The Farndon Unit shortlisted in The National Service User Awards ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ Category

Congratulations to the team at The Farndon Unit who have been shortlisted in the National Service User Awards ‘Breaking down Barriers’ category for their initiative, ‘A Service User’s Perspective’ Workshop.

A team of current and former Farndon Unit service users have become a part of Elysium’s Nursing Preceptorship Academy and facilitated workshops to cohorts of newly qualified nurses as an embedded part of the course providing a service user’s perspective of life in secure services, drawn from their lived experience.

The workshop begins with a showing of ‘Lucys Story’, a powerful short film created by Farndon Unit service users and the Geese Theatre Company which aims to illustrate key moments in an imaginary person’s journey from their first arrival at a secure hospital to the day of their discharge. The film draws from the shared experiences of its creative team and aims to highlight the feelings of uncertainty and apprehension that this can initially bring, and the importance of retaining identity and looking forward.

Service user facilitators work in teams of two and discuss their experiences and admissions and highlight the qualities they feel make a great nurse using examples. The team then hold an open Q & A to the cohort of 30+ nurses which they approach with enthusiasm and confidence fielding a broad array of questions – the most recent of which involved one of the team sharing a recipe.

The workshop team has also been joined by a former Farndon Unit service user who wishes to become an expert by experience and was able to cite this as her first paid role.

Discussing the workshop initiative, service user H said,

“I felt that I was doing something really useful in sharing my experiences and how important it is for staff to get to know us as people and not just patients – and feel that even if only one of the nurses took something from it that could make a difference. My favourite part of the workshop was the open Q & A – people had some great questions that shown they had really been listening”.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place in May – good luck to the Farndon Unit team and all others shortlisted.