Group Advocacy Update

In July we heard conflicting reports from different wards about the hospital food as well as patients’ feelings about safety on the wards. Some patients felt the food has been getting much worse, others felt it had improved quite a bit since their last visit. Similarly, some male ward patients felt less safe than on previous visits, whereas on a female ward, the ward was felt to be a very safe place.

There was more consensus about the ongoing problem across wards of patient property going missing, continued dissatisfaction with the smoking policy and praise for the improvements to ward garden areas. As the weather (sort of) improved, there were complaints about the lack of access to drinking water on the wards. Our volunteers had interesting discussions with fellow patients about the growing recognition of the learning that comes from having lived experience of mental health issues and how this measures up against professional, academic knowledge and the medical model.

August saw patients bringing up many of the long-standing patient complaints about the wards: a lack of activities and staff shortages as well as a wish to have more time for interactions with nursing staff. There was praise for the new nursing students’ enthusiasm and open-mindedness. There was a request for better quality art materials on the wards. The lack of religious services on Sundays was bemoaned, as was the fact that the spiritual care department is closed on weekends. There was high praise for the library service but several complaints about the lack of online access on ward PCs due to ongoing problems with the security settings for these computers. Rehab patients were looking forward to the opening of a new type of service at Firrhill that will see six patients move from hospital to a community setting in October.  Can you think of a name for this project?

As the new hospital takes shape at the Myreside end of the site, we continued to have many discussions about the impact this will have on patients both in the short term and longer ahead.

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