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Stobhill Health Campus deals with patients with eating disorders.

By Lyall Allen, health correspondent

A hospital ward which cares for West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh and Lomond patients suffering from anorexia nervosa has been praised by mental health inspectors

Inspectors the Mental Welfare Commission visited Armadale Ward on the Stobhill Campus at the end of May and met with staff and patients.

The staff were “professional, approachable, engaged well and (had) a positive attitude” and were knowledgeable about the patients in their care. It was also noted that nursing staff had recently extended their role to carry out physical examinations such as ECGs and taking bloods.

Good planning was also evident on the day of the visit, with patients being given opportunities to consider the benefits of exercise and healthy eating to help promote recovery and patient-centred plans were regularly reviewed.

Patients with eating disorders need to be supervised regularly, particularly around meal times and inspectors found there to be an additional compliment of nursing staff “to meet the unique needs of patients who require an enhanced level of observation.”

When the Mental Welfare Commission last visited the ward in April 2018 a recommendation was made to improve access to the garden and privacy for patients. In May’s inspection they were pleased to see this had been addressed, with the garden now offering both security and privacy.

The inspection also found a good programme of structured activity for patients, and some were attending community based therapy groups that day. There were also opportunities for individual therapeutic activities for those not able to take part in group sessions. Input from the therapeutic activity nurses was singled out for providing “an extensive variety of activities and are highly praised by patients and the clinical team.”

Isobel Paterson, Head of Adult Services for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (North East), said: “We welcome such a positive report from the Mental Welfare Commission that recognises the work of all staff who deliver services within Armadale Ward to provide recovery focused care to patients who require to use our services.”

Meanwhile, an educational film for school children which addresses the impact of domestic abuse on children, and features local young actors, has received film industry awards. Released last year it has received several awards in the Depth of Field film festival and is a finalist in this year’s Olympus Film Festival.

The film ‘Keeping Mum’, which also stars Jane McGarry and Mark Cox, better known for their roles as Isa and Tam in Still Game, was developed after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) Health Improvement Team, Glasgow Violence Against Women and Community Safety Glasgow commissioned Baldy Bane Theatre company to produce a play on domestic violence for P5 – P7 children across Glasgow.

The play was so successful that the script was redeveloped to produce a high quality film that could be shown to children across Scotland, funded by NHS endowments.

The film ‘Keeping Mum’ and the original play consist of three children’s experiences of domestic abuse and how it affects their daily lives.  The film is now shown to children alongside a teacher pack and workshops which give children the opportunity to explore some of the issues raised in the film, understand other people’s feelings who may be living with domestic abuse, and offers them the chance to talk about domestic abuse with other class mates and their teachers.

The film was produced by Soundsmove Production along with Baldy Bane and is available with sign language, audio descriptor and subtitles. Keeping Mum can be viewed here: and should be used alongside the teacher pack provided.

Maree Todd, Minister for Early Years & Childcare, said at the launch last year: “I want to congratulate the makers of the film for raising awareness of this very difficult and challenging subject.  Attitudes towards domestic abuse are changing but it is still a very serious public health issue that disrupts the lives of many children and young people.

“Our strategy to stop domestic abuse, Equally Safe, recognises the issue has very significant consequences for the victim, and that children and young people growing up in that setting are also seriously affected even if the abuse is not directed at them. We want children to feel like they can talk about the tough experiences they have, both to their teachers, their family and their friends.

“We recognise that these experiences can affect children in many different ways later in life and support from a trusted adult at the right time can make a huge difference.”

Barbara Adzajlic, Health Improvement Senior, NHSGGC said: “I’m delighted that the film has done so well. The director, cast and crew committed themselves to this project and produced a fantastic resource on limited time and budget. Stella, Natasha and Luke produced wonderful and moving performances that have been commented on by teachers and other professionals who have viewed the film.

“Domestic abuse is a huge public health issue affecting many children and young people across Scotland. Keeping Mum is an important part of our work with Education Services to raise awareness of the issue, to encourage children and young people to seek support and to equip professionals to provide that support.”

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