LiA enables Yewdale Staff to address the physical health needs of their mental health patients.

It is widely known that physical health conditions can impact on a person’s mental wellbeing.

Staff on Yewdale ward in west Cumbria (an cute mental health in-patient ward) felt that they could do a lot more in their in-patient setting to address the physical health needs of their patients. So they set up health and wellbeing clinics giving advice on a range of physical health issues as well as introducing regular health checks for all their patients.

The team leading the project were very clear that staff and patients were involved in each part of the process.

  • When the programme started the team held staff and patient listening events to make sure that their ideas were achievable and worked with the patient’s care packages .
  • Half way through the programme the team held an event to take stock of the programmes achievements, gather feedback from patients and staff and implement more improvements to the plan.
  • At the end of the programme the team held a ‘pass it on event’ which celebrated the success of the new way of working within the team as well as looking at how the team could continue to use the approach to make further improvements to their ways of working.

Janet Lancaster, advanced nurse practitioner explained:

“We had been doing vital observations (i.e. pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate) on admission to the ward  as well as checking peoples weight but this wasn’t  done again unless there was something wrong. Now because we monitor our patient’s weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and the like, we can see if there are changes that we need to address before they become an issue. What we have noticed from doing the process is that there’s far more than just doing the clinics and it has involved all of the staff on the ward and the whole philosophy of the ward has embraced the idea that physical health is just as important as mental health.”

Leanne Huntley, Ward manager explained what a difference the project had on staff:

“The LiA has provided us with the support, tools and the framework to enable us to get staff on board with the changes we wanted to make. The processes empowered them to feel that they can make these changes and were part of the process. The staff felt valued and understood that their opinion really mattered. The process has also meant we have a better working relationship with other professionals in the Trust.”

Click here to see the film produced to explain the new way of working for the team. 

The team and some patients involved in the project