10 Aug 2022

South East mental health initiative shortlisted for national award

South East mental health initiative shortlisted for national award

The project titled “Co-production in Action” was set in motion last year

An innovation in mental health service staff training, developed by HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s Recovery College South East, has been shortlisted for the Health Service Excellence Awards.

In recent years the Recovery College South East has been working closely with staff in the mental health services serving counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

They have worked together on developing and delivering staff training that uses the experience of people who are using the service, so to inform staff training and incorporate a more recovery orientated approach.

As a resource, Recovery Colleges work with mental health services to develop and deliver recovery orientated training to staff, as well as offering a series of recovery educational workshops for those who experience mental health challenges, psychological distress, addiction and other challenges (and their families and supporters + anyone in the community who has an interest in mental health).

All Recovery College South East’s training and workshops are co-produced with people who have lived experience (and their family members and supporters), alongside staff who work in mental health services.

Recovery Colleges are driven by the ethos that in order to develop true recovery orientated services, the expert by experience (those with first hand experiences of using the mental health services) become partners in the development and delivery of recovery focused education.

It, in turn, promotes service development and good quality recovery orientated care

In adopting this “whole service approach” to recovery education, working in partnership with the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s mental health service, the Recovery College South East identified de-escalation within the therapeutic management of violence and aggression training (training which is delivered to staff working within the mental health services) as an area where those with the lived experience could be involved in developing and delivering aspects of the training.

Consequently, the project titled “Co-production in Action” was set in motion last year.

Now, the Recovery College South East’s “Co-production in Action” project has been short-listed in the “Quality and Patient Safety” category in the 2022 Health Service Excellence Awards.

The annual awards scheme identifies projects across eight categories and are an opportunity to showcase and celebrate good work, to share success stories and promote shared learning for other teams in the HSE.

Recovery Education facilitators collaborated with instructors and trainers from the mental health services serving counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford to design, deliver, co-produce and co-facilitate a programme.

Pictured in the Recovery College South East premises in Kilkenny developing a module of the “Co-production in Action” therapeutic management of violence and aggression training programme are (from left to right): Margaret Sweeney (Recovery Education Facilitator), Ashley O’ Keeffe (Instructor and Team Co-ordinator, Tuiscint Mental Health Day Hospital, Kilkenny), Martha Clark (Recovery Education Facilitator), Rose Dooley (Instructor and Community Mental Health Nurse Carlow) and Kevin Kissane (Instructor Clinical Nurse Manager 2, Carlow). Kilkenny Community Mental Health Nurse Patrick O Leary missing from photo.

In explaining the collaboration that is now shaping such staff training in the South East and welcoming the project’s shortlisting, Clare Fitzpatrick (Recovery Co-ordinator, HSE/South East Community Health Care) said:

“We are delighted with this recognition. Using lived experience and professional experience, this particular training model’s co-production and partnership working examines the experience of seclusion and restraint for people using the service.

“In addition to further developing the service provider’s role, we have been able to further emphasise de-escalation and the consideration of restraint only when there is no other alternative.”

“All of our work on this project is in line with the Patient Safety Strategy 2019-2024, which recognises that the key to patient safety and person-centred care is a culture where all stakeholders work together in partnership to ensure positive experiences and positive outcomes and minimise the risk of error and harm.”

Dr. Mia McLoughlin (Clinical Director for Carlow Kilkenny Mental Health Services, HSE/South East Community Healthcare) said the Recovery College South East was an important part of mental health services:

“Over recent years, the Recovery College in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford provides valued educational workshops for people who are experiencing mental health and addiction challenges.

“The Recovery College strive to establish connection, hope, identity meaning and empowerment through recovery focused education, where the person with the self-experience of distress is recognised as an expert.”

Congratulating the Recovery College South East team, David Heffernan (Head of Service/Mental Health, HSE/South East Community Healthcare) said:

“The goal of the Recovery College is to achieve a culture that welcomes authentic patient-partnership in the process of co-producing, delivering and improving services. Incorporating this philosophy in our staff training improves the quality of our service.”

“Therapeutic management training, where the lived experience of seclusion and de-escalation in an acute unit features, is a major step forward in how this service is delivered. It will continue to be rolled out across our services.

“The feedback to date has been very positive and the shortlisting for the Health Excellence Awards is testimony to the effectiveness of the module.”


To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.