My week: Delrene Walker

The manager of one of Turning Point's residential services feels that dialogue is the key.

Delrene Walker
Delrene Walker

Monday: A new resident at our mental health forensic service comes to me upset about an impending court appearance. Although we routinely explain the nature of the support on offer before residents come here, he is worried about having to go alone and about the travel costs. I calm him down and explain that a key worker can accompany him to court and that we will pay his fares. He is reassured.

Tuesday: I am involved in Turning Point's regional work on promoting equality and diversity. I enjoy this aspect of my work, although combining it with the day job involves careful juggling at times. Today I'm preparing my presentation on faith and spirituality, which will share good practice with other operational managers from across the country. I'm wary of standing up in front of my peers at the annual staff conference for the first time.

Wednesday: Having a daughter with dyslexia means that adult literacy issues interest me. One of our clients recently said he thought he had dyslexia. I arranged for him to have a thorough assessment to ensure he gets the support he needs. It still niggles me that there are likely to be many service users who are undiagnosed, compounding the difficulties they face.

Thursday: Our service-user representative, Ken, presents me with a petition from the residents about our draft visitors' policy. Ken is a positive vocal force and a frequent blogger on our website. Service-user involvement is central to the service, and Ken tells me we need to have more dialogue. We talk through his concerns until he is satisfied that the issue has been resolved.

Friday: I sit in on our bi-weekly clinic, along with colleagues from our local hospital-based support team. This helps us make sure that everyone involved in supporting the residents is made aware of any issues immediately. Back at my office, one of the residents approaches me with concerns about some blood test results he is due to be getting today. With a diagnosis of psychosis, depression and personality disorder, and a history of offending, this is a major deal for him and he wants someone to accompany him. I double-up on our rota and work out the staffing so his key worker can go with him. It feels like a good note to end the week on.

- Turning Point provides a residential service in south London for people with mental health problems.

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