Pastoral Healthcare

Origins

It was recognised that there was a “gap in the market” for good quality low secure services in South Wales. Research suggested that many local patients were being accommodated in Units across the country, far from friends and families and that they would benefit from more local services where family support could be established and maintained far easier. It was also recognised that mental health provision was notoriously “a revolving door” process with patients being admitted, discharged and re admitted on a regular basis. Pastoral Cymru’s services have been developed based on academic research, building on close links to Cardiff University that is aimed at remedying this problem. The general economic climate has obviously made growing this type of business far more difficult, but as the company provides very specialist services, planned Government cuts are unlikely to affect anticipated growth. In addition, a general shortage of qualified mental health nurses has added an additional burden to recruitment plans. Finally, the historic attitude of the general public to mental illness also proved an obstacle initially but good management practices and transparent, proactive relationships with neighbours have ensured a very good working relationship.

Success Factor

The three main success factors for the business are the growing need for provision of low secure mental health services; recognition by Commissioners of the company’s commitment and expertise to service provision; and further recognition of the expert clinical and medical services it provides. Finally, there is 100% commitment from all employees to its corporate vision of providing “A Pathway to a Better Future” for patients.

The Future

The company recognised the need to consolidate current service provision but that, in itself, has doubled the size of the business during 2010/11. It does not intend to stand on its laurels and there are further plans to build a third unit in Northamptonshire. Although, initially it was hoped that construction of this additional purpose built 40 bed unit would commence in September 2011, the directors of the company decided that a slower growth rate would be sensible as the economy continues to struggle generally, but plans for this third unit will proceed as soon as the economic climate improves. Pastoral Cymru has also recognised that there is a need for additional “step down” services to help support patients during their transition from low secure accommodation to living within the general community. It is hoped that eventually all three of its units will be able to offer full support services to patients on discharge to meet this need.