Welcome Guide – North Inpatient Services, St George’s Park

This pack provides you with information that you will find useful during your stay at St George's Park, it tells you about the staff, the ward, the treatments and therapies available to you.

  • Welcome

    This Welcome Pack provides information about your ward, the staff, and the treatments and therapies that will be available to you. It contains a lot of information, so it may be helpful to read a bit at a time.

    Your named nurse will discuss the Welcome Pack with you when you are first admitted and answer any questions about its contents throughout your stay.

    The Trust greatly values the very important work of family and friends caring for people who use our services. We believe that carers should be involved in decisions made about the person they care for and we will give carers the opportunity to be involved in decisions about your care and treatment.

  • What does admission to hospital involve?

    Coming into hospital can be a distressing experience for you and your loved ones. Whether this is the first time that you have been admitted, or if you have been here before, we recognise that this is a difficult time. We will support you as much as possible during your stay.

    Why have I come to hospital?
    You have been admitted to the ward so that your mental health needs can be fully assessed. The ward provides a place of safety where specialist team members can offer the care that best meets your needs.

    The aim of admission is to aid your recovery, helping you to return to your everyday life by finding the treatment that is right for you. Wherever possible, staff will try to involve you in decisions about your care.

    What will happen when I arrive?
    On arrival you will be welcomed by a member of the team who will show you around the ward.

    • Bedroom – you will be shown your room. We will try and keep your bedroom the same one throughout your stay, however there may be circumstances when we have to ask you to move rooms but only if there is a clinical need on the ward.
    • Personal belongings – a member of staff will also show you where you can leave your belongings.
    • Toilet, bathroom, TV and telephone – we will show you where these are.
    • Lounge/sitting room – you will be shown the sitting room and when you feel well enough you will be introduced to other people on the ward.
    • There is access to computers for you to use during your admission. A member of ward staff will support you to have a password and access to the room.
    • Cigarettes, tobacco, lighters and lighter fuel should be given to staff on your admission.
    • You will also be given a copy of this Welcome Pack and advised of who your named nurse will be.

  • What will I need during my stay?

    Bed linen and towels are supplied and will be replaced regularly during your stay.

    The ward can also supply some emergency toiletries for people admitted without personal belongings and in the longer term you will need your own clothes and toiletries.

    Where can I store my things?
    You may have access to a small locker where you can keep your clothes and personal belongings. The Patients Finance Office will store any money or valuables for safekeeping and provide you with a receipt for your items.

    What should I bring with me?
    You may bring the following items to make your stay more comfortable:

    • Nightwear, dressing gown and slippers
    • Change of clothing
    • Toiletries
    • Watch
    • Telephone numbers, address book, writing materials
    • Sweets, snacks
    • Books, magazines, reading glasses

    Is there anything that I cannot bring onto the ward?
    The following items must not be brought into hospital:

    • Large amounts of cash, cheque books, credit cards
    • Valuable jewellery
    • Sharp objects
    • Razor blades should be handed to staff
    • Alcohol and any non-prescribed or illicit drugs. (If illegal drugs are found the Police will be contacted)
    • Weapons of any kind
    • Offensive literature
    • Lighters, matches and smoking materials

    This is not a full list and staff will inform you of any other items that are not allowed on your ward.

  • How will my needs be assessed?

    Soon after arriving on the ward a series of assessments will take place which look in detail at your needs. Your carer, family and friends, with your permission, can also be involved in discussions. The assessments will be recorded in your care plan.

    These include:

    An assessment of your state of mental health – this involves staff talking with you and monitoring your activity. In some cases a member of staff may need to be with you at all times.

    An assessment of your social situation and needs – this looks at your housing, employment, leisure and family welfare issues.

    A risk assessment – this helps maintain your safety.

    A physical healthcare assessment – this involves being examined by a doctor and various tests such as blood pressure, blood tests and urine sample testing. Some medications require these tests to be repeated regularly.

    Within 72 hours the team will carry out a detailed assessment of your needs. A care plan will be completed which sets out the care and treatment you require during your stay. You are entitled to be involved in decisions about your care plan and will receive a copy to keep in this folder. If you agree we will also share this information with your carer.

  • Planned one to one contact sessions

    You can expect to have at least two one to one sessions per week with your named nurse. Other members of the nursing team are also available and able to support your needs in the absence of your named nurse.

