"Group Feedback from former Service Users of Forest Close"

About: Inpatient care (Forest Close)

(as a staff member),

Group Feedback from former Users Forest Close, Intensive Rehabilitation Service.

Two previous service users who had spent a considerable amount of time at Forest Close came back to discuss their time there. One had been discharged 18 months previously and the other 3 years previously.  Both felt very comfortable coming back to have the discussion session at Forest Close. Here are the comments that we all agreed could go onto the Care Opinion Website.

Ailis Manzoni and Agnes Wozna, Engagement & Experience Facilitators, SHSC NHS FT

We had a discussion around the feelings they had experienced during the process of discharge.

One felt that “There is nothing fast about leaving hospital, applying for housing, organising the Tribunal and so on and you find the months pass without anything moving on” although interestingly the other service user felt that the transition out at a slower pace suited their needs at the time.

They both felt that you can ‘slip through the net’ if you are not keeping on top of what needs to be done for your discharge.

Both thought that the food that had been provided at Forest Close was very good, which was a real positive about their experience though this then initiate a discussion around the pitfalls of such a lot of food available and the provision of 3 meals a day often meant you might eat when you weren’t particularly hungry and the subsequent weight gain.  Both gained weight during their stay and have lost weight since leaving.  Different staff had different approaches to offering food, some would allow you as much as you wanted others would limit it more.

Another positive was how they felt about staff – they thought they were great; professional and kind. They were motivated to help you to go out.

We discussed the activities that are on offer, they both noted that there is a lot more variety than when they were living at Forest Close which they thought looked good.  They did have a comment about the walking group that although they enjoyed walking and being in the outdoors that often the walk can be too much – too long and you can’t leave – you have to complete it and this can put you off joining in. So it might be better as smaller chunks of activities.  So to ensure that the physical activities are suited to all levels. We also discussed the running group which also had the issue of being too difficult but this has already been amended so it is suitable for all levels so the same could be applied to the walking group.

We briefly talked about getting into employment and they thought that when they had been at Forest Close they weren’t ready to think about employment and they still aren’t now. They thought the best way to test the water for getting back into employment is via volunteering.  One of the service users is currently volunteering and enjoying it and the other one has done some volunteering since they were discharged but isn’t currently doing any even though they had found it beneficial.

When asked what was the best thing about their stay they thought it was that their medication has been sorted and stabilised to allow them to sustain the life they have today. They also thought that the staff at Forest Close were really good and they got on with the staff well.  When thinking about the worst thing it was more about the length of time they spent here and the slowness of the discharge and all the things that slowed that down. Also that there wasn’t enough Talking Therapy, not necessarily psychology sessions but more counselling a chance to talk opportunities.  

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Response from Julie Smalley, Clinical Nurse Manager, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust 15 months ago
Julie Smalley
Clinical Nurse Manager,
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Submitted on 14/05/2019 at 12:50
Published on Care Opinion on 15/05/2019 at 11:36

Hi I am the clinical nurse manager at Forest Close and I would like to respond to the feedback from former service users. It was great to see them again and hear how well they are doing. Its lovely to hear such positive comments about the staff who have supported them during their stays. I will feedback the comments about the walking group to the occupational therapy staff as small bite sized chunks works better for most people particularly if they are not used to lots of exercise. In relation to the food we are currently reviewing the provision with our dietician as weight gain is a common theme for our service users and we recognise that this not a good thing.

In terms of volunteering opportunities to support confidence and self esteem I think we need better links with the local community, I am aware of a few former service users who did voluntary work and its interesting to hear that the service users who contributed did not feel ready for paid employment. I think its just very individual and people are at different stages of recovery,

The staff team at Forest Close are currently involved in training such as DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and are recruiting more psychology staff as we are aware that this is something that service users value. We always try to respond positively to feedback about how we can improve the Service those who experience it.

Once again thank you for taking the time and the trouble to give us this essential feedback


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