We have recently been focusing on mental health services, and St Andrew’s Healthcare is a significant service provider in the county. Healthwatch Northamptonshire staff and volunteers visited Stowe Ward (Women’s Medium Secure Unit) to speak to patients and make observations.
During our visit, the ward appeared well-organised, calm and generally positive in regard to patient care and safety. The Unit was clean and spacious, as were the patient bedrooms. The facilities cater well for the needs of the patient. There were measures in place for those with more complex needs and/or those needing a higher level of supervision.
On the day of the visit, the staff to patient ratio was good.
The staff seem dedicated to their professional roles, which offer highly personalised support, with a multi-disciplinary team available to meet the patients’ needs holistically.
Staff informed us that clinicians involve patients in the planning of their care and engagement in therapies and treatment. Patient’s views are considered and care is (reasonably) adjusted to meet identified needs. We were shown a programme of activities, where patients were encouraged to independently plan their week in advance. It was clear that patients have the opportunity to engage in creative activities, as evidence of their work was clearly displayed. Food and mealtimes were welcomed by the patients and there was a variety of choice and each patient was able to make their own individual selection.