Letter: Pioneering spirit of Broadmoor staff

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The Independent Online
Sir: I refer to your article concerning industrial relations at Broadmoor Hospital ('Broadmoor staff accused in row over new regime', 5 April). There is no doubt that the many changes taking place are causing stress among our very professional staff.

On the staff side, we sometimes feel that we are being managed by lay people who have little knowledge of mental disorder. 'They' are part of the new breed of hospital management.

In my 10 years in this hospital, I have seen many changes; but the genuine care and the professional expertise from staff of all disciplines has been a constant source of inspiration. This is reflected in the excellent relationships between the majority of staff and patients. Some patients are, of course, too disturbed to enjoy or benefit from normal social interaction. Some are very dangerous, but they are a minority.

The staff side is very conscious of the risks to which staff are exposed in those wards that care for the most disturbed patients. The staff side has now agreed with management that any areas of concern that affect the safety of staff will be dealt with immediately. I mean immediately.

Although Broadmoor Hospital and our two sister hospitals are experiencing change, I believe that we will come through with our genuine care and great professionalism intact. We believe in what we do. We respect our patients, we think that we lead in our branch of forensic psychiatry. We, the staff side, believe that we will always be leaders.

If our management sometimes frustrate us, we will continue to confront them. When we can get them to agree with us, and when we can make them understand, then we can continue to go forward as one of the leading hospitals in this country. We are proud of our expertise and our caring. We have much to teach others.

Yours faithfully,

J. M. WORMAN

Chair, Joint Consultation

and Negotiation Committee

Broadmoor Hospital

Crowthorne,

Berkshire

6 April

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