A rising demand for mental health services in West Norfolk has resulted in extra training for staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn.
Unison and the hospital, which is aiming for excellence in mental health care, have joined forces to put on a new pilot course for doctors and nurses to help ensure patients get the right help they need.
Staff are treating patients with a wide range of mental health conditions including dementia, depression and self-harm along with children and young people.
The course, which is open to Unison members and non-members, highlighted the key principles of the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act.
Mental health liaison nurse Ben Galvin said mental health issues are on the agenda for mandatory training across the trust.
He said: “Training sessions like this are central to providing the holistic care the hospital is required to provide. We will be providing more training going forward and this is not just a one-off event.”
More than 20 people attended the session including consultants and student nurses.
Open University tutor Vince Mitchell, who delivered and devised the course, said he aimed to make the acts accessible.
He said: “People have shared their experiences in using the act and that has been very useful. It would be good if this course could be rolled out wider than the QEH.”
Student nurse Megan Copsey, who attended the course, said it was helpful. She added: “As a student nurse, hearing other people’s experiences made it easier to understand the act and how it applies to different practice areas.”
Unison branch secretary Darren Barber said the idea for this session was borne out of an earlier course on dementia.
Mr Barber said: “We are very proud to be supporting this course and keen to develop the skills of our membership in partnership with the hospital.
This is an important subject within West Norfolk and projects like this show how much people want to learn.”
Hospital chief executive Dorothy Hosein said: “We are striving for excellence in our treatment of patients with dementia and this course is just one way of improving the experience for staff and patients.”