Creating constructive acute in-patient stays

by Marion Janner

 

Last updated: February 2016 by Geoff Brennan

 

There used to be almost total consensus about the poverty of acute in-patient stays.

 

'As we all know, acute units have been starved of resources, marginalised when it comes to service development, and then criticised for an excessively custodial form of care.' Consultant psychiatrist quoted in The Search for Acute Solutions (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2006).

 

It wasn't so much the locked doors (even on ostensibly ‘open wards’) that created the custodial environment, but the culture of staff ‘watching and waiting’. This very passive approach, combined with an almost total absence of resources and activities for patients, produced days and weeks characterised by boredom, frustration and lack of development, for both patients and staff.

 

But acute care is changing. Very much for the better, in terms of therapeutic input, patient involvement in their own care, and meaningful activities. Improved staff satisfaction and motivation is both cause and effect of these improvements.

 

Informed by the author's own experience of being an acute mental health in-patient, this module looks at some of the key components of constructive acute in-patient wards and the role of the psychiatrist in enabling positive changes.

 

Start the module

 

 

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:

 

Involving patients and carers in training  by Dr Alka Ahuja 

 

Managing challenging behaviour in mental health in-patient units by Dr Dominic Beer and Mr Darryl Anthony Davis

 

Alternatives to acute admission: crisis resolution and home treatment by Dr Christopher Bridgett

 

 

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