EU funds help: An EU fund grant improved conditions for patients (VIDEO)
27. 3. 2023
An outpatient centre has been operating in the Červený Dvůr Psychiatric Hospital for almost two years. The aim of its activity is to organize outpatient and community services not only in the hospital, but also in the patient's original environment. The centre could not be created without a grant of several million from European Union funds.
Červený Dvůr – Annually, approximately seven hundred people from the entire country who are struggling with some sort of addiction pass through the Červený Dvůr Psychiatric Hospital near Český Krumlov, and one hundred and nine may even be hospitalized here. The modern outpatient centre was created here thanks to aid from EU funds.
The chief physician and director of the psychiatric hospital, Jiří Dvořáček, said that for this purpose they reconstructed a half of the original Bažantnice building with a total useful floor area of 124 square metres. "We made an outpatient centre here, with both a medical and an addiction department," he said, adding that it was with the help of a grant from the Integrated Regional Operational Programme in the amount of over CZK 4.25 million. Another 750,000 was obtained by the hospital from public sources. He considers the European support to be very important. "If we had not received the grant, the time for the implementation of this project would have been lengthened," the chief explained.
SHORTENS PATIENTS’ STAY
The new outpatient centre is intended to contribute to shortening the duration of hospitalization of patients. "Addiction treatment has traditionally been institutional, concentrated in clinics or hospitals like ours. Recently, however, things have been changing. Some people can come only as outpatients and live a normal life. And that was our goal," he explained.
“When these addiction treatment programmes started in the past, people were really hitting rock bottom. They lost their jobs, their families. Well, maybe in many cases it was not so bad when they were hospitalized for four to five months, sometimes even longer. Today, however, people are much more educated, they are aware of the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs, so they come to us at an earlier stage. A lot of things work in their lives, which we would stop by hospitalization and throw them into a kind of regression. When a patient has small children, it would be very difficult for her to start an inpatient treatment for four to five months. Outpatient programmes are, therefore, a unique chance to preserve what works and not make things worse. Besides, in psychiatry, it is generally better for therapy to take place in the patient’s original environment, in their real life, not in a greenhouse," he explained. In practice, this means that instead of four to five months, people stay in the facility for only two to three months, and then they attend an intensive outpatient programme. This goes hand in hand with another goal for the future, which is to create the friendliest possible atmosphere for the patient. "We want to create such an environment that does not take away the client's responsibilities, does not turn him or her into a passive, inferior creature," said Jiří Dvořáček, emphasizing that all this cannot be done without the patient's participation.
A CAFE IN THE PARK
"In medicine, there are situations that can be resolved with little cooperation from the patient or even without their knowledge, for example during surgery. But that is not possible in our branch. We don't have a direct tool for change, we have to do it in such a way that the persons themselves want and have full competence to make the change," he said. According to him, programmes are no longer intended to be strict, controlling, sanctioning, punishing. "One could not be open in such programmes. We wanted to abandon that model. Everything we change here is meant to support the idea of a non-hypocritical, open, cooperative, friendly environment," the director emphasized.
We have a plan to reconstruct also the upper part of the premises, where a horticulture centre is located today. In the future, the buildings should host programmes that will serve current and former patients and the public. "We want to mix these groups in order to destigmatise our care," said the head of the hospital. The hospital park is already open to the public. And we also have a cafe in the Bažantnice area, renovated with EU funds. The cafe is now operated as an integrating social enterprise. "It must not be a dark facility where a person sits curled up and talks about their life being a failure, how bad the world is. Our approach should not be sterile, on the contrary. Here, we want to show that life is colourful, that it can be mostly cheerful and that it's nice to have people around you," Jiří Dvořáček added.
"We made an outpatient centre here, with both a medical and an addiction department."
Jiří Dvořáček, Chief Physician
THANKS TO SUPPORT FROM EU FUNDS, THE MENTAL HOSPITAL OBTAINED NEW PREMISES. A specific feature of facilities like Červený Dvůr used to be that treatment took several months. Now psychiatric care is undergoing a thorough reform. The aim is to provide care on a larger scale on an outpatient basis and thus shorten the length of patients’ stay in the hospital. This change is also supported by multimillion EU funding.
Photo: Deník daily/Lenka Pospíšilová/Klára Skálová