Mental Health Awareness Week - The story of a Mental Health Matron with a passion for rehabilitation
18-24 May 2020 marks Mental Health Awareness week and to celebrate, we are hearing from the inspirational mental health professionals from around our Trust.
Today we hear from Tre Daughtery, the Matron from the Kite Unit, a Inpatient Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation Service in Southampton. The Kite Unit is a purpose built, 10 bedded, ground floor facilities that opened in 2018 offering assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and disability management to patients with a brain injury, cognitive impairments, behavioural or mental health needs.
Tre tells us how her nursing career started and why she wanted to make a positive change to people’s lives.
“I have worked with inpatient services, community services, assessment and treatment, intensive outreach, been a specialist epilepsy nurse and now work as a Matron in Neurological Rehabilitation Services. I absolutely love my job and have a real passion for providing the best care for my patients.
“My journey started when I was at school. I had a friend whose brother had a learning disability and I saw how this had a negative impact on his quality of life. He was socially isolating and the family we’re unsure how to care for him, it was quite hard to watch. I wanted to understand how and why this was happening and started to look for ways I could make a difference, so I applied for a work experience placement at a special needs’ playschool.
“I was blown away by the level of disability, sensory stimulation and organised care that was being provided and I enjoyed my placement so much that I applied for my nurse training to become a Learning Disability Nurse (RNLD). During my time on the wards, I wanted to understand the causes of Learning Disabilities and try to reduce the psychological and social impact on individuals and their families.
“The most rewarding part of my job is working with people. My days start at 8am when I start the ward rounds. As the ward Matron, I am responsible for the development of services and standards to improve the quality of patient and carer experience, as well as the personal and professional development of staff. I work collaboratively with the ward managers and team members and regularly meet patients and their relatives to help them understand their care plans.
“Some of the work I am most proud of is the care we have provided to some of our more complex cases. On one occasion we had to implement a bespoke care and therapy programme to a patient who had complicated physical and mental health problems. The patient presented with neurological and orthopaedic problems alongside a pre-existing mental health condition. Because of the complexity of his needs, he didn’t fit into the referral criteria for a specialist mental health or rehab service, so we admitted him onto the ward, and implemented a bespoke, intensive and collaborative package of care by our multidisciplinary teams and sister ward, Snowdon.
“He was supported and treated at both, Snowdon Neurological ward and the Kite Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation unit, both services are located at the Western Community Hospital in Southampton. Most of his care was centred, not only around his physical and mental needs, but his disability management. We wanted to get him to a place where he was able to manage his ‘new normal’ way of life so he could regain his independence and return to university. I’m really proud of the work our teams did with this particular patient, we got him where he needed to be, whilst keeping him safe and maintaining his mental health.
“It’s a real privilege to work with people whilst they are at their most vulnerable, with respect, empathy and dignity. I am proud of my teams, the ways they go over and above, for the benefit of each patient and it’s an honour to be their Matron.”