Meet the team: #DPTThePowerofPeers
Deputy Chief Pharmacist, Medicines Safety and Governance
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
- England - South West
National Clinical Director Mental health Safety Improvement Programme (NHSI)/ Patient Safety Lead in MH SWAHSN/ Clinical Lead South of England Improving Safety in MH Collaborative/ Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Devon Partnership NHS Trust/ SW AHSN/NHSI
- England - South West
- Sophie Bate
- Joanna Duke
- Kirsty Lane
- Alice Vanstone
- Fleur Lee
- Service User 1
- Service User 2
Langdon Hospital is a Secure Mental Health Hospital providing 111 male inpatient beds. Supporting men from the South West area of England who, as a consequence of their mental health needs, have had contact with the legal system and require a safe and secure environment that enables them to receive a wide range of treatments, therapies and care to assist in their recovery. People staying with us may have medium secure, low secure or open accommodation. The video below created by service users, demonstrates the journey through Langdon Hospital .
Transitions between wards and into the community can be extremely challenging and distressing for some people. This was summarised recently by one of our service users when describing why he thought this proposal was important:
“the hospital is like your family, you’re in here for so long and then all of a sudden you are discharged and it just gives you the feeling that the support will be carried on through into the community, its just not nice being around a group of people that you have known for so long and then you don’t see them again- without this, it’s going to be like taking a step back rather than forward.”
We are aiming to co-produce a peer network both at Langdon Hospital and in the local community. For those individuals currently at Langdon Hospital this will provide a pathway into the community and most importantly instill hope. Service users have identified the crucial need of having a peer support group; “likeminded individuals that can provide a different kind of support, your peers are key. They give you a different kind of hope”
This will be a weekly session were individuals with lived experience may offer social, emotional or practical help and support to each other. There is a key focus on strengths with a consensus of everyone working towards their own wellbeing and recovery. Peer support groups have evidenced improvements in mental health symptoms – reducing the risk of readmission, larger social support networks , enhanced self-esteem and social functioning.
The Forensic male client group are exceptionally vulnerable and in order to prevent high levels of psychiatric morbidity and further re-offending; structured pathways from hospital to community are required to enable seamless transitions whilst supporting service users sustained recovery (Davies et al, 2007). To significantly aid this it has been recognised a peer support group is vital. A peer support group will bridge the gap from hospital to community. Service Users are susceptible to institutionalisation, with the familiarity of ward routines, security and staffing; the long awaited discharge can be somewhat daunting and can exacerbate relapse.
We asked current service users that are close to discharge at Langdon Hospital ‘why would you like a peer support group in the community?’
“….familiar faces, support network, able to keep in contact with friends you have met in hospital. When I’m discharged I feel I won’ t have anyone to turn to that know me, I would also be worried for my mum and the lack of support network for my family – as once I am discharged the support will be gone. If there was somewhere in the community the support network would carry on, it would be helpful, a familiar face. When you leave hospital it feels like they just dump you, a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) is not enough ….I will have to start all over again and will be easier for my mum to talk to someone she knows and that knows me”
“…To catch up with people that have been in similar positions as me, it will be somewhere to meet; a safe place. People would want some help with information on banks, benefits, information leaflets, it would provide reassurance and assure information is confidential. If I was struggling it would be a good place to come, talk about my problems with people I already know and trust. It would really help with being discharged and would definitely prevent relapse, because if the staff have worked with me previously they understand how I deal with my problems and will know how to help me.”
“It would be great, more positive and strong, somewhere to meet up and have a chinwag, with people I already know”
Aims and Objectives:
To provide a co-produced and co-designed peer support recovery service provision, to bridge the gap from inpatient to community.
To provide a cost-effective solution to support individuals that have come into contact with secure mental health services reach their full potential in leading fulfilling and meaningful life out in the community.
To improve independence/functional ability and quality of life during and following inpatient admission.
To provide a safe environment that offers respect and opportunities for its members; a key focus being recovery, alongside social inclusion, meaningful participation and interpersonal skill development.
To promote the principles of recovery in every aspect of the peer support group.
To provide social support for high-risk hospital users with organised and informal recreational and social activities where individuals and staff can assist each other in solving daily living problems.
To support individuals with developing resources and self-help management strategies they can use in their recovery.
The group will be organised as a support system, not as a service or treatment program- with the key ethos being inclusion and peer support.
Through a co-produced approach members participate in consensus-based decision making regarding the group. Individuals are members not ‘patients’ or ‘clients’.
A recommendation can be made by the service users multidisciplinary team and can be identified as part of their care pathway, however individuals have the choice to participate in the peer support group.
To ensure the peer support recovery group is utilised as a timely opportunity during service users stay at Langdon Hospital.
To reduce length of stay through a focus on preventing relapse, supporting discharge, and reducing risk of readmissionand reoffending.
Benefits for the Q community:
This proposal is easily translated to other sectors of the health community with measurable outcomes, evidenced base approach and cost benefits. We will provide regular updates to the Q community through a group blog. We will provide updates for Q events. Q members will be welcome to attend and observe the group. Service users who are part of the project will be encouraged to become Q members. This project will link with other projects taking place across the region and nationally which we will link with through the South of England mental health collaborative, the Quality Network for forensic mental health and New Care Models for Secure Services in the South West and ImROC (Implementing Recovery Through Organisational Change).
How you can contribute
- We will benefit from ideas and guidance from other Q members who have similar projects and ideas from the wider community.
- Other Q members to share experiences of peer support networks that we can learn from.
- Supporting our idea