"I have been ready to give up drugs for about 10 years"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Addiction services (community) Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / The Woodlands (inpatient unit for substance misuse)

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

When I was younger I was abused physically and psychologically by a family member. I had dyslexia at school and was made to feel stupid - life wasn't good. I started using gas at 13, was kicked out of school at 14 and things started to get worse. I escalated to weed and was kicked out of home at 15. I started using amphets and got into crime/door knocking etc. I began using coke, E's and smack at 17. My life was drugs and crime.

I have been ready to give up drugs for about 10 years, and it was my daughter who was the catalyst to do something about it. So I cut down on my own before getting in touch with services. I have been using Direct Access for about 6 years, but I didn't want to stop totally until I was ready. They told me about The Woodlands and I have been in there for 3 weeks now. And I am going to rehab tomorrow. The staff are really good, but I wish they would remove their name badges on accompanied visits to town! In general things are good, but there isn't enough to do. There needs to be more staff on at night so that we could to to the cinema, bowling or for a walk. You can get a bit bored. The staff are sound, but there should be more staff who are ex-users, as they can understand better what we are going through. I can relate to them as they have been through it themselves.

The rooms are ok, with a shower and tv, but I think there should be a tv room where all can mix - the staff, and men and women. The beds and food are not too good though.

I asked for a review in the first week that I was there to see if I could stay for 4 weeks instead of 3, but they said that they 'hadn't time'.

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Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Firstly I'd like to thankyou for taking the time to give us this feedback, its always very welcome! It sounds as though your journey has been a long one and I can only try to appreciate how hard it must have been to get to the point in your recovery that you have. We are all pleased that The Woodlands played some part in helping you.

Our staffing levels are currently at the maximum level our budget allows, however our recovery programme is under constant review. Your suggestions re activities "outside" The Woodlands has been fed back to the recovery team and they are hoping to try and include more into the programme, with a trip to Wollaton Hall happening just yesterday.

I'm glad that you also found working with a peer support worker a positive experience. We find her an inspiration ourselves and a very valuable member of our team. We will take your suggestion re ID badges on board and from now on we won't wear them when escorting patients unless deemed necessary.

Once again, thankyou for your feedback, it IS valued!!! All The Woodlands staff wish you every success at rehab and beyond.

Kevin Howard

Woodlands Deputy Manager

Response from Paul Theed, Matron, Specialist services, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Hello Karby3,

Firstly please let me apologise for my late response to your opinion, I have had problems logging on! It is nice to hear that your stay in the woodlands was a good one. I think the points you raised re name badges is a good and simple one. We encourage staff to have them on their person just in case there is a problem when they are out, you are right they do not need to be so obvious.

I am pleased that Kevin has taken this back to the team.

I will ask the care and environment co-ordinator and our peer support worker to monitor if staff are still wearing badges when out over the next few weeks at the client meetings.

I will post a further response on here with their views/outcomes and will let you know of any changes we do as a result.

I also see the manager of the unit on a regular basis, my next 1 - 1 is next week, so I will discuss this with him.

Once again thank you and good luck with your rehab, thank you so much for taking the time to post a view on this website.

Paul Theed - Matron Specialist Services Directorate.

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