The Restraint Debrief Volunteer Service based at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust has been mentioned in a national report looking into the positive impact of volunteering in the health and care system.
The ‘Volunteering Innovators Programme’ report was produced by community interest company ‘Helpforce’ in partnership with NHS England.
The report mentions how "evidence clearly indicates that when NHS Trusts invest in their volunteer services, there are rich rewards for staff, patients, hospitals, and the volunteers themselves."
Joanne Scott, Voluntary Services Manager, said: “It was great to be involved in this national report and to highlight the dedicated work carried out by our restraint debrief volunteers team. Our volunteers play a significant role enhancing the care service users receive when they are going through a particularly difficult time in their life.” The team is pictured here at the C&I Star of the Year Awards in 2019 - before social distancing restrictions were introduced.
On occasions, some patients in psychiatric inpatient settings have to be restrained by staff for the safety of themselves or others. The aim of the Restraint Debrief Volunteer, which started in 2017, is to give patients who have had to be restrained, a voice and an opportunity to reflect and feedback on the event from their perspective.
The benefit of having a volunteer in this role is that service users may find it easier to engage with volunteers as they are independent to and neutral to any incidents that have occurred. A number of volunteers have lived experience of mental illness themselves and can bring their valuable lived experience to the role.
C&I has moved the service we normally offer in emergency departments to our 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service, at St Pancras Hospital. The service will see people in need of urgent care so that they do not have to go to a hospital emergency department unless they have an urgent medical need. Emergency departments are under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19 – the illness caused by coronavirus. We are urging people in mental health crisis to telephone our 24/7 crisis line on 0800 917 3333 or contact their usual community mental health team. If service users attend the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service in person we will see you but we urge you to contact the crisis line in advance for advice to ensure you are only leaving home when absolutely necessary.