At Cheswold Park we firmly support the principles and objectives of Transforming Care and Building the Right Support for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Accordingly, we reduced our medium secure service by 50% and committed to prioritising our service for people from our locality.
We have also worked with NHSE to review and refresh the model of care and renew our approach to delivering person-centred care in a secure setting in a biopsychosocial model.
To recognise this is a new venture, we decided to invite our patients to choose a name for the new service which we are delighted to say is ‘Haven’.
Partnership and good communication with patients, families and external agencies is a priority for us and supports our aim of starting discharge planning at the point of admission. Getting a life not just a service should not be a mantra but a workable objective.
We are also actively working to help reduce the health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities and autistic people. This includes raising awareness in whatever way we can.
We were therefore delighted, as part of this commitment, to support Paula McGowan a parent campaigner whose beloved son, Oliver, sadly died in in a general hospital. Paula believes that if all healthcare professionals had mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism, then Oliver and many others could have lived and many more lives in future could be saved. Paula has addressed many different audiences, but we were fortunate to meet her early in her campaigning and for her to share her experience and advice with us on site.
All this represents an exciting time for us and is the latest example of how we are trying to make a difference in ways that are local and national.