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Orchard House developments in patient care

08 October 2020

Improvements at Orchard House have enabled better care for patients receiving mental health treatment in a safe and welcoming environment.

A combination of environmental improvements, personalised programmes of care and advances in staff processes have led to Orchard House receiving ‘green status’ during an internal audit.

The recent updates to the facility include:

  • New weighted furniture
  • New ICU furniture
  • New en-suite bathrooms
  • Improved outdoor space, including vegetable garden
  • Personalised communal areas, including art murals
  • New breakout areas for staff
  • New clinic room for nurses
  • Psychologist based on site

A new therapeutic programme has been introduced which focuses on de-escalation practices aimed at keeping patient’s safety at the heart of practice, including reducing the need for interventions. 

Psychologist, Dr John Cartmell said: “We want to move away from the institutional culture and offer a more holistic, collaborative approach to mental health care. Being based on-site enables greater availability for patients and staff alike. The feel of Orchard House is now one of nurturing, safety and care. The site refurbishments have vastly improved patient experience. There is also a greater emphasis on staff wellbeing.”

Orchard House Ward Manager, Olivia Card, said: “We are encouraging our staff and patients to co-produce their care plans, our hope being that the care plans produced will be more representative of the patient’s needs and strengths. We have introduced patient goals which are customised alongside a flexible weekly activity schedule.

"Working with Occupational Therapists we have introduced 25 hours per week of activities including skills-based interventions for emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. This represents a move towards greater trauma-focused intervention on the ward. Alongside the psychology sessions, we also provide opportunity for functional assessments and other leisure activities such as baking and physical exercise. These are very popular and ensure a good mix of provision for patients on the ward.”

Orchard House has developed improved links with external organisations, such as the Jersey Youth Service and Princes’ Trust, to support opportunities and vocational activities within the community.

Patients are now encouraged to offer feedback on discharge which is used to continually review and improve the service.

Senator Steve Pallett, Assistant Minister responsible for Mental Health, said: “These improvements have drastically improved the quality of care offered at Orchard House and I’m immensely proud of progress the facility has made this year and thank our staff for all their hard work and dedication. Despite challenges of COVID, patients have been kept safe in a welcoming and inclusive environment. It represents a significant step up towards the journey we are on to improve mental health services on the Island.”

OIivia Card continued: “Having moved into the team in March this year I have seen so many positive changes to the ward. I can honestly say that I am proud to be part of this team and we are looking forward to continuing to improve standards. We continually learn from the past and focus on the future for our patients, staff and services.”

The target moving into 2021 is for Orchard House to receive ‘AIMS accreditation’ from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which is a prestigious national accreditation reflecting high standards. 

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