Bradford District Care Trust is appealing for volunteers who can make a real difference to people detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act.

nhsThe NHS Trust is responsible for providing mental health care at Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford, and the Airedale Centre for Mental Health in Steeton nr. Keighley. It is looking to recruit five new Associate Hospital Managers.

Associate Hospital Managers are independent. Their role involves reading reports, attending review panels, listening to patients, carers, solicitors and health professionals. They are responsible for making what can often be complex judgements and decisions about whether a patient should remain detained in a hospital setting or not.

Michael Smith, Chairman at the Trust, said: “This role is an extremely important one. The job title can be misleading, as people won’t actually manage the Trust, but they do have the power to challenge health professionals and discharge clients who no longer meet the criteria to be detained.”

The Trust already has 16 Associate Hospital Managers from a wide range of backgrounds. Chrissie Freeth, a self-employed Tapestry Weaver, from Saltaire has been a volunteer for three years. She said: “I have an academic background, so I’m used to taking in lots of information, listening to people and evaluating. I have a personal interest in mental health services too. When I traced my family tree I discovered some of my ancestors had been in mental health institutes. By today’s standards they probably should not have been there. I think it’s really important the role of an Associate Hospital Manager exists so that we can make sure the Mental Health Act is being followed appropriately.”

Michael Smith, Chairman at the Trust, added: “We’re looking for people with a range of life experiences from a variety of backgrounds who could take up this challenging but rewarding role. It is important people are willing to listen as this skill is essential within the role.  They also must be capable of making fair judgments.”

Full training is provided to support people in the role of Associate Hospital Manager and reasonable expenses will be paid.

Anyone interested in the role is invited to attend an open evening Tuesday 13 January 2015 from 5.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. at New Mill in the Conference Centre on Level 5.