Better Together e-news Issue 33

Welcome to the latest e-newsletter version of Better Together, your regular members’ magazine keeping you up-to-date with all recent news, updates and developments which have taken place in the Trust.

In this issue you’ll gain insight into how our new governors are finding their roles, as well as reading about the updates we’ve had to our services and facilities, including the Intensive Home Treatment model, Dementia Support Service and Brant Ward official reopening.

Better Together e-news Issue 33

Click on each of the items below to expand the news story.

Welcome from the Chair, Paul Devlin

Welcome to another issue of Better Together – our regular publication for Trust members.paul-devlin-chair.jpg

As I’m writing this introduction, the Trust is preparing for an inspection visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at the end of March. The CQC regularly inspects our services to ensure we provide safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led services for our patients. The CQC visit is an opportunity for us to show how we make a difference to people’s lives every day and we look forward to welcoming the inspectors to showcase what improvements we’ve made over the last couple of years.

It’s also the time of the year when we launch our Staff Excellence Awards and I encourage you to nominate LPFT staff members, teams and volunteers that supported you on your way to recovery. The nominations close on Sunday 22 March, so please don’t delay and do put nominations forward for the People's Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award.

In the previous issue of Better Together, we spoke about the additional funding coming to Lincolnshire to improve our community mental health services. You can read about the new service supporting people with complex trauma and personality disorder and the work taking place to have it up and running in May 2020. We also wanted to introduce a new Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service, which will divert people out of the criminal justice system into health, social care, education and training. I'm incredibly proud of the work of our staff and volunteers that has meant we are able to attract money for developing and introducing new services and improving existing ones. 

With a number of new services being rolled out in the county, this is a perfect time to consider a career within the NHS! Please have a look at the jobs we have on offer as there are many roles available in both our clinical and support services.

Finally, this edition does also have a few more light-hearted pieces. I’m sure that the story of Patty, the ex-bomb sniffer dog who found her vocation as a pet as therapy dog will bring a smile to your face.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read the electronic version of our magazine, and please let us know how we can improve future issues.

With best wishes

Paul Devlin


Reflections and projections: thoughts from our new LPFT Governors

Our new governors have been in their positions since October and we have a collection of reflections from their first five months in post.

Milliy Allinson – New deputy lead governor – Service user and carer governor

“Governors represent the Trust at events, take part in panels and inspections and listen to the views of patients, carers, and staff.

“I think our key strength at LPFT is our culture and volunteers play a vital role.

“There is an attitude that I've seen embedded in every level of our organisation: the ability to reach out and support others”.

Being A New Governor – Daniel Fleshbourne – Service user and carer constituency

“During the Community Rehab Engagement Events held throughout January I have discovered the diversity of the communities around Lincolnshire and how they would access a Community Rehab Service.”.

“I have listened to the passion that LPFT staff, service users, carers and 3rd sectors expressed about their communities. They were eager to work together with LPFT in developing this new service”.

“I have been impressed by the willingness to listen and develop the new service using feedback from the Events by the new Community Rehab Team”.

A reflection on being a new governor - Zachary Kellerman – Service User Governor

“The opportunities to shape services and bring the mental health concerns of communities across Lincolnshire to light helps voice