Developing a therapeutic service across the acute care pathway, based at Woodhaven, that engaged me between 2004 and 2012 came to an abrupt halt in July 2012 with the closure of the Unit as part of the re-organisation of services in the Trust. This also put an end, when first raised in 2010, to plans to secure funding to evaluate the model properly across two hospitals in the Trust (Southampton and Woodhaven) that were using it.
However, the approach was recognised as valuable as a response to reduced bed capacity and the Intensive Support Programme (ISP) is a project to embed it in acute services across the Trust which I am leading (August 2012 – February 2013). The intention is to publish the evaluation of the project. The rationale for the project follows.
In order to maintain quality of service with less resources, we need to engage our service users in
active partnership with psychological as well as medical treatment.
This will often mean giving a different message to service users from the one they are used to.
This will be hard at first – but much easier to take on board if the same message comes from
It is a message of hope; they will be helped to understand and do something for themselves about their situation, their distress.
It is also a tough message. Without their active participation, there is a limit to what we can do.
Risk will remain a reality – but without active, positive, risk taking that develops responsibility, the service can in fact perpetuate risk.
We need everyone in the service to be a partner in therapy oriented treatment. We need them to understand the approach; to support it in their interactions with service users. Everyone, including therapists, encourages people to follow their medical treatment plans and to take their medication as prescribed. We need the same universal commitment to psychological treatment so that it becomes integral to care.