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"Group Feedback from Adult Unit."

About: Riverdale Grange Clinic

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

I was delighted to be invited to meet with a group of patients in the adult unit at Riverdale Grange for some group feedback.  Thank you so much to the patients who contributed to a great discussion about the care and experience of being at Riverdale Grange.  Below are the comments that we agreed together could go onto the Care Opinion website.

Tim Hunt Integration Development Manager, Care Opinion.  

The group started with a discussion about the benefits of having a student art therapist for 6 months. All agreed that the sessions were really beneficial and got loads out of it.   

It was really good to be able to express feelings without verbalising them as you do in talking therapies. Sometimes feelings come up you didn’t know were there. Both the individual and group sessions were really good. And the sessions felt safe. She was really good at interpretation and sharing insights from the sessions. It was lovely when she thanked the residents for all the learning she had gained from the group.

The massages with the therapist are really good for relaxation and help with any stomach problems. She is only here 2 days and access to her is a bit patchy. So it can be disappointing when you look forward to it and it doesn’t happen. So for example if you are in chair rest the therapist really helps because there is nothing much to do

On that note, it was helpful when there was access to Netflix, it’s a shame there is no sky but the group realises that its difficult because this is a hospital setting. Its helpful when you can see recordings of soaps etc.

There were some comments about the Ward rounds. On the positive its good that everyone involved with you is there but they can also be intimidating so sometimes its hard to say the things you need. This is where decisions are made, but it feels like a long time to wait because they are once a week . The OTs in particular are brilliant and really helpful.

The Internet is much better than it used to be, but it still can be an issue at times. It does go off at times.

People found the top floor of hospital unpleasantly hot and roasting. Doesn’t feel like there is any ventilation and the fans are insufficient.

The showers are tricky, they can start scalding and inconsistent. Heating is on sometimes in the hot weather which does not feel right and sometimes not on in the cold weather.

The Nurses are really helpful this cohort of staff are kind, compassionate and knowledgeable. They have the specialised knowledge which is so important and not available in other hospitals.

Staff understand about know all the comorbid stuff which is so important. They take the time to understand the complexity of each person and all the little details that are important. Also mentioned the role of the support workers who are a constant presence and really help it to feel like a safe place. Staff sometimes feel like friends and really helpful. Nursing staff so important at mealtimes. And there is real consistency with permanent staff not like when you have bank staff all the time. When they do have bank staff its usually the same ones who are good.

Also the managers will pick up when staff aren’t quite as proficient as they could be. If you raise issues you feel believed and that it will get looked at.

All the cleaners are lovely, so helpful and really friendly. They treat you like human beings. Rooms are very nice its important that they are not all the same and you can personalise them. Makes them feel like safe spaces. 

Sometimes at handovers there seem like times when things aren’t communicated and passed on as well as they could be.

There were also comments about how good it was that there was both short and long term recovery planning from the start. The OTs are good with this and it keeps peoples hopes up

Finally the two managers are so passionate about their jobs and are really approachable. They go above and beyond with their support of residents and take the time if needed.


Response from Vanessa deRoeck, Director, Non-clinical Services, Riverdale Grange 2 years ago
Vanessa deRoeck
Director, Non-clinical Services,
Riverdale Grange
Submitted on 14/08/2018 at 16:28
Published on Care Opinion on 15/08/2018 at 09:47

Response from Simone Howieson, Adult Ward Manager and Vanessa de Roeck, Director, Non-Clinical Services:

Dear Group

Firstly, thank-you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback - as a service we are always looking to improve and value your opinions and recommendations. We apologise that our reply is lengthy, however we felt it important to address all the issues you raised.

We were really pleased to hear that you found the art therapy sessions enjoyable and helpful. Riverdale is proud to support students from a wide variety of disciplines and will endeavour to continue this as we recognise the benefit to patients. Additionally, we were happy to learn that the complementary therapist is a valued member of the team and provides a useful element of treatment, albeit that currently she is only able to offer 2 days of her time.

We were similarly pleased to learn that Netflix is well used and enjoyed by you all. We appreciate your understanding regarding the difficulties in providing SKY, which is from both a practical and financial point of view. However, with regard to the recording of ‘Soaps’, patients are very welcome to bring in personal devices to access entertainment.

We were sorry to hear that Ward Rounds sometimes felt intimidating as this is certainly not our intention. We frequently work with patients who may feel anxious in meetings and willing to adapt our approach to ensure people feel comfortable in these. By way of additional support, patients are also free to invite carers or advocates to attend. With regard to weekly reviews, we believe such regular meetings are important in your recovery, you do not have to attend in person every week or could request to meet with just the Consultant and Nurse if this feels more comfortable.

With regards to the internet, we absolutely recognise the importance of accessing the internet and have worked with our I.T providers to provide additional signal boosters around the building. One of the contributing factors to Riverdale being such a therapeutic and non-clinical environment is the lovely Victorian building; however, this also presents with inherent issues including very thick walls which do cause drops in signal at times. With ever-advancing technology, it is hoped that a better solution will become available. In the meantime please continue to let us know so we can ensure we are doing all we can.

We acknowledge that the temperature on the top floor can be uncomfortable and are continually striving to improve this. In 2015 we replaced all the original radiators with new, thermostatically controlled radiators, however once again the nature of an old, thick-walled buildings and limitations around window openings still contribute to this issue. We are currently looking at short, medium and long-term solutions to address this, but unfortunately there are no quick fixes. We do need to bear in mind, however, that this summer has been particularly difficult due to the unprecedented heatwave. As a short-term measure we have ensured that all patients have fans available for their bedrooms, suggested replacing duvets with just the sheets and also increased window ventilation where possible. We have also hired commercial cooling units for the communal lounges to make these areas more comfortable. Unfortunately, it is not possible to install air-conditioning units in bedrooms however we are investigating ways of trying to cool the second floor landing with a view to this reducing the overall temperature.

We were disappointed to learn that the showers are proving ‘tricky’ as these have recently been refurbished to a high specification and the core temperatures, which are recorded daily, have not exceeded the Health & Safety Executive recommended temperature. However, we are liaising with both the manufacturer and our plumbing contractors to try and resolve the fluctuations in both temperature and flow.

We take on board the comments regarding communication during handovers and will raise this with the nurses and support workers at the relevant meetings.

On a positive note, we were extremely pleased to read your compliments about the whole staffing team, and to hear that you feel well supported, particularly at challenging times. The entire Riverdale team works very hard to support every patient’s recovery and ensure that you get the most from our service and it is very gratifying to have this acknowledged by your patient group.

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