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Cygnet Hospital Beckton launches Working Together Group

On Thursday 31st October the team at Cygnet Hospital Beckton held their first Working Together Group, a brand new forum for service users and carers.

The team at Cygnet Hospital Beckton have long recognised the shift in care provision towards more inclusive patterns of care. Their commitment to improve the quality of care and services in a secure mental health setting has seen a number of initiatives in the last five years.

Initially, their work with family and friends was the traditional approach of ‘doing to’ with clear parameters to inform and educate family and friends about service delivery. This included newsletters, recommended booklist and structured forums.

With greater participation and consultation with family and friends the team moved on to ‘doing for’ to identify needs and address needs. This included jargon buster leaflets and co-facilitation of events.

Now the team are focused on ‘doing with’, working together with family and friends to achieve services people want, need and deserve. This has included contributing to workshops, working with national groups to develop the carer toolkit and co-presenting on our initiatives at professional forums.

“A very useful forum and good to talk with other carers.”Carer

The first Working Together Group included staff, service users, carers and the hospital’s Expert by Experience, Glenice Lake. A key concern amongst the group was the gap from rhetoric to reality of robust community services. The consensus was shared regarding the challenges of accessing quality care in a timely manner. The group also discussed how Cygnet Health Care can provide support and identified the priorities for future meetings.

“I enjoyed sharing my personal experience and hope for better connectivity with my home team.”Service User, Cygnet Hospital Beckton

The agenda also included some activities to provide ‘quick wins’ to support service design and delivery with a vote on fountain design for the front of the hospital and a game to build understanding.

The next meeting is planned for Thursday 16th January 2020.

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