    What are contact sessions?
    Contact sessions are an opportunity to develop a therapeutic relationship between yourself and nursing staff. They will focus on your individual needs and your journey towards recovery. This may be based on your purpose for admission and care plan goals, which enables staff to support and work with you to understand your recovery and plan your progress towards being clinical ready for discharge.

    What can I talk about at the contact sessions?
    You can discuss any issues that you feel are important to you. These may include:

    • Changes in your mental health, your mood, thoughts, feelings and symptoms etc
    • Your observation levels or Mental Health Act status
    • Your current medication, side effects you may be experiencing
    • Any physical health or drug and alcohol issues
    • Your sleep pattern, appetite
    • Leave arrangements, any requests you may have
    • Your coping strategies
    • Social circumstances, i.e. accommodation, finances etc
  • What choices do I have?

    Throughout your stay there will be opportunities for you to be involved in discussions about your care. Your wishes will be carefully listened to and treatment decisions should have your agreement.

    If you have come into hospital on a voluntary basis then you are free to leave the ward as and when you choose. It would be beneficial to speak to a member of staff before deciding to leave the ward to make sure that your safety and welfare are not compromised. The Trust produces a booklet about your rights as an informal/voluntary patient, copies are available from staff or the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288.

    However, there may be times when this is not possible. If you are ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act staff may have the power to prevent you from leaving the ward or to insist that you take medication. Such decisions will only be made in your best interest, when staff believe you are at serious risk.

  • Sharing information with carers

    We recognise that sharing information between carers and staff is vital to your care and treatment.

    Providing your carer with information about care plans and medication, and advising them on managing a crisis, can help them to deal with difficult situations.

  • Advance decisions

    Advance decisions are about making choices about your healthcare while you are well. In mental health, this means that your wishes can be taken into account if you ever become mentally incapable of making informed choices during a crisis.

    An advance decision can be spoken or written down and should be reviewed regularly. Only an advance decision to refuse treatment is legally binding; you cannot demand certain treatments but can state your preferred options.

    The Trust produces an Advance Decisions and Statements booklet. Copies are available from staff or the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288.

    If you are detained under the Mental Health Act, there may be circumstances where you are given treatment that you have previously stated you do not want. This decision will only be taken if your refusal would have a severe impact on your treatment.

  • Changing your consultant or getting a second opinion

    The Trust produces a booklet about how patients can request a change of consultant or second opinion. This leaflet is available from staff or the Patient Information Centre 0191 246 7288.

  • What does the Mental Health Act 1983 mean for me?

    Mental Health Act 1983
    You may be kept in hospital even if you want to go home, this is sometimes called ‘sectioned’ or ‘detained’. You will always be given an explanation and written information should this happen so you understand what your rights are. Sometimes this could mean we give you medication for mental disorder without your consent. However, we will always include you in decision making about your care and treatment.

    Factsheets on each section of the Mental Health Act are available on the wards – please ask a member of staff for a copy relevant to your circumstances. Copies are also available from the Mental Health Act Office and the Trust website

    Mental Capacity Act 2005
    Sometimes people are so unwell that they are unable to make some decisions for themselves; this is called ‘lacking capacity’. We will always assume you have the mental capacity to make decisions unless an assessment has been carried out to establish that you have not got capacity. Where people ‘lack capacity’ we will always act in their best interests.

    Informal/voluntary patients
    An informal/voluntary patient is someone who has agreed to come into hospital. This means they have the right to leave the ward at any time although we do ask that patients stay on the ward for the first few days so that patients and staff can get to know each other. Please be aware that staff have a duty of care towards patients, and the staff are expected to know where they are at all times. Staff are also required to assess patients before they leave the ward. If staff have concerns about the patient leaving the ward, they must arrange a further assessment. The outcome of this assessment will be discussed with the patient (and carer where appropriate) and may result in patients not being allowed to leave the ward. The Trust produces a booklet about your rights as an informal/voluntary patient, copies are available from staff or the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288.

    Locked doors
    Please be aware that it is normal for most of the exit doors in our inpatient areas to be locked. This is for patient’s security and safety. Patients should always know how and if they can leave the ward and peoples individual circumstances can differ greatly. If patients are unsure about how and if they can leave the ward they should always ask staff to give them information about this.

