My name is Eric Wilson and I’m a volunteer at Rosewood Involvement Centre. I am regularly involved in staff interviews as part of a panel of carers and service users. I recently participated in interviews for two new Consultant Psychiatrists.
The panel consisted of Alan an ex-service user, Audrey a service user, Ingrid a carer and myself as a service user acting as chair.
We asked four questions each designed around patient and carer involvement in the Recovery pathway and also the role and inclusion of carers, families and friends in the Triangle of Care.
As one of the Posts was for the Crisis team, one question was about provision for the prevention of admission and readmission.
We look for values based answers in accordance with the 6 c’s
Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment.
The I.I.T. train patients to sit on interview panels and we have had recent successes at Rampton Hospital, interviewing nurses and nursing assistants.
It is always a privilege for me to help recruit staff for the Trust and I am hoping to gain more experience in this area as time goes on.
Hello, my name is Mike. I’m a volunteer at Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton. I started attending two years ago, when I was caring for a close family member with depression.
As everyone who has been a carer will know, it can be a time to show people how much you love and care for them, but it can also have incredibly negative effects on your own well-being. The loss of the person you once knew, the fading away of your social life and free time, the increased stress, anxiety and isolation… all this can have alarming consequences for your own physical and emotional health.
That’s why it is essential that carers can have quality time for themselves, where they can be just like anyone else. Rosewood was just such a place for me. When I began attending, I was unsure what to expect. I was made to feel at home and it was not long before I was fully immersed in the world of Involvement.
Being able to see that there were other people just like me assuaged my sense of loneliness and isolation. Learning that there were others who suffered badly from mental health conditions and recovered to live a normal life gave me hope for the future. I began to attend every session I could.
Making friends and getting away from my caring role was not the only benefit of Involvement. I was able to access a number of training opportunities which greatly enriched my personal and professional development. This included Involvement Interview Training which consisted of a course learning how to conduct an interview. Once trained, I participated in interviews for potential Trust employees as part of a patient/carer panel. You can learn a lot to use for your own future experiences as an interviewee!
I was able to attend Training sessions to ensure best practice in the workplace such as safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, equality & diversity, manual handling and back care, deaf awareness, and food hygiene and safety.
I have been given the opportunity to tell my story of caring to a number of audiences, including Trust staff members. This is very important to me since you are in a position to advise staff on what works well and what could be done better. Any opportunity to help shape attitudes and practice is vital. After this, I was able to participate in the Care Programme Approach (CPA) training, which involved delivering a presentation.
Training played a part in finding a role I love where I can use my experience to help others. I began this role in August 2014. Around the same time, the person whom I cared for made a full recovery from their illness. Recovery is an on-going process, but there has been no relapse and our lives have returned to normal; full of health and happiness.
However, I know that this is not always the outcome; for many people with mental ill-health. It is something they have to face on a daily basis and often for the rest of their lives. Their well-being is no less important than mine. That is the reason why I still volunteer; advocating the role of Involvement in ensuring best practice within the Trust.
I stood for the role of Public Governor in the 2015 elections. To my surprise and gratitude, I was elected for three years! I’m looking forward to advocating my views, holding the leadership to account, and hopefully inspiring other people in my former position to see that, yes, things can get better. We must never stop working to better the lives of those with mental health issues, and those who care for them.
As part of our involvement activities, opportunities to be involved in staff interviews are popular and take place regularly. Full training is given to any volunteers taking part. Here is one volunteer’s account of what’s involved.
The Rosewood Involvement Centre Ollerton was part of a Clinical/Patient Panel of interviewee’s at Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop, and Nottinghamshire. The interview panel comprised of a senior nurse, a ward manager and a volunteer. One additional volunteer was present to ‘shadow’ the interview to learn about the process in preparation for becoming a member of the Involvement Interview Team.
Two candidates who were interviewed for the post had just completed their university training and were very enthusiastic and offered some good answers to all the question’s posed by the panel. They also asked the panel some interesting questions about Involvement & how it is used which gave us a chance to explain the role Involvement and volunteers play within the Trust
Volunteers expressed their thanks’’ to all the wonderful Staff at Bassetlaw Hospital from The Rosewood Involvement Centre’’
Wathwood Hospital is a 56 bedded medium secure unit located in an area of natural beauty in Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire. It helps people who require assessment and treatment of mental health difficulties in a secure environment. The hospital offers structured therapy with a diverse range of sporting, leisure and educational activities.
Volunteers at Rosewood Involvement Centre Ollerton are often asked to take part in staff interviews. One individual has recently been part of a patient panel of interviewee’s at Wathwood Hospital for staff vacancies. The Interviews were held over 2 days at Wathwood Hospital and comprised of a professional and patient panel.
The patient panel was chaired by Alison, a Service User/Carer/Volunteer from Rosewood Involvement Centre along with a representative from Advocacy and one patient from Wathwood Hospital plus a Rosewood Centre volunteer to shadow and learn from the whole process.
August will see Wathwood Hospital hosting Involvement Interview Training (IIT) which gives patient’s opportunities to get involved in recruiting new staff for the hospital.
At the Rosewood Centre a display of produce including jams, chutney’s and honey from the Wathwood shop is available. It helps to raise cash for the benefit of patients and Wathwood Hospital. Volunteers, visitors and staff enjoy the selection of food produced by staff and patients working together.
Other news from Wathwood. This month, Stephen will shadow Alison at Wathwood Hospital and attend the Wathwood Patient Council meeting.
Rosewood has a very good rapport with Wathwood Hospital involving volunteers, staff and patients built up over many years. We want to continue this partnership and build our involvement even further. Changing services and making improvements due to this positive partnership is our main drive and one we really enjoy.
Many thanks to all the wonderful staff & patients at Wathwood Hospital from the Rosewood Involvement Centre.