Follow Thomas Carr, a new member of staff and an ex service user, during his first year working for the Trust. Thomas works as an administrator in the Weller Wing in Bedford Hospital.
'Well, what a year it’s been. January sees the one year anniversary of my time with ELFT and hence the end of these posts. It’s been a pleasure writing on this blog for the past twelve months, documenting the highs and lows of what was another rollercoaster year. Everything from learning the job to personal troubles to the glamour of the Staff Awards and speaking at the Trust’s inaugural LGBT Conference! It certainly had it all… It’s been a great year with many opportunities to help pass on my story and show that things can get better for our service users.' Read Full Entry
'On Friday 25th November, I along with many colleagues from Bedford boarded the coach to The Troxy in London for the ELFT Staff Awards. I’d been looking forward to this evening for some time, as I had never been to an awards ceremony before and I was really hoping to see some of my close colleagues pick up awards!' Read full article
OUTSTANDING events... - November
'On 10th October, we celebrated World Mental Health Day here at Weller Wing, joining the many other ELFT sites in holding a celebration in our dining room. It feels a bit odd “celebrating” the day, as people who suffer from mental health issues rarely celebrate their fate, but we felt it was important to show solidarity with all of our service users' Read full entry
Making a Difference - October
'I think when I first took this job; all I wanted to do was make a positive difference. I may not be directly involved with patients, but the administration is an important cog in the wheel of effective care. Each day, I hope I do at least something that has made a positive difference to Keats Ward.' Read full entry
The New Boy - September
'On Friday 19th August, I wished a temporary adieu to my colleagues on Keats Ward to take up my secondment position with the Safeguarding Adults team. After the eventful weekend, that included getting a nasty blow to the head with a cricket ball, (it’s not all chasing leather and drinking tea you know!) I found myself on the train towards my first day at Charter House.' ...Read full entry
Summer Time - August
'Summer can be tough on our service users. When I was an inpatient in Barnet, I was very anxious to go outside because I didn’t know the area, so was consigned indoors. This was in mid-September, in the midst of an oddly timed heat wave. Sitting inside on the couch, looking out to the sun wasn’t the best ...' Read full entry
Inspection time - July
'On the morning of Thursday 16th June, I was awake at 5am in anticipation of the day ahead. It was the day of my talk for the Bedfordshire Mental Health Awareness Roadshow, hosted by the Bedford Crisis team. I turned up to watch the whole event, with talks from a plethora of teams, all of which was very informative. I was last on the bill, so I sat at the back creating nervous tension for myself before it was my turn to speak....' Read full entry
Settled In - June 'The results are in! The administration restructure is complete and I am remaining where I am for the time being, on the same banding, which is a result in my book as I really do like working here on Keats Ward. All the staff are great to work with and I really feel like we’re making leaps and bounds on trying to improve the lives of our service users. I have spent a lot of this week writing personal invites to service users past and present to invite them to a summer BBQ this month! One of many events taking place throughout the summer to help our patients through this difficult patch in their lives....'
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Ever more complicated - May 'I always had a plan for what I’d write in my first three blogs. An introduction, my first few weeks and what it was like as a patient. I’d then run out of ideas. Unfortunately, the topic of my fourth blog has almost been decided for me. I write this part of the blog as my third entry is being published, but it hasn’t been a weekend to remember. Well, it has been but not for the right reasons. My Saturday morning was interrupted by a phone call telling me a close family member had been admitted to Keats Ward....' Read full entry here
What is it really like? - April
'Whilst I enjoy my time working here on Weller Wing, my world is very different from the last time I graced these four walls. At that time, there were 2 wards in action, a mental health assessment unit as well as outpatient services. How things have changed… '
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Progress - March
'The reaction to my first blog entry has been extraordinary. E-mails from colleagues I’ve never met, some of whom work in the capital, commending me on my journey. Senior management have sent messages saying they found my words enlightening. Even an old school friend dropped me a line to say how she enjoyed the blog and to tell me she’s soon to be a happily married woman...'
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‘A Piece of my Mind’, welcome to my new monthly blog - February
'My name is Thomas Carr, and I am the Ward Administrator at Weller Wing in Bedford. I am in the odd position of being a member of staff on the same ward I was once an inpatient in. Seeing the world of mental health from both sides of the coin has given me a view to how we can provide the best possible care, whilst also maintaining professional standards....'
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