  • Can you tell me about the Trust?

    The Trust works from more than 70 sites across Cumbria, Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. We also run a number of regional and national specialist services. Along with partners, we deliver support to people in their own homes, and from community and hospital-based premises.

    We have more than 7,000 people working for us and a budget of over £380 million. The services we provide are divided into four sections, which are organised geographically into “locality care groups”. These are known as North, Central, South and Cumbria.

    Can you tell me about my ward?
    Staff will provide you with a patient information leaflet about your specific ward.

  • Practical things to think about …

    There are likely to be many practical things to consider while you are in hospital. Your named nurse and other ward staff can help you.

    For example, you may need to:

    • Make arrangements for the care of your children or others
    • Get somebody to take care of your pets
    • Get a change of clothing
    • Pay urgent or outstanding bills
    • Cancel/rearrange appointments
    • Contact employers
    • Disconnect gas and electricity
    • Notify the benefits office
  • What happens to my benefits while I am in hospital?

    Staff on the ward can help you with any financial concerns while you are in hospital. For example, they can complete an inpatient medical certificate to verify your inability to work, or write letters on your behalf to resolve financial issues. Staff will also help you to understand your benefit entitlements.

    A few frequently asked questions are answered below:

    Will being in hospital affect my benefits?
    This depends upon what type of benefits you were receiving before your admission. If you were claiming Income Support prior to your admission you are entitled to the same benefits for one year. Other benefits can be affected by a hospital admission so it is important that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is informed. If you were transferred from prison, staff will assist you to claim for any new benefits that you might be entitled to.

    Where can I get help to sort out my benefits?
    Staff will refer you to Patients Finance if you need any advice or support on benefits. You can also get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. Please go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk and enter your postcode to find your local bureau.

    What happens when I leave hospital?
    This depends on your individual circumstances. In most cases if your money was reduced while you were in hospital it should revert to the full amount when you are discharged. The DWP need to be informed of your discharge to make these calculations.

    If you are granted overnight or hostel leave you are eligible to full entitlement for those dates.

  • What is life like on the ward?

    The following information will tell you a little about life on the ward.

    Meetings take place on a regular basis. In these meetings you will be able to discuss your needs and progress with your Consultant and other team members. You can invite your family and friends to attend if you wish.

    Community meetings
    Take place on a regular basis. They give you an opportunity to meet with staff and other patients to discuss and resolve issues on the ward.

    Your meals will be provided on the ward. You will be offered a menu and you choose your meals in advance. Drinks are available 24 hours a day. On some wards you will be encouraged to prepare your own meals. If you have special dietary needs or cultural needs please discuss these with your named nurse.

    Protected meal times
    Arrangements are in place so you can enjoy your meal without any interruptions.

    Toilets and bathrooms
    The ward has toilets, showers and baths for you to use as you need.

    All wards have access to a garden, which you will be able to use throughout the day.

    Chill out room
    Most wards have a chill out room which is a place for relaxation. It offers comfortable seating, soft lighting, music and other soothing experiences. Finding out what is most soothing for you can be helpful whilst you are in hospital and also when you are at home. You can use the chill out room for relaxation and enjoyment. It is also a good option to try if you are feeling worried, restless, anxious, angry or agitated as the experience can help you feel calm, think more clearly and focus on what you need to do.

    You can speak to any member of staff about using the chill out room and they will show you what is available and work with you on an individual room plan.

    Your family, friends and carers are welcome to visit you. There is a room on each ward where you can spend time with your visitors. Visiting times vary on each ward, please speak to a member of staff. There is overnight accommodation available on the St Nicholas Hospital site for up to 3 visitors. Please ask ward staff for more details.

    There is a payphone on each ward that can be used for personal calls. You can also use your own mobile phone. Your family, friends and carers can also use these numbers to make calls to you.

