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Music and arts practitioner helps service user to speak up

The compassionate work of a music and arts practitioner at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been rewarded by winning December’s 6Cs Live! Story of the Month competition.

Paul_Dews_and_Ash Mahmood

Music and arts practitioner Paul Dews with occupational therapist Ash Mamood

Paul Dews helped a service user at Newhaven, a low secure rehabilitation unit in Wakefield for people with learning disabilities, to find an innovative solution to enable him to communicate with his family who were unable to visit him.

Paul explains:

“When we talked with the service user it was apparent that not being able to express to his family about his surroundings was really affecting his mood and behaviour so we had to think of a new, creative solution.

“The whole team were committed to helping him find a way of describing the unit to his family and letting them know that all was well. We did this by producing a DVD which included a ‘talking head’ section where he could express how he was feeling and that he was settled.

“It was the first time that we had used technology in this way but it really paid off. It enabled the service user to take control of his circumstances, which in turn improved his mood and behaviour. It also gave his family reassurance that he is well and content with his placement.”

The service user said: “This process has made me feel so much better, knowing people know what it’s like where I am.”

Tim Breedon, director of nursing at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, commented:

“I am delighted that Paul’s compassionate care has been recognised in this way. It’s a great example of an imaginative, tailored approach that demonstrates the importance of working in true partnership with people who use our services. Every day our dedicated staff uphold the 6Cs of nursing and the values of our Trust, enabling people to reach their potential and live well in their community.”

Paul’s support and encouragement in producing the DVD has had such a positive impact on the service user’s behaviour that he now gets involved in other activities. The 6Cs Live! panel felt that this was an excellent example of patient-centred care in practice with Paul demonstrating compassion and dedication.

Birte Harlev-Lam, head of maternity and children’s services (nursing directorate: quality improvement and care) at NHS England, commended Paul:

“Paul’s story shows how going the extra mile to help patients and service users can make such a difference. The panel felt that his approach demonstrated compassion and care in aiding this service user to communicate and express his feelings. Congratulations Paul.

“We know that the use of technology can really help patients and nursing staff and this is a perfect example of this in practice.

“It’s exactly these stories of compassion that we want to hear about so please let us know about the work that you’re doing by filling in the easy form on the 6Cs Live! website.”

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