"They made me feel I mattered at South Essex Partnership trust"

About: South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

In 2006 I was very suicidal. I attended a mental health art exhibition with the intent of ending of my life. My distress was spotted and I was given all the help I needed during what was a very hectic day for everyone concerned.

I was given the very best of care, and have continued to receive that same quality of care to this day. We have a brand new hospital, very modern with single bedrooms and en-suite facilities. I am treated very much as a valued person, I have a choice and a voice. When we are well the Trust allows patients to take part in staff interviews with all the same rights as eveyrone else on the panel, we have workshops where we able to tell doctors how we want to be treated (and they listen). We monitor the service as 'mystery shoppers', we are actively encouraged to make it clear how we want to be treated and rather than be treated as a patient, we are all like one big happy family.

The patient voice is a priority in this service, we are actively involved in the running of the Trust and can become public governors.

After a lifetime of mental illness, I now feel my life matters, I matter, and the Trust matters to me, they gave me back my life and I remain part of that one big happy family. I would like to find something to grumble about, but this is care second to none, in an environment fit for a king!

A very heartfelt thank you to everyone at Runwell Hospital, to Lorraine our 'chair', to Patrick our Chief Exec, and not forgetting a special thank you to Mike, head of PPI, for saving my life and giving me so many reasons to live.

Bless them all!

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