Here you will find the “Ask the Network” Questions and Responses that we send out on a regular basis to support you all to share best practice and learn from each other. We hope you find it useful. If you can’t find what you are looking for then it might not have been asked before – let us know and we can “Ask the Network” for you!
Jan 2024
“We have had requests to start a ‘low secure newsletter’ to share information/updates, showcase SU’s artwork, poems, interesting articles…
Would any services that have facilitated a Newsletter group be willing to share resources/plans/evidence base?”
For responses to this question click here
Jan 2024
“Currently, due to the acuteness of the ward, we have had to remove notice boards on Cedar due to the risk. Please could you advise us on how other hospitals share information within the wards other than notice boards or if other hospitals have alternative boards which don’t pose as such a risk.”
For responses to this question click here
Jan 2024
“Humber inpatient secure (medium and low) are keen to know if other providers employ/use art therapy or other creative therapies. If so, what is their experience of these roles.”
For responses to this question click here
Jan 2024
Do fellow secure providers have CCTV in seclusion, and if so, is it set to be just a live feed, or can the feed be set to record and how is CCTV used in other areas of secure care? Is it in communal areas? Live Stream/Recording? 
For responses to this question click here
(October 2023) “What restrictions do you have on how much property can patients have at site and in their bedrooms. How is this managed both during their stay and before admission. How is this communicated to your patients…
 
We are currently reviewing our local procedures for patients’ property. I would be very interested in hearing from any secure (low or medium) units. I would be very grateful if units could share any local procedures / polices they have around this issue.”
For responses to this question click here
(October 2023) “We are a Low Secure Unit, seeking advice from other services who conduct random searches upon patient who return from unescorted leave.
 
  1. How and what methods do you use to ensure that searches are random?
 
  1. What are the pros and cons?
 
  1. Have you noticed an increase or decrease in contraband coming onto your wards?”
For responses to this question click here

(October 2023) “I am wanting to find out as much as I can about what other places have done, are doing or have in place to have families and patients involved more, any information would be greatly appreciated.”

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(October 2023) “Does anyone’s service have bikes for service users to use in the community? What is the procedure for service users using them? Do they need to complete a proficiency course/ test? How are the bikes maintained?”

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(October 2023) “Does any unit uses allow patients to use air fresheners in their bedrooms. Not the plug in’s or sprays but other types?”

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(August 2023) Cash Payments in Shops and Cafes

‘Within services that have a patients shop/café does anyone accept electronic or cashless payments, or is everyone using cash only?
I’m trying to look at the ways we prepare patients for the future regarding use of modern technology’
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(July 2023) Netflix and Ward Access

‘We would like to ask do any services use Netflix (individual accounts and dongles)? Also do any other services allow risk assessed, individually care planned, unsupervised access to ward based rooms such as ADL kitchens, IT suite, gym?’
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(July 2023) Dating Sites and Social Media

‘Are patients with access to smart phones able to join dating sites and explore other social media?’
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(July 2023) Service User Council

‘Myself and another OT are setting up service user council, and are looking for any ideas around this, such as what other centres do, any good ideas, roles for service users etc.’
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(July 2023) Social Work Provision

I am hoping to try and find out what the social work provision is for other hospitals, e.g. how many social workers for how many patients?
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(July 2023) ‘‘We would like to ask whether other secure services have experience of successfully employing peer support workers. If so:

 

  • what does their role involve in terms of day to day tasks?

  • what are particularly valued aspects of their role and what are the challenges?

 

If there were any unsuccessful employments, what was learned from that experience?

 

If other services feel that they can share an example of person spec/job description, generally, any learnings or advice, it would much appreciated.’’

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(June 2023)

‘Do other hospitals in the area have E-cigarettes.  If so, how are they managed on the wards/in the hospital.  If not, what has been the justification for not allowing E-cigarettes?’

