Care Opinion,Carers, Families and Friends together at Arnold Lodge

by Nigel Groves – Involvement & Experience Lead, Forensic Services 

2019 marks the 10th year of partnership with Care Opinion, the independent feedback website for the NHS. When we first began working with Care Opinion (Patient Opinion, as it was known then), we were their pioneering mental health Trust. Arnold Lodge along with Wathwood Hospital was one of the first Nottinghamshire Healthcare services to use Care Opinion in Forensic Mental Health Services.

Arnold Lodge  in Leicester provides medium secure inpatient services for adults and older people with mental illness and/or personality disorder with a mix of male and female patients. 

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Contact with carers, family and friends are vital to the wellbeing of our patients and our services. A carers group at Arnold Lodge takes place four times a year on a Saturday. This is an ideal day as visits to the wards take place after it ends.

As an Involvement Lead for Forensic Services I enjoy meeting the people who take part in the group this includes our involvement volunteers who also volunteer regularly at Arnold Lodge.

Your Feedback Matters & Celebrating Care Opinion

10 years in partnership

‘From our first meeting in a hotel in Leicester to explore online feedback for mental health services, Notts HC have been at the forefront of this journey.  Always enthusiastic, always starting with “why not” rather than we can’t do this.  As a valued partner, always always pushing forward, giving Care Opinion feedback and challenging us to be better.’

Tim Hunt- Integration Development Manager Care Opinion

At the last meeting, carers and families heard about Involvement explaining how and why we collect feedback for the Trust service user and carer survey (SUCE). The group heard about our feedback website where all feedback about the Trust and Arnold Lodge can be seen, including Care Opinion.

SUCE survey

When sharing feedback it’s important to know what’s changed as a result. We know things are not always as good as they could be but the carers group heard that all feedback, good or bad is vital and welcomed so that we can improve.

‘Care Opinion works really well as if you are unhappy with the response given by the service you can continue the conversation’. At Notts Healthcare, ‘Individual Champions and ‘believers’ are needed as it doesn’t just happen.  Staff need to remind people to leave their feedback and NottsHC  should remind staff to ask for it!’  – Nigel Groves Care Opinion 2019

From all the work done at Arnold Lodge, a Quality Improvement Plan has been created. This relies on working with colleagues and patients using a structured plan to achieve goals. Feedback from our SUCE survey and Care Opinion helps us to write this plan.

Volunteers take part in many different roles in our Trust. Our Involvement Volunteers support Patient Forums to make sure the patient voice is heard. We worked together to improve the Patient Forum at Arnold Lodge ‎which is said to be one of the best Patient Forums in our Trust.

Our Involvement Volunteers

Volunteers at Arnold Lodge are involved in visits with the care review team and our staff when they visit wards to make sure they are working to the standards of the Care Quality Commission.

Some patients don’t have any family or friends to visit them. For those patients, a befriender’s service  is really important.

Patients are part of staff interview panels. This information was discussed at the meeting. Patients are trained at the Arnold Lodge Recovery College. Recovery focuses on teaching skills to manage physical and mental health

I am always grateful to our volunteers who willingly give up their time over a weekend to support the carers group as they provide a point of contact for patients, carers and families.

Thanks Michael and Steve.

Nigel

Stories about Arnold Lodge Care Opinion

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