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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Mental patients help choose staff
Rampton high security hospital
The patients had a say in the hiring of staff
A top security hospital has confirmed that patients have become involved in the selection of staff.

Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire, which has high-profile patients, such as caretaker Ian Huntley - accused of killing Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman - says the process has been a success.

"Giving patients some input into the selection of social work staff is common in community psychiatric services, but this is the first time it has been used at Rampton," hospital spokeswoman Julie Grant said.

The interviews for six social work positions at the hospital included input from four patients and two carers.

Final say

Their panel reported to a professional appointment panel, which then made the final decisions on who to hire.

The head of social work at the hospital, James Pam, said their involvement proved such a success that the hospital is going to use the same system again.

Ian Huntley
Caretaker Ian Huntley is being tested at Rampton

The patients' council chairman, Anthony, says they have been asking for patients to have a say in the selection of staff for some time.

Rampton Hospital has about 400 patients, 70% of whom have been sent to the hospital from the courts after committing criminal offences.

Julie Grant said: "Patients are encouraged to have a say, but the management of the service still lies with managers and not the patients."

She said both the patients and social workers were happy with the idea.

"The patients know what qualities are necessary in a social worker and we want to have their input," she said.

One of the carers on the panel, Marlene, said the patients were allowed to share their hopes and fears and talk about life in a secure setting.

"It seemed to me like real involvement, not just tokenism," she said.


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21 Aug 02 | England
21 Aug 02 | Health
11 Oct 00 | Health
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