Posted on: 6 December 2022

“Their approach to patients is very inspiring and how they put the patient first in everything they do” – Camilla, student


Outside2.JPGA group of Danish students aspiring to work in mental health care, said they were “inspired” during their visit to St Charles Hospital, where they met with the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service, One Community’s founder Cate Latto and Open Dialogue lead Amanda Bueno.

It is the second time students from SOSU Nord, a health and social education training college have visited the hospital in years.

Both groups shared learning on different approaches at home and abroad to mental health care.

Earlier in the visit, Amanda Bueno, who leads on the Open Dialogue approach being adopted by the Trust, told the group that “open dialogue says you’re the expert in your life. Don’t leave yourself at home when you come to work. The moment you leave yourself, you leave your emotion and empathy, and people will smell your inauthenticity. Take you and your heart in to work.”

This struck a chord with many of the students, including Line.

“I was totally absorbed by the quote Amanda said “You have to bring your heart to the job too. I was thinking over the quote the whole day, because I’m that type of professional social and health care assistant there feels it´s illegal bringing the heart into the work.”

The quote resonated with her classmate Julie as well.

“In the future when I am done with my education I think I would like to work in psychiatry, so when your talked about how working with these people who need help, is really about bringing your heart to work and not leaving it at home, it was really something I took to heart as something I want to use in my work,” said Julie.

The students also heard from Cate Latto, who runs the One Community project, and Dave Bailey, Deputy Clinical Director at the Service, who gave an overview of the history of the NHS and its evolution to put patients at the heart of everything we do.

“Their approach to patients is very inspiring and how they put the patient first in everything they do” said Camilla, one of the attending students.

Gitte, a teacher at the college said: “We felt very welcome, as the staff was very positive and well prepared for our visit. I am very impressed with their enthusiasm for their work, which I believe rubbed off on all of our students.”

Her colleague Thomas Bjerg Danielsen, who also teaches at the college said:

Our third-year students were very inspired by the progressive approach to mental health and the personal relationship to the patients as illustrated by the Grenfell Service. After meeting Amanda, Cate, and David, the students were convinced that this approach would benefit their own education and work with patients within psychiatry and general healthcare.

Outside.JPGDave Bailey, Deputy Clinical Director at the Service said: It was so good to be able to present to the students the common thread of listening to the voice of people who are using services and the creativity that comes out of this way of working in One Community, Open Dialogue and the Grenfell Service.  We were also really impressed to hear how the Danish people regularly make time to care for their own wellbeing by having a tradition of doing “hygge” for themselves.  Hygge is the act of doing something nurturing for yourself to look after your wellbeing, this could be as varied as taking a break and having  hot cholate and reading a book, or spending time doing something that you really get nurtured by, like a walk in the countryside or even rewarding yourself with good food and perhaps a glass of something special just for you.  It was amazing to hear that the whole country does this quite naturally and takes it seriously that they should look after their own wellbeing first.  We felt we have something to learn from a country that really takes self care seriously and knows that self care is where all care really begins.”

What other students had to say:

Johanne: “We learned that in England you have a more personal and close relationship to the patients, that has given me another view on how it is possible to deal with people with mental illness. And the idea of “One community” was a really good idea, I am sure that it’s making a huge difference for the patients who lives on the hospital for a longer time.”

Diana: “Thank you for having us and tell us about what it will say to working in a psychiatric hospital. I like to hear about how you see and treat patients, and how it was different from Denmark. Your thinking about the patient’s is inspiring, I like you saying to love the patients and have your heart in it.  The garden was really a beautiful thing, there was a peaceful and calm atmosphere in the garden, it made me relax.”

Caroline: “They see and handle psychiatrics in a very different way, they told us too love our patients and to bring our self in to the care, which is absolutely different from what we have been told in our school, I think that’s what I would bring into my work in the psychiatrics”

Nicole: “I think we in Denmark could learn something from your approach. I will personally take your vision for mental illness with me, and remember to have myself and my heart into the work with sick people all the way. I really like your beautiful garden for the patients, there was a peaceful atmosphere, and I think it’s a really great idea to come near the patient as equally.”

Josephine: “I think their methods to therapy are very different from Denmark but I really like the way they talked about how they treat the patients. I think I has changed my thoughts a bit because they talked about “loving the patient” and I really liked that because I feel like that they are more caring about the patient.”