Designing better mental healthcare facilities

A patient standpoint on the PICU experience

Presenting jointly on the opening morning of June’s Design in Mental Health 2023 Conference, Dr Stephen Dye, a consultant psychiatrist, and one of his former patients, Bernard Fox – now a committed campaigner for better mental healthcare environments, discussed ‘Physical environments of PICUs from the patient perspective’.

Presenting at June’s Design in Mental Health 2023 Conference, Dr Stephen Dye, a consultant psychiatrist at Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust, and the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care, and one of his former patients, Bernard Fox, discussed ‘Physical environments of PICUs from the patient perspective’. They painted a vivid picture of how factors such as being presented with too much choice when psychotic, and not having the purpose of components such as CCTV cameras properly explained to them, can be disturbing for someone in a state of psychosis or altered mental state. The Network’s editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports

The two speakers in a fascinating joint conference presentation on the event’s opening morning were introduced by the session chair, Roland Dix, who started his mental health career as a Nursing Assistant in 1984, became an Enrolled Nurse in 1988, a Staff Nurse in 1992, and was appointed Unit Manager and Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Greyfriars Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester in 1993. During 1996 – with others – he formed the National PICU Group, the forerunner of the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU). Between 1993 and 2000 he worked as a Matron Manager and Research Consultant for Gloucestershire Health Authority, and in 2001 was appointed a Visiting Research Fellow to the University of The West of England. The founding Editor-in-Chief of NAPICU’s Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care, he is an Executive Committee member of the Association, and also ‘an active commentator on psychiatric intensive care both within the UK and abroad’

Roland Dix told the audience: “I’m an approved nurse, an approved clinician, and am able to act as Responsible Clinician for people detained under the Mental Health Act. We now have very interesting joint address to look forward to from consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Dye, and Bernard Fox, a farmer, and a contributor for many years now to national mental health policy development – predominantly within psychiatric intensive care. Bernard has considerable lived experience, including with Steve as a professional within an inpatient service. Over to them to tell their story.”

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