HOSPITAL ward workers are celebrating after winning an award for its work in introducing ideas for mental health staff and patients.

Employees at Westleigh Unit at Atherleigh Park hospital in Leigh have been handed the Full Monty Award by the Star Wards project.

Star Wards is a project launched by social justice charity Bright to bring ideas and inspiring examples together from and for mental health ward staff.

The award was presented to the ward for their outstanding effort and commitment to implementing positive ideas from the Star Wards.

The ward has introduced all 75 of the project’s ideas.

The ideas have made a positive difference to staff and patients, with many commenting about how simple, effective and empowering it has been.

Some of these ideas have include:

  • making sure there are computers connected to the internet on the ward

• holding regular comedy evenings

• holding walking groups

• making sure there is a range of literature, self-help guides and DVDs available

• making sure each patient has a personalised recovery workbook

• making sure there is a programme of therapy groups available each day.

Nic Higham, Inpatient Care Project Manager from Star Wards, and Chantal Mendes, charity Trustee, came to the unit on Wednesday 15 May to meet the staff and present them with their award.

Deputy ward manager on Westleigh Unit Amanda Chadwick said: “I’m really proud that we’ve achieved this award.

"It’s been a real team effort - as well as the staff who work on the unit, we’ve had support from the hospital’s therapy hub activity coordinators and psychologists.

“Patients have fed back that they feel empowered and that by taking on tasks during daily patient meetings, it gives them focus for their day, which they find rewarding.

"They have also enjoyed taking the lead on identifying activities for the day and working more collaboratively with the nursing teams.”

The 75 Star Wards projects are ordered under seven areas.

Nic Higham from the Star Wards project said: “The team at Westleigh Unit have, through their Star Wards project, demonstrated a clear passion for enhancing the daily experiences and treatment outcomes of the people they care for.

"The sense of togetherness was palpable during our Full Monty award visit, and I was impressed by the various innovations the team have introduced to create a therapeutic community shared by service users, staff and volunteers. "I was particularly impressed by their healthcare assistant cadet initiative and thought it was brilliant that a daily community meeting now operates.

"I was also delighted that the team have started the Ward Stars scheme too for staff development and appreciation.”