  • Staff you may meet on the ward

    A multi-disciplinary team approach is taken to your care on the ward. This means that there are many different people available to help you. Staff include:

    Named Nurse – is responsible for co-ordinating your nursing care while you are on the ward. They will be introduced soon after your admission and will be your key point of contact during your stay. All named nurses are staff nurses.
    Nurse in charge – this is the nurse who is in charge of a shift and is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the ward.
    Staff Nurse – a qualified nurse who is a Registered Mental Health Nurse.
    Support Worker- Nursing Assistant, Health Care Assistant – supports the nursing staff in caring for you.
    Ward Manager – the ward manager is a nurse, is responsible for your care and provides both managerial and clinical leadership to all staff on the ward.
    Specialist Nurse – provides professional leadership, advice and role modelling to the clinical nurse team. They provide education training to staff. Reviewing standards of practice and care delivered to patients.
    Nurse Consultants – provide clinical leadership to ensure that our care and treatment is safe, effective, holistic and patient led and where appropriate undertake the role as responsible clinician for patients within our service.

    Consultant Psychiatrists – are the most senior doctors in the hospital, with overall responsibility for your care. They lead on important decisions about your treatment and discharge. You will be introduced to your Consultant within 72 hours of admission and continue to meet regularly.
    Higher trainees – are experienced psychiatrists who are working towards becoming consultants.
    Pharmacy staff – the pharmacy team ensures that you receive your medication in a safe and effective manner whilst you are on the ward. The team can offer advice on medicines and any side effects. If you would like to speak to a member of the pharmacy team whilst on the ward, ask one of the nursing staff who will let the team know.
    Psychologists – are trained to help people deal with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
    Ward doctors – are training to become psychiatrists or GPs. They will be available to you on a regular basis with regard to your physical and mental health and your care plan.

    Activities Therapists – support nurses and occupational therapists in the delivery of
    therapeutic care and activities. A programme of activities will be displayed on the ward.
    Activity Facilitators – plan and implement activities which will try to stimulate new interests and skills, and meet your needs. Activities can be anything from individual hobbies through to organised group events on the wards.
    Arts Therapists – will provide arts-based therapies during your stay.
    Psychological Therapists – work with service users who may benefit from some psychological therapies. They help service users to develop an understand their current difficulties and use NICE recommended therapeutic interventions to find ways to help reduce distress and move forwards.
    Clinical Psychologists – are also based on the ward and will provide structured talking therapies.
    Dietitians – are experts in food and nutrition. They provide dietary advice on a wide variety of conditions using the most up to date information. They help promote healthy eating habits and well balanced diets based on individual needs.
    Exercise Therapists – will work with you to improve your health and lifestyle by offering advice on diet, lifestyle and exercise and devising exercise programs specific to your needs. They will provide a range of exercise groups suitable for all ages and abilities.
    Occupational Therapists (OTs) – will provide therapeutic groups and activities throughout your stay.
    Physiotherapists – work with you to help restore movement. They provide any necessary physiotherapy assessment and treatment.
    Speech and Language Therapists – assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them better communicate. They also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems.

    Other staff
    Service Assistant – will ensure that there is a high level of cleanliness maintained on the ward.
    Students – the Trust supports the teaching of students from various professions. From time to time you may be asked whether a student can be present or deliver part of your care. Your verbal consent will be sought and you have the right to refuse. All students are supervised by a qualified member of staff.
    Ward Clerk – provides administration support and assists in the smooth running of the ward.

  • Words and phrases

    You might hear the following words and phrases when you are in hospital.

    Care Co-ordination – this is a way of helping and supporting people with mental health
    problems. It starts as soon as you come into contact with mental health services. It is the
    system that ensures that you receive help and support from the health service, social or
    voluntary sector.

    Care Plan – this is a way of recording the help and support you need and explains how this will be done.

    Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (MDT) or Ward Reviews – this is when all of the professionals involved in your care meet to discuss your progress with you, and your carers if appropriate. This meeting takes place on the ward.

    Observation – this is an important tool nurses use which helps us to get to know you and to help us maintain your safety whilst you are in hospital. You will always be fully informed if you are being observed and given the reasons why.

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) – This service provides help, advice and guidance to users of the NHS and their families.
    North of Tyne0800 032 02 02, Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm

    Person Centred Care – Staff are committed to person centred care which ensures that you are the focus of all activity concerning you and you are fully involved in all aspects of your care.

    RiO – This is the system that the Trust uses to securely store electronic patient records. For further information see the section ‘Information the Trust keeps about you’.

  • What treatment will be available?

    Your care in hospital will comprise of a number of different treatments. The main treatments on offer are outlined here.

