Oxleas House film club has won an award

News: Oxleas House film club has won an award
Geoff Lawrence-Smith with some of the upcoming features

Turn off the lights, open the popcorn and… you’re in Oxleas’ award-winning Film Club.

One Wednesday evening every month, our newly-qualified doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital give up their evening to spend it with mental health patients at Oxleas House.

And they’ve now won an award for their efforts – a DAPS (Doctors Advancing Patient Safety) Best Patient-Centered Quality Improvement Project.

The film nights bring the patients and doctors together to enjoy something and learn from one another.

The mental health patients get to interact with the junior doctors, getting to know them and find out about what they do, and for the doctors, it gives them the chance to meet the people behind the mental illness they are treating them for.

So far, around 27 doctors have signed-up to join in – which they do in their own time.

The club was started in April for a three-month pilot and was the brainchild of Dr Chiara Peterosellini.

Interviews with 30 psychiatric patients revealed that they feel there are limited activities on their ward.

Interviews with junior doctors also highlighted that they don’t have much exposure to psychiatric patients in medical school.

Each month they decide what they would like to watch on the TV which has been funded by Oxleas. Patients have also suggested a board games night so they have the choice.

After the success of the pilot, a new round of film sessions was started in September and will now run each month.

Dr James Chivers is one of the newly-qualified doctors taking part and said he doesn’t have time to watch films at home so looked forward to the film club: “I was looking forward to having the opportunity to watch a film at Oxleas Film Club and I wasn't disappointed. The film, Hancock, was funny, entertaining and very enjoyable. The company was even better. People wanted to chat about the film and even offered to help clear up the empty popcorn bags at the end! I had a great time and am looking forward to going again. I would highly recommend it to other colleagues.”

Dr Geoff Lawrence-Smith, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist/GP and Foundation Trainee Tutor helped to launch the project and said: “I'm a liaison psychiatrist and was really interested in this project, set up to help understanding of mental illness.

“Everyone loves a good film and watching one together reminds us of what we've got in common.

“At the moment, we're going to a different ward each week in Oxleas House and there's potential to expand to other sites if it takes off.

“It relies on the good will of the doctors to do it in their own time and they are enjoying it.”

“To win an award for it has been brilliant – it really gives the idea some good backing.”

Oxleas House provides 24-hour inpatient mental health services for adults living in the borough of Greenwich and is based within Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

Published on 17th December 2015