The Discovery Centre is a recovery college that aims to restore hope, increase people’s sense of control over their lives and support them to take opportunities to pursue their goals, interests and aspirations.
75% of Courses are co-produced. The Discovery Centre are offering an increased amount of courses that meet the needs of the patients. Patients have successfully progressed from the discovery centre into voluntary positions and peers support trainers in the community following discharge.
The Discovery Centre is a recovery college that aims to restore hope, increase people’s sense of control over their lives and support them to take opportunities to pursue their goals, interests and aspirations. Courses and workshops are co-produced with patients, where possible, and run across four areas. These vary in content, length and learning: • Understanding mental health challenges • Recovery journey • Developing knowledge and skills • Getting involved
The discovery centre runs three terms a year and delivers a prospectus of courses and sessions such as, Mirror Mirror Theatre, Benefits Talk, Printing with Double Elephant, Nature Encounters (bringing nature in), WRAP– Planning for the Future, Open afternoon with West Town Farm, Bread Making workshop, Photography course, ReCreate workshop, Conservation with Natural England, Physical Health Talk, Understanding Schizophrenia, Nutrition– Eating Well Feeling Good, Peer Trainer course, Theory of Attachment and how it’s linked to relationships, Managing Stress, Developing Volunteering Skills, Let’s talk Medicines, Open morning with Advocacy and Tools to Cultivate Your Wellbeing.
The Discovery Centre has collaborated with Devon Recovery Learning Community to establish a community recovery education route for patients. A recent peer trainer pilot project involving patients and tutors in the community has been very successful and led to many potential avenues of shared working.
The discovery centre have developed positive relationships with local organisations such as; a local Sainsbury’s store offers patients practice interviews to utilise skills they learnt on the discovery centre recruitment course. The discovery Centre also look forward to our regular shared football tournaments with Sainsbury’s.
Patients take part in many focus groups aiming to review policies and services across the site. Policies and procedures reviewed include leave policy, PAT dog attendance, e-cigarettes, money handling and visitor rooms.
Patients have been involved in the improvement of Managers’ Hearings. They regularly attend working groups, such as the Nutrition and Smoke Free Groups which feed into our Directorate Governance.
We have patient representation in the collaborative 4 Steps to Safety initiative, including facilitation of discussion groups. One of our patients is the regional South West representative for the Recovery and Outcomes initiative.
Patients have completed the new admission leaflet – patients designed the layout and content. The leaflet provides what patients considered essential information to new admissions, families and carers about the hospital.
Through the discovery centre patients create Langdon Voice is a newsletter for families and carers containing new initiatives, staff and patient interviews, inspirational stories. Feedback from families has been really positive and carers feel more involved, they enjoy hearing about opportunities that are offered to their loved ones.
All new clinical staff take part in co-designed and co-produced presentations to raise awareness about patients’ experiences.
Co-producing staff champion training, the staff champion role raises staff awareness about how to support patients to have their voices heard through the Patient Council, and the patient forum.
The Patient Council offers a two-way communication and response process for providing feedback and addressing issues between patient and management. The Patient Council have had a number of successful outcomes, for example improvements to the visitor’s room facilities and provision, Pets As Therapy (PAT)
Looking Back/Challenges Overcome
Time to establish and embed a change programme- a support worker has been allocated to support facilitation of the Discovery Centre
Training needs and requirements, the discovery centre team have been proactive in seeking out training to meet learning needs, such as NACRO disclosure training and attending a IMROC peer support training conference.
Sustainable business planning • Monitoring discrimination and inclusion and reducing stigma for people in secure services • Resources continue to create a challenge- however, the team continue to use innovative and creative ways to overcome the demand to do more with less.
In a secure service, security and restriction can create a barrier- however, there continues to be a focus on flexibility and adaptability in order to involve and include service users and their carers.
Although there is a discovery centre team, the project is supported my the whole occupational therapy team and the wider Langdon hospital Team. Questionnaires are also being sent to staff and patients about what they would like to see in the future from the courses and opportunities offered. This will ensure the Discovery Centre continues to develop and evolve with the needs of the service.
Evaluation (Peer or Academic)
The discovery centre is currently completing a full review of the service (the working group includes both staff and patients), within the review a thorough Audit of courses and provision is being completed.
Daniel Sherman, the Recovery College manager, at East London Foundation Trust came down to Langdon Hospital to see the Discovery Centre, learn about how it operates and exchange experiences of running a recovery college in a forensic setting. There are plans for staff to also visit east London trust in the near future. The visit went really well and we both felt we gained a lot from it. Daniel said: “Thanks very much for having me visiting on Friday. It was lovely to meet you and your colleagues and students, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I would be very happy to host you at ELFT any time you think it would be useful.”
75% of Courses are co-produced. The Discovery Centre are offering an increased amount of courses that meet the needs of the patients. Patients have successfully progressed from the discovery centre into voluntary positions and peers support trainers in the community following discharge. Quotes from Patient re: discovery centre “I felt thoroughly inspired by the concept of The Discovery Centre and was very pleased to be involved. The programme that has been developed provides a wonderful opportunity for all participants with a varied selection of workshops available that are geared to inform, educate and motivate’ “Some people may think it’s only a drawing class or clay workshop but I started to use all my senses again and I feel I’m alive!”
The Discovery Centre plan to keep in touch with the East London Foundation Trust about new developments, sharing ideas and setting up a network group for recovery colleges in forensic settings. The Discovery Centre has collaborated with Devon Recovery Learning Community to establish a community recovery education route for patients. The discovery centre has recently co-delivered a TOGETHER presentation, discovery centre and patients have co presented at the ImROC conference at Broadmoor; a presentation about patient and staff experience at DPT’s Our Journey event. More recently the discovery centre created a poster presentation that was taken to the annual forum for the Quality network of Medium secure units
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