On Friday 11 May two units (George Jepson and Katherine Allen) at The Retreat in York, were presented with "Full Monty" Star Wards award by Marion Janner, OBE. Run by the charity Bright, Star Wards is a project devised by Marion consisting of 75 ideas to make life for mental health inpatients more active, interesting and therapeutic. Wards which implement all of the ideas are awarded a “Full Monty” award.
George Jepson and Katherine Allen units provide care and treatment for older adults with complex and challenging needs. Staff are experienced in understanding and resolving high risk, demanding behaviours in a dignified and respectful manner.
Liz Jefferys, Clinical Team Manager for George Jepson unit, said "the first step to achieving this award is to see how many of the 75 ideas were already implemented on the unit. From feedback from patients and staff we were able to evidence 67 ideas were already in place. Therefore, it would appear that we had been a Star Ward for some time without even realising it!"
On presenting Liz with her unit's award Marion said "I was repeatedly struck by the thought and creativity that the team put into enabling severely communication-impaired patients to express themselves and their preferences, and having these respected. It's also lovely to hear about the extensive range of social, recreational and therapeutic opportunities provided for patients."
On presenting the award to Carmel Joyce, Clinical Team Manager for Katherine Allen unit, Marion said "It's so clear what a special place Katherine Allen is and how you've creatively adapted the ideas for your patient group and seeing other opportunities that your patients have (via the Full Monty report) was really inspiring. It detonates the pervasive notion that wards for very disabled, elderly people can't be dynamic and fulfilling. And the extent to which you involve families and help patients stay in touch with loved ones was also really striking and impressive."