What I have noticed over the last 13 years is the tangible presence of our core values. All the people here, including our Board, are focused on patient care and safety, without compromise and, for me, that’s been the key. I am proud to say I work for Sussex Partnership.
I’ve had the opportunity to work all across the county, from one end to the other. There is massive scope to train and to grow professionally. I joined as an SHO and am now Clinical Lead. We’re also promoting Langley Green as a Centre of Excellence for Research and are already involved in two research projects. There is a great emphasis here on learning from research to improve outcomes.
A ‘whole life’ perspective
Our crisis team are very experienced and motivated people, but what singles them out is their interest in people. In 2014 the University College London undertook a nationwide core fidelity review of crisis teams in 39 areas of functioning. We did extremely well, and were way above the national average.
The report stated: “this team has excelled in explaining illnesses and treatments to patients”. This was fantastic to hear, because many of our patients do not understand why they need to take their medication. An audit last year showed that 77% of readmissions were people who have not been taking their medication. As part of the study I had to submit a case report and shared the story of a lady who was suffering from psychosis. I demonstrated how our team had helped her to understand the importance of taking her medication. She had very young children, so we did all we could to help her avoid hospital admission. Our team’s dedication kept that family together. UCL now uses this case study as an example on their website, and we’re very proud to have set that example. We look at what is wrong for the person, not what is wrong with the person. We look at their whole life. It’s the only way.
I have a ‘feel good wall’ in my office full of cards from people we have helped. Along with our close team, it helps me through the stressful times. One of my favourite messages says: “Dr Adil, the first psychiatrist to make a carer and a patient feel like a human being”. We also hold regular reflective meetings and I have an open-door policy and, in this team, it works both ways.
Sometimes I wonder am I helping them or are they helping me? What I do brings such a sense of satisfaction. In mental healthcare you are helping the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in our society. In physical healthcare you can help a person, but in mental healthcare you can fix a family, and that’s a privilege.