'You’re Welcome’ Garden Party at Fairfield Hospital
Elizabeth Neill, Regional VIK Support Officer, Yorkshire and Humber
I’ve just on my way back from a ‘You’re Welcome’ Garden Party celebration event at CAMHs inpatient unit at Fairfield Hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester.
They really do have something to celebrate – as not only have young people staying at the CAMHS inpatient unit, run by Pennine Care Foundation Trust, helped steer the ‘You’re Welcome’ agenda to make services more accessible and appropriate for young people, but they have also helped secure funding for an amazing Woodland Retreat on the hospital site which is having all sorts of positive outcomes, according to staff and patients.
‘You’re Welcome’ is a Department of Health self-assessment framework which aims to help address issues around accessibility and making health services young people friendly. Many CAMHS services are on their journey towards being awarded the’ You’re Welcome’ mark, endorsed by their service users. It looks at many aspects of the service, and is designed to explore and improve the experience of children, young people and their families in their care pathways through CAMHS.
Shanice, 17, has been involved with the ‘You’re Welcome’ assessment of the Hope and Horizon wards at Fairfield hospital over the last 14 months - which has included contributing vital information now included in the welcome pack for new patients entering the service.
Shanice was also involved in the original bid to The Kings Fund by helping to write a letter outlining the need for an outside multi-use space, developing a ‘mood board’ presented to the charitable trust and eventually helping to name the Woodland Retreat. Today she described how it’s been important for her to use the space as somewhere to get away and spend some time outside the ward.
The Woodland Retreat has been up and running now for six months and continues to evolve as a multi-functional space tucked away in woodland in the hospital grounds, for use by those being treated at the short and long-stay in-patient adolescent wards and their families – for recreational activities, family visits, therapeutic sessions, and a place simply to chill out and get off the ward.
Kathrine, 17, described it as “somewhere to come for a break when the ward is quite hectic... and it’s pretty...”.
The retreat now has an allotment space, BBQ area, and a pond with fish and frogs. Staff regularly bring in their own pets to the retreat, and Milo was here today.
Sean Whatson, senior nursing assistant, described how positive it has been seeing the provision evolve from quite a ‘humble’ beginning into something ‘you wouldn’t have dreamt of’ which provides him with tools to engage young people and a resource which makes his job easier and more enjoyable.