19 September 2012

Alder Unit excellence recognised

The high quality of the mental health rehabilitation service at Alder Unit, Callington Road Hospital, has been recognised with an 'excellent' national rating.

Alder unit excellence recognisedAlder has been accredited as excellent by AIMS (Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services), a demanding review programme looking at areas including training, the ward environment, facilities and provision of activities and therapies.

Inspectors noted the strong support given at Alder to both patients and carers, that carers felt listened to, and the helpfulness of staff. The team was described as flexible, cohesive, very patient-centred and focused.

Leslie Grundy, service manager for rehabilitation services, said: "This accreditation is important recognition of the safe, high quality service we provide to our service users at Alder. It is a real boost for the team - affirmation that we are doing the right things for a group of people who really matter."

Accreditation is only given after detailed analysis of self assessment reports, service user and carer questionnaires and an inspection.

Alder provides rehabilitation for people who have long-term mental health problems combined with other complex needs such as personality disorders and problems carrying out activities of day-to-day living. Rehabilitation aims to maximise an individual's quality of life and social inclusion by encouraging development of skills and promoting independence and autonomy, leading to successful community living with appropriate support. The Alder team also works with service users in independent sector rehabilitation placements who need extra support.

The successful AIMS inspection followed a six month process, led by a group of mental health professionals, service users and carers, during which staff, service users and carers were all asked for their views of the ward and the care provided.

Other units to achieve AIMS accreditation recently include the Elizabeth Casson House and Hazel psychiatric intensive care units. More information about AIMS, which is run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement, is available at www.rcpsych.ac.uk/aims.

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