Cygnet Hospital Beckton an Enabling Environment

Staff and service users celebrating the Enabling Enivronment award

Two wards at Cygnet Hospital Beckton have been awarded the prestigious Enabling Environments Award from the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI).

Enabling Environments are places where there is a focus on creating a positive and effective social environment and where healthy relationships are seen as the key to success.

To achieve the award, New Dawn and Upping Ward, both Personality Disorder services, had to meet and exceed ten core standards based on; Belonging, Boundaries, Communication, Development, Involvement, Safety, Structure, Empowerment, Leadership and Openness.

A portfolio of evidence was put together in partnership with current and previous service users, and all disciplines within the multidisciplinary team (MDT). An assessor from the Royal College of Psychiatrists then spent a day on each ward speaking with staff and service users and gathering further evidence.

All of the evidence was then presented to a panel at the Royal College of Psychiatrists who made the final decision to give the award to both wards.

Janet on New Dawn Ward

Janet Idowu is the New Dawn service manager and when she joined Cygnet two years ago she was tasked with helping the two Personality Disorder services achieve the Enabling Environments Award.

On receiving the accreditation, she said: “All of us here at Cygnet Hospital Beckton pride ourselves on creating a positive, nurturing culture for our service users, where they are equal partners in their care and treatment. We believe this environment offers them the very best chance of a successful recovery and becoming the best version of themselves.

“We have all worked extremely hard to showcase our high standards and to have this philosophy and ethos validated by the EE award is incredibly pleasing.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the service users and staff across both wards for supporting and being a big part of this award.”

Explaining the process behind achieving the award, Janet explained: “We had to maximise service user involvement in the process, and take a systematic approach both to service development and evidence gathering. We had to take it one standard at a time.

“We convened weekly meetings involving service users and the MDT specifically to look at Enabling Environments. The service users’ enthusiasm helped staff overcome the feeling that there was too much to do and too little time.

“My ring-fencing space and developing a structured programme for both teams systematically to review practice and collate evidence helped us progress quickly.”

Increased frequency of clinical supervision, regular post-incident debriefs and the implementation of daily mid-shift reviews attended by senior MDT members alongside nurses and support workers on the ground were crucial in ensuring staff needs were met during the process.

Assessment visits by the EE Team to both services in 2023 were productive, with a small number of recommendations – for example ensuring rules were applied more consistently, and fully embedding the progress made around staff communication.

Feedback also included a significant amount of praise for areas of achievement such as the Community and People’s Council Meetings and a ‘Patient Debrief Group’, uniquely set up by service users for service users, as well as the work led by each ward’s Consultant Psychiatrist on reducing restrictive practice.

The range of contributions made more generally by service users to their environment and the paid roles they took on, including chairing and leading groups, were also well received.

With the cultural improvements associated with Enabling Environments, the proportion of service users detained under the Mental Health Act has decreased from 90% across the two services to 30% and 50% on New Dawn and Upping Wards respectively.

Janet added: “New Dawn and Upping Ward are both focused currently on maintaining momentum, with the broad ambition of ensuring that they’re environments where staff feel motivated to come to work, service users can rebuild their lives, and both groups experience it as a space to grow and develop.”

Dr Jon Van Niekerk, Group Clinical Director, passed on his congratulations.

He said: “Enabling Environments are places where there is a focus on creating a positive and effective social environment and where healthy relationships are seen as the key to success. We are very proud to see Cygnet services embracing the principles of Enabling Environments and meeting EE standards. It is fantastic to see the progress and a real focus on what matters to service users and staff.”

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