"Admission to Birch Ward helped me greatly"
About: West Park Hospital West Park Hospital Darlington DL2 2TS
Posted via NHS Choices
When I was told I was to be admitted to West Park, I was very fearful, and my anxiety was compounded by the fact that I was an out of area patient, making it hard for people to visit me. I had also heard bad things about Birch Ward shortly before admission from an ex patient.
However, I would like to tell anyone facing admission here that it is an excellent service. Of course, it was extremely difficult and at times distressing, because that is the nature of these things, and I wouldn't say I'd recommend it because I wouldn't wish a psychiatric ward admission on anyone as it is a very upsetting thing to go through generally. That said, the staff have a massive amount of understanding about anorexia, and compassion towards people with this illness. They really do have expertise beyond what I have encountered before in the management of, and recovery from, anorexia. They generally find effective ways to keep people safe whilst making it feel no more restrictive than necessary, and are kind and supportive. That applies as much to the support workers and nurses as it does to the specialist doctors.
Of course, it is not as if I never encountered any problems, frustrations or even the odd example of not very good practice, but having been discharged a number of months ago, I feel I have made and sustained great change. I am not fully recovered but I am in a far safer position than I was before admission. I put this partly down to my own efforts but I know I never could have done this without their support. Thanks to them, my life has improved greatly, maybe even been saved. I hear that the ward had undergone a transformation not too long ago, as improvement was needed. I feel this has been very successful, if so. Thank you Birch Ward!