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(June 2023) Radio Stations and Podcasts

‘Does anyone have, or know of anywhere that has, an in-house radio station or podcast? It has been brought up by service users to the advocate and we wanted to do some preliminary fact finding.’
For responses to this question click here 

(May 2023) Reviewing the Rehab Pathway

‘We are currently looking at and reviewing the rehab pathway in our service. Do any rehab/recovery wards work within a specific model or have any information on rehab models that would be useful to consider during our review?’
For responses to this question please click here

(May 2023) Swimming

How do other services support service users to go swimming- in terms of assessing competence/ level of skill/ managing risk etc?
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(May 2023) OT in Community Teams

“We have a new OT just started in our FOLS team, we are keen to explore whether any other secure services have an OT in their community forensic teams. If anyone has any information to share around this please do get in touch.”
For responses to this question please click here

(October 2021) Wards Mixing in Covid

A few services in the Network are keen to know what other services are doing in terms of wards being able to mix currently. Our understanding from talking to different services is that some are allowed to mix wards in certain situation and hold meetings such as Recovery College or Involvement Forums face to face perhaps with limited numbers etc, whereas others are still not able to mix wards in any way. We would really appreciate it if you could let us know the current agreements within your services for ward mixing so that we can get an idea of what this is looking like across Y&H.
For responses to this question please click here

(September 2021) Safewards

We have just done our Reducing Restrictive Practice RRP SeQuIn Tool scoring and one of the areas that it flagged up was around using methods such as Safewards to improve the wards and people’s experiences. This is not something that we have looked at in detail so far but it would be great to know if there were any specific Safewards initiatives that services have found particularly useful and would be willing to share what these were and how they have implemented them.
For responses to this question please click here

(July 2021) Crockery and Cutlery

We are a low secure rehab ward but we use plastic plates/cups/bowls etc. instead of using pot crockery and metal cutlery. This appears to be different to what service users tell us happens on some other low secure wards they have been on. Please can anyone advise what they are able to use on their wards in the interests of us reducing restrictive practice? We have asked the Quality Network but still await a response. The next step for our service users is often a community setting so it would be great to introduce these things to them while they are here. Please let us know if you can help.
For responses to this question please click here

(June 2021) Opening Bank Accounts in the community

We’ve been having some difficulties supporting patients to open a bank account. It’s been really difficult to do this online and obviously with the lockdowns patients haven’t always had leave to visit branches.
It’s also been difficult as many of our patients don’t have ID. We had an arrangement with the Santander in Willerby whereby we provided a covering letter as a form of ID but they’ve now changed the procedures and this is no longer possible.
For responses to this question – please click here

(June 2021) Chairing Community Meetings

We have had a service review this week and a number of issues have come to light. The suggestion is that the ‘community’ meetings which are facilitated by staff do not facilitate service users raising issues regarding issues they may have with staff or the service in general. My question is are there any other models where these meetings are independently facilitated?
For responses to this question – please click here

(June 2021) Patient Access to Printers

I was wondering if you would be able to put the feelers out to other services in the network around patient access to printers for educational and personal use. How do they manage and monitor this and what measures do they take to prevent overuse/misuse?
For responses to this question please click here

(June 2021) Recovery Colleges

As we come out of business continuity, we are aiming to step back up Recovery College within our service. This has previously been accessible by all three wards, with inter-ward mixing to participate in the session.
How are people delivering Recovery College at present, particularly given current restrictions in terms of social distancing, issues relating to infection control and inability to have mixed ward groups?
For responses to this question please click here

(May 2021) Smartphone Access

We are currently reviewing how patients have access to smartphones and internet – supervised & unsupervised
And would like to ask how are other services managing this?
  1. Do you have a set process to assess & risk manage individual patients prior to granting access to a smartphone?
  2. Are patients able to have these on the ward or just on leave?
  3. What checks do you have in place to ensure safe usage- both to protect the patient (thinking vulnerability) and against reoffending? 
  4. What issues/difficulties have you had after introducing smartphones?
  5. And any other advice /information you could give us about what they have done introducing smartphones.
For responses to this question please click here

(May 2021) Room searches and Storage

We have been discussing the length of time it takes our team to complete a bedroom search in a patients bedroom. Currently we have no limit on the amount of possessions in peoples rooms and so this is a mammoth task for some of our ladies who have been in services for a number of years. Please could you send an email out to the group asking how other services manage the amount of possessions in service users bedrooms, do they have any limits or are the patients allowed to have an endless amount of items?
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(March 2021) Discharge Planning

Please could you help me look in to what other secure services are doing in terms of gradual unescorted local leave to overnight for discharge planning for service users? Namely:
Are they going at all?
How long are they isolating for?
Are they accepting lateral flow tests or PCR and does them being asymptomatic affect the isolation time?
Also, what is the consensus about support bubbles whilst they are out on leave?
For responses to this question please click here