Wrexham-based mental health team named best in the UK

A healthcare team based at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital that supports those seriously affected by mental illness has received national recognition for their pioneering work.

Local Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths visited Tryweryn Ward to meet with the staff and congratulate them on beating competition from across the UK to be named the Nursing Times’ Team of the Year.

Tryweryn Ward is a nine-bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit based at the Heddfan Unit in Wrexham.  The staff provide holistic assessment, care and treatment to adults who experience a crisis in their mental health and have been deemed to be of high risk to themselves and/or others.

The team at Tryweryn Ward have been praised for introducing techniques that have safely deescalated situations and resulted in a significant reduction of restraints.

Staff have worked closely with service user involvement organisation, Caniad.  Under the Today we Talked initiative, Caniad representatives, who have personal experience of mental health services, engage with patients on a regular basis to discover how they would like to be treated when they are in crisis.  The information obtained is then fed back to staff in order to make the necessary improvements.

As a result, a wide variety of new therapeutic activities are available on the ward.  Patients regularly bake, participate in arts and craft sessions, play board games and take part in physical activities such as table tennis, badminton and yoga.

After touring the ward and meeting with staff and patients, Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: “Tryweryn Ward specialises in supporting people experiencing a mental health crisis yet there was a calm, settled atmosphere on the ward which is great testament to the diligent staff, as well as the measures that have been put in place.”

“Having regular, honest and open conversations has created a positive environment which ultimately benefits both patients and staff.”

“The excellent work initiated by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in partnership with Caniad is having a lasting impact and everyone involved is fully deserving of this prestigious national award.”