    Exercise Therapy
    Provides exercise as a therapeutic activity to improve your mental and/or physical health which will contribute to your overall recovery. You will receive an assessment with the exercise therapist and based on your goals and health needs an individual exercise plan will be developed for you. You will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of exercise groups including gym, walking, circuit training, badminton, a range of exercise groups, healthy eating and weight management. You will receive regular progress reviews to support your progress and help you achieve your goals.

    The team have received positive results in both improving physical health and mental wellbeing. A recent service user experience questionnaire was extremely positive. 92% of service users felt staff prioritise physical health as well as mental health, 89% stated their exercise programme had improved their general health and wellbeing, 73% stated positive changes to their mental health, 99% felt supported to achieve exercise goals.

    Service users stated multiple benefits for example:

    – Structure in their daily routine

    – Improved health and fitness

    – Improved mental well-being confidence and self-esteem

    – Improved social interactions

    Comments from service users included:

    “Getting involved in gym and classes relieves my stress”

    “I feel more confident and feel fit”

    “More active, more focused, have some control back in my life”

    “I feel alert and more awake, little bit more energy”

    “Encouragement from staff helped, I also set myself achievable goals when attending the gym”

    “Exercise is good to keep your mind clear and keeps you fit”

    Your doctor may prescribe medication to help treat your illness. A ward doctor can usually answer any questions you have about your medication or how it works.

    On all wards a pharmacist will be available to assist with concerns or queries.

    There are also many leaflets available with detailed information about individual medications. Staff on the ward will be able to supply these, you can keep them at the back of this Welcome Pack.

    Pharmacy Medicines Information Helpline
    The Trust has a helpline for confidential advice about medication. You and your
    carer can call the helpline between 9am and 4pm. The helpline number is 0191 245 6604.

    Clinical Psychologists help improve a person’s sense of wellbeing and mental health. They help people to think about possibilities for change and alternative ways of coping. Clinical Psychologists do not prescribe medication.

    Occupational Therapy
    The main aim of occupational therapy is to assist your recovery by encouraging you to
    take part in activities that have meaning and value for you.

    During your stay in hospital, Occupational Therapists (OTs) will look at your strengths
    and needs. An individual treatment programme will be developed and reviewed with you, which may be a mixture of one-to-one sessions and group activities. These take place in the hospital setting, Occupational Therapy department or community venues.

    The following list gives examples of some of the activities that are available:

    • Daily living skills to develop or improve your skills in areas like cooking, shopping, budgeting and other day-to-day activities.
    • Health promotion with advice on healthy eating, exercise and stress management.
    • Work, training and education to help you develop the skills and confidence to take part in paid or unpaid work, courses and training.
    • Leisure activities such as pursuing a hobby or sport.
    • Relating to yourself and others to improve your confidence and self esteem and help you to develop coping strategies.

    Availability of these activities does vary slightly from area to area; the current programme for your ward will be displayed on the wall.

    Arts Therapies
    The arts therapies are made up of art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy and dance movement therapy. They offer a creative way of communicating to those who, for whatever reason, find that words alone are not enough.

    The aim of the arts therapies is to enable service users to experience him/herself differently and develop new ways of relating to others. They can give meaning to a person’s experience, creating an opportunity for change and recovery.

  • What about my religious, spiritual and cultural needs?

    If you have religious or cultural needs the staff will help to support you. This could include needing a different diet or dressing differently. You can talk to a chaplain if you would like to. We have a team of chaplains from different faith communities who are available to visit you throughout the week, including weekends.

    There is a Christian service in the Chapel on Saturday mornings at 10am. The Chapel may also be used at any time for personal prayers. A prayer-mat is provided for Muslims. Please ask staff or call at the chapel for a most up-to-date leaflet concerning Spiritual Care at St George’s Park.

  • Interpreters

    Staff can arrange an interpreter if you need one.

  • Can I smoke?

    Our Trust is Smokefree
    All of our Trust sites are now completely smokefree which means that you and your visitors are not allowed to smoke anywhere on our sites. This is part of our approach to support service users and staff to achieve a healthy lifestyle and reduce the harmful effects of smoking.

    Smoking materials are prohibited items
    Smoking materials are prohibited items on Trust sites. If you come into hospital with tobacco products, cigarettes, lighters or matches, they will need to be given to staff. Cigarettes and tobacco products will be returned to you on discharge from the ward on request. Alternatively they can be given to a family member or carer to take home with them. Tobacco products, cigarettes, lighters or matches will not be given back to you for any periods of leave from the ward.

