  I dare you.  

It has to be easier in the long run to work with me than to have me speaking out critically about your service and, in effect, managing you from a distance?


"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
[from Wikipedia]

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