Wednesday, 5 September 2012
A five bedded inpatient unit which has been successfully supporting drug and alcohol dependent patients during detox for the past two years, has at last been officially opened.
Calon Lan, which means pure heart in Welsh, is based at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and is only the second unit of its kind in Wales. Set up in 2010, it has now been officially opened by Chairman of ABMU, Win Griffiths. As the unit has been so busy supporting and treating patients, it is only now they have been able to organise an opening ceremony.
It provides a service for patients across Bridgend, Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea who need inpatient care whilst they receive treatment for their substance misuse problems in order to enable them to begin their recovery back in the community.
Picture l-r: Meurig Davies, Acting Service Manager for the Community Drug and Alcohol Team and Chairman of ABMU, Win Griffiths
Meurig Davies, Acting Service Manager for the Community Drug and Alcohol Team, explained:
“The service was set up to support the patients for whom it isn’t safe or appropriate to detox at home. Some may have health issues, either physically or emotionally, which mean they need inpatient support whilst they stop drinking or taking drugs.
“Patients usually spend two weeks at the unit, but it can be longer if necessary. Throughout their stay, patients maintain contact with care workers in the community, so they know they will have support once they are ready to be discharged and start their recovery closer to home. By basing it at Neath Port Talbot, we are central for all areas across the Health Board.”
Each patient has their own en suite bedroom. There are also communal areas, including the dining room, lounge and garden, which are used for therapy sessions as well as for downtime.
Patients have daily relaxation classes, and well as relapse prevention classes. They discuss the triggers which cause them to drink or take drugs, and what they can do to manage them.
Classes, such as art, help patients to feel busy and distracted. They are also taught life skills, such as cooking. Every Saturday night the patients cook a meal and then Sunday morning they prepare a full English breakfast. They also help to take care of the garden, where fruit and vegetables are grown.
Voluntary groups and other external organisations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, also come in to run sessions for the patients.
On opening the unit, Mr Griffiths said:
“I am delighted to be here to officially open such an important service. As the problem of addiction continues to rise, we must do everything we can to help.
“I would like to thank the staff at Calon Lan for their commitment and passion towards helping those with addictions. They all have a strong belief in the capacity of people to want to make changes to themselves.”
Dr Zelda Summers, Lead Consultant Psychiatrist for the Community Drug and Alcohol Team, added:
“The staff work really hard to make the unit welcoming and constructive. The feedback we have had from patients so far is really positive. Any ideas our patients give us as to how we can improve we act upon. Calon Lan is a really pleasant place to work, and also to receive treatment in.”