    Visitors are asked not to bring any cigarettes or tobacco products (including lighters) on to the ward.

    Smoking on Trust sites
    Smoking anywhere on Trust sites is not permitted and is a breach of the law (the Smoke Free Regulations) to smoke inside any building which may result in a fine of up to £200.

    Helping us to maintain this policy protects other service users, staff and the care environment.

    Support to stay smokefree during your admission
    We are able to offer you nicotine replacement products such as patches, inhalators and lozenges on admission to keep you comfortable and craving-free. Please talk to your named nurse/key worker to access these. We also have trained advisors on the wards who can help you to stay smokefree and manage cravings.

    This will also be discussed with your doctor as the dose of your medication may need to change.

    Provided you are 18 years old or over:
    ‘Vaping’ (use of an electronic cigarette/e-cig) is permitted by service users on Trust sites in outdoor areas, including ward gardens/courtyards (if available).

    An e-cigarette can be supplied on admission if you wish to use one as an alternative to cigarettes. Some of the cafes and shops on Trust sites sell replacement cartridges.

    You may use your own e-cigarette, staff will need to do a brief check of your device and charger to make sure they are safe.

    Some services may have restrictions on e-cigarettes for safety reasons.

  • Information the Trust keeps about you

    Why does the Trust keep information about me?
    The Trust needs to keep information about you, your health and treatment so that we can provide the best possible care for you.

    Is the information kept confidential?
    Everyone who works in the Trust and within the wider NHS must keep information about you confidential. We do share information within the team that is caring for you, and sometimes with other professionals in other organisations that are providing care for you, like Social Services.

    If we do share information with other organisations, we would normally talk to you about it first and ask for your permission. On very rare occasions we may also share information with other organisations because we feel that there would be a serious risk to you or to other people if we did not do so, or because there is a legal obligation, such as a court order, that means we have to disclose information.

    What sort of information do you keep?
    We keep information both on paper and on computer. The kinds of details that we keep include:

    • Basic information about you, such as your name, date of birth, address, next of kin
    • Records of your contacts with professionals, such as clinic visits
    • Notes and reports on your health and any treatment or care that you need
    • Records of any tests or assessments that we carry out
    • Records of the treatment and care that we provide for you
    • Relevant information from other health professionals, members of your family or friends
      who care for you and know you well

    Can I see what information you have about me?
    You have the right, under the Data Protection Act 1998, to find out what information we hold about you, whether that is on computer or on paper records. If you want to do this, you should write to:

    Disclosure Officer
    Information Governance Department
    St Nicholas Hospital
    Jubilee Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE3 3XT

    The Trust produces a booklet ‘Information that the Trust keeps about you’. Copies are available from staff or the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288.

  • How will my safety and security be maintained?

    Fire safety
    Fire alarms are fitted around the hospital. These are very sensitive and can only be turned off by the fire brigade.

    If you hear the fire alarm going off, staff will direct you to the safest exit. It is important that you follow their instructions and try to stay calm.

    Infection control
    Please speak to a member of staff or the infection control nurse if you have any concerns about the cleanliness of the hospital.

    Safety and restraint
    The most effective care is provided in a safe environment. If a person acts in a way that compromises safety on the ward, staff will take action to reduce the risk to all concerned.

    In most situations staff will try to resolve such issues through discussion. They will work with the individual to deal with any problems and may suggest moving to a quieter area.

    There may be occasions when a more urgent response is needed, which can involve staff using physical restraint skills. However, these techniques are only used when there is an immediate danger of violence towards yourself or others.

    Physical restraint is only ever carried out by staff who have received training in how to use these skills safely. It is intended to allow for safe management of harmful situations and to make the environment safe as quickly as possible. Dignity should be maintained throughout any restraint procedure.

    If you see anything that you think could pose a risk to yourself or others, you should report this to a member of staff immediately. Staff can help to reduce the risk and discuss any concerns you might have.

    Narcotics Search Dog
    The Trust has a narcotics search dog and handler who make both planned and unannounced visits to wards and departments. The search dog is trained to locate illegal substances such as cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and heroin.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:

    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email [email protected] Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention. You can provide feedback in the following ways:
      The quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online Points of You survey at www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
      You can also complete a paper version of the Points of You survey, available from staff.
  • Who can provide me with advice?

