Hyphen Projects

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Summarised below are the projects in which Hyphen-21 is involved. Please click on the links for more information and downloads:

Poems for…
This project offers poems for display in healthcare waiting rooms, libraries, class-rooms and other settings. The project has been funded by the Arts Council of England, the Poetry Society, the King’s Fund, NHS Estates, the Dept of Health Equality and Human Rights Group,  the Foreign Office and the John Lewis Partnership. Many of the poems are bilingual, in celebration of diversity. The poem collections are on display in sites all over the country and, since 2008, people have been downloading them in large numbers from the project’s new stand-alone website – www.poemsfor.org  Most of the interest is now coming from schools. Further bilingual collections are being prepared.

Ward Round Code
Ward rounds can be deeply intimidating. The experience can be especially traumatic for people with mental health problems. The code sets out guidelines for how to make the ward round and similar meetings more sensitive and respectful. It has been recognised as good practice by the Department of Health and by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE).

Consulting with the Users of Care Services
All care organisations are now required to consult with the users of their services at every level. But how to do this in a way that is both real and respectful? How carefully and competently a service consults is how careful and competent a service is.

User Involvement in Staff Recruitment
Involvement in staff recruitment is a valid and effective way for service users to influence service quality. The model proposed here involves a separate user panel and assesses senior staff on their relationship skills. It has been commended by the Commission for Health Improvement and an article describing the model has been published by the magazine OpenMind.

Morale in Care Organisations
New Labour knows that the public are impatient for the delivery of improved public services. But this will be difficult to achieve so long as the services concerned are often appallingly short-staffed and morale is low.
We have worked hard on a paper that sets out an overall strategy for improving staff morale and retention.

The Practitioners Forum
The underlying purpose of this proposal is to promote and affirm the expertise of the ground level practitioner as a crucial element in the delivery of good services.

Shared Care Recording
The Shared Care Record (or “Home Support Book”, or “Patient-Held Record” ) offers the patient custody and control of his/her own health record. Articles describing the approach have been published in OpenMind and in the Nursing Times. The versions described are 1/ for people with mental health problems and 2/ for people who are house-bound (usually elderly people). We believe the approach would also be valuable in the support of people with learning difficulties.

Spirituality and Mental Health
There is growing interest in spirituality in mental health circles. We offer a good paper that explores the subject with profundity and poetry. The writer, Julie Liebrich, lives in New Zealand. She has given us her permission to publish her paper on this web site.

Poetry Workshops for Carers
We recommend the idea of running poetry or similar workshops for Carers. A series of workshops supported by the King’s Fund resulted in several poetry readings.

Mental health promotion
Mental Health promotion is one of the requirements of the National Service Framework. We have some ideas of our own.

Poem “A Light Summer Dying”
A long poem which tells the true story of a death from cancer, describing a whole family’s experience. The poem has been well received by poets who’ve seen it, including Andrew Motion the Poet Laureate and Moniza Alvi. It has been read out to good effect to hospice workers, Macmillan nurses and social work trainees.