"Greenvale Group comments"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust / Older people's mental health

(as a staff member posting for a carer/relative),

Greenvale Group Posting:

Posted by Tim Hunt from Patient Opinion.

I would like to thank South London and Maudsley, Greenvale Centre and the Carers for inviting me to this meeting which happens monthly. The meeting clearly reflected a positive relationship built up between staff and carers that no doubt helps provide a safe and good environment for all the residents. Staff mentioned that the meetings had really helped with restoring good relationships following a difficult time a while ago when there was a closure and redesign of some specialist services. Demonstrates the effectiveness of partnerships between staff and carers in these services.

So some really good discussions which included:

• The meeting began with two carers thanking the staff for their care during difficult times for their relatives. This included some teeth extractions when staff took great care with a resident to help and reassure them.

• One carer who had to be away from home paid particular compliments to the staff for their use of technology to help with their mother. Staff used skype on an iPad to enable her mum to see and talk to her every day when she was away. This was really effective and reassuring for both parties.

• Some issues were raised with the quality of the laundry for residents with clothes washed at the wrong temperatures, and not put away properly. There is a difficulty here with infection control, which does result in clothes being washed at higher temperatures than advisable. It was noted that this was worse at weekend when there were different staff on. Staff promised to raise this with the company who deliver this service and also try to ensure clothes are checked so residents are dressed in their own attire.

• One carer who gets a lot of cold calls said how much they appreciated the call they had received recently from the home when the staff member introduced themselves immediately. This was noted and would be shared with other staff as good practice.

• One carer complimented a particular activity session that she witnessed one afternoon which was a game of skittles for the residents saying how much enjoyment they all got out of it. She asked if this happened regularly and staff reported that these sessions are a regular occurrence but generally held in the mornings when residents often have more energy for these sessions.

• One of the managers reported on the programme of training for staff that was ongoing. Training included nursing and palliative care as well as diversity and equality.

There was some general discussion about Patient Opinion and the potential use for carers to be able to safely highlight their experiences whether positive or not. Also being able to send feedback not just to the trust but also to commissioners, and to all those involved in delivering dementia care. Staff were interested in how this might highlight their experiences of getting the right healthcare from hospitals and other secondary and specialist healthcare providers.

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Response from David Norman, Service Director, Mental Health Older Adults and Dementia Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Tim

Thank you for collating this comment on behalf of the Carers Group. We are seeking to work collaboratively with this group to develop this service as a facility providing a high quality of clinical care for our patients, all of whom have very complex care needs and who need individualised support and care. We see it as positive that this group can pro-actively work with our nursing staff and managers to improve what we do.

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