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
    PALS is a user-friendly service dedicated to listening to service users, their carers, family and friends and helping them to resolve their concerns. It offers confidential advice and supports people to navigate through NHS systems. PALS is not a complaints service but will offer advice on the Trust’s complaints process.

    Telephone: North of Tyne 0800 032 02 02, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm

    Independent advocacy
    As a mental health service user you are entitled to independent advocacy. Advocates can provide unbiased advice, attend ward meetings with you and make sure that your views are listened to. If you have been admitted to hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act then please contact the service that covers the area where you live. A member of staff can also help you. Details of advocacy services are available from staff. For further information about Independent Mental Health Advocacy please see our leaflet.

    Care Quality Commission (CQC)
    The CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. It checks all hospitals in England to ensure they are meeting government standards of quality and safety. www.cqc.org.uk/public

  • How will my discharge from hospital be planned?

    Leaving hospital is an important life event; it’s a sign that you are making progress with your
    recovery. It can be an exciting time and also for some people it may feel daunting. During this time it is essential that you receive good quality support and care. Planning around your move on will start soon after your arrival on the ward and will be part of all care planning processes. Carers will be involved in the planning of any move on from the ward.

    Your discharge will be a planned process involving you and the care team. Extra support will be available for you during this time to make your move on as successful as possible. You may be able to access support from the Transitional discharges team, speak to your named nurse about this.

    The following suggestions are things you might need to consider before leaving the ward:

    • Do you have accommodation?
    • Is your housing secure and fit to live in?
    • Do you have your keys?
    • Is your gas and electricity connected?
    • Are your finances sorted out?

    Staff on the ward will be able to assist you with concerns you might have about these or any other issues and provide you with contact details of the crisis team.

  • What is the Care Programme Approach (CPA)?

    What is meant by Care Co-ordination?
    Care Co-ordination describes the process of how mental health services assess your needs, plan ways to meet them and check that they are being met. You should always feel able to ask mental health workers to explain this process clearly to you.

    Who will be my Care Co-ordinator?
    Your care co-ordinator will usually be a nurse, social worker or occupational therapist. Ideally they should be the person who knows you best and with whom you feel most comfortable to talk with. You should always be informed of the name and contact details of your care

    What does a Care Plan look like?
    A care plan is usually a detailed form which states your needs, the range of services
    required and who will provide these services. It might include things like your medication, your support at home and finance or other personal needs. The process of CPA is also about recognising what you are able to do and what you want to do (your strengths). A copy of the care plan will be given to you to keep.

  • Where can I get help and support?

    Mind Infoline
    0300 123 3393
    15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ
    Provides information on a range of topics including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. Also provides details of help and support for people in their own area. Helpline available Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm.

    Helpline: 0808 801 0525
    89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP
    Provides information and a helpline for anyone affected by mental health problems.
    Helpline available Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm

    Tel: 116 123
    Email: [email protected]
    Freepost, RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA
    Provides confidential support for anyone in a crisis.

    Tel: 0300 304 7000
    1st Floor, Cityside House, 40 Adler Street, London, E1 1EE
    Offers practical information, crisis care and emotional support. Helpline available 4pm-10pm (local rate).

  • Health information

    Patient Information Centre – Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Provides a range of health information covering conditions, treatments, medication and health promotion. Information is available in alternative formats.
    www.cntw.nhs.uk or Tel: 0191 246 7288.

    NHS Website
    Information about conditions, treatments, local services and healthy lives.

  • How can I get involved?

    As a member of our NHS Foundation Trust you can be as active a member as you would like, from just receiving regular information about the Trust to getting involved in issues that you care about. The choice is yours!

    To become a member, all you need to do is complete a membership application form or join online at www.cntw.nhs.uk/about/membership. Membership is free and members can also benefit from discounts for many shops and services.

    If you are 16 years old and over and interested in learning more about becoming a Governor for the Children and Young People’s Service, please contact the Membership Office on 0191 245 6827 or e-mail: [email protected]

    More information can then be provided about the criteria.

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  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, BSL, easy read or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2023 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/694/0123 January 2023 V6
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2026