In this post, Charlotte and the rest of the team tell us about the service and the new team………..
Introducing the Recovery Centre
It’s been an exciting few months here at the new Recovery Centre, based at Asket Croft in Seacroft, as our new partnership team prepares to welcome service users onto the two new Rehabilitation and Recovery inpatient units following a review of our existing R and R service structure over the last 18 months. The redesign of the service has been put in place to provide more of a focus on rehabilitation and recovery into the community, rather than just on inpatient care. There are 2 R and R inpatient units both based on the Asket site in Seacroft, 1 supported and 1 independent (hoping to be similar to a therapeutic community), in addition to the opening of the Recovery Centre partnership team – us! – who will also be based on this site.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of our team at the Recovery Centre is that we are a partnership of workers from LYPFT, Leeds Mind, Community Links and Touchstone, coming together to share our individual skills and diverse levels of experience to ensure we can offer a range of support for service users as we aim to empower them to become more independent. Bringing together workers from LYPFT with workers from third sector organisations is an exciting opportunity, but as the team is brand new, it has meant we’ve all needed a few weeks to get to know each other and establish our new team, as well as set out our core values and aims.
The Recovery Centre team itself consists of care co-ordinators and recovery workers, some of whom started straight away at Asket Croft, others spending time within their parent organisations – for example, working in the Leeds Mind peer support service. The team will also be working with consultants, psychologists and social workers. The full team finally came together in person however at the start of December, with a full week of teambuilding and training, with the prospect of service users moving onto the Asket site from 5th January.
Teambuilding was a particularly important part of our induction, mainly as we were coming together from a range of places to work in a brand new service, with a range of expectations, ideas and questions. A full first day hosted by Community Links gave us the chance to get to know each other and where we had all come from, as well as a chance to begin to discuss our team values and aims, leading to further discussion on these as the induction week progressed, encouraging us to begin to think about how we can as both individuals and teams make them grow. It was clear from early on in our induction that we all share core values of recovery, service user involvement and ensuring our approach is fully person-centred, keeping in line with our ultimate aim of empowering service users and supporting them to become more independent. It wasn’t all just flipchart work either – we had plenty of teambuilding activities and icebreakers, and arguably one of the most enjoyable parts of our induction week was a teambuilding trip to York, visiting the Christmas markets and getting to know each other a little more outside of the office environment!
As the Recovery Centre is brand new, training opportunities within our induction have also given us the chance to begin to develop our own best practice guides and policies, based on our core team values and aims. We have been able to discuss and explore potential opportunities for service user involvement at all levels of the service and involving service users throughout the care pathway – for example, involving service users in the recruitment of staff, or guiding service users in co-facilitating group sessions and workshops in the community to develop their own skills. We have also been able to develop our own Recovery Centre policies on boundaries and sharing experience (important as some workers within the team bring their own personal lived experience to their work with a peer support approach), and on how we will deliver Care Programme Approach (CPA) and how service users can be more involved in the CPA process themselves, potentially even leading their own CPA review meetings if comfortable.
Another large part of our induction was becoming more comfortable with and knowledgeable about each organisation in the partnership, and visiting other local community-based services and resources as our work will be a mixture of in-reach onto the inpatient units and outreach into the community. This has ranged from chatting to each other about our backgrounds and parent organisations, to more structured sessions, such as a workshop on peer support from Leeds Mind, led by staff and volunteers, and a visit to Touchstone and their community support team. The R and R psychology team who will be working with us delivered a session on formulation and how it will apply to our work, and our consultant psychiatrists also led a discussion on the work of medics within R and R, which was important in ensuring everyone was on the same page with regards to roles within the team.
All in all, our team induction has been a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting time – and we look forward to beginning our work with service users in a few weeks’ time!
(Follow us on Twitter at @LeedsMHRecovery)