I was put on the transfer list from the PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) but had to wait a while before actually being transferred to the acute ward in Oldham.
I had to wait for the bed manager to give the go ahead for the transfer. I waited anxiously and pestered staff every day for updates.
Finally after nearly two weeks of anxiously waiting, the transfer was authorised. I put my belongings in a bin bag and said farewell to the other patients and waited for the taxi. I was escorted by a member of staff and finally stepped outside after nearly three months.
Everything seemed strange after being locked in for so long, but freedom tasted sweet. We arrived in Oldham after half an hour and I saw Parklands House (Name now changed) for the first time. I would spend a long time there in the coming years.
It was very bright and the lounges had carpets. There were two patient lounges, one was a smoking room and the other was a non smoking lounge.
There were around twenty patients on the ward, male and female. There was a brew trolley where everyone would come for tea and coffee.
The rooms were comfortable and homely and had en suite showers and toilets. After arriving at the ward I sat and had a few cigarettes then had a shower and went to bed.
I woke up early next morning and took my medication and sat in the lounge. I met an Asian lady called T who introduced herself and started to tell me stories about her life. I also met little A, who kept making tea and coffee for everyone. She was talkative and friendly. Other patients used to humourously call her Santa’s little helper.
Overall they were a nice bunch and made me feel welcome. But compared to the PICU there were more patients with a variety of mental illnesses, from depression to schizophrenia. I liked it more than the PICU straight away.
The staff introduced themselves to me too and showed me around. I met J an ex addict who was generous and always giving out presents but didn’t really make sense when he talked.
There are two wards in Oldham, both housing 20 patients each. We would meet patients from the other ward at lunch and tea time in the dining room. The wards have changed now, one ward is all female and the other is male.
There were a few patients there who had ended up in hospital after trying to kill themselves, I had strong views about suicide but after hearing stories of people’s struggles I changed my view on it.
People go through so much suffering and mental distress before trying to commit suicide. In later years, I would also wish for death.
It was a bit difficult at first to get used to the new routine of an acute ward but I liked it better than the PICU. There are a lot of nice people on acute wards, from many different backgrounds and age groups, patients are old and young, male and female.
My initial impression of the ward was good, I loved the fact that there are no restrictions and you can make tea and coffee whenever you want and can go out once the doctors grants you leave.
What were your first impressions of an acute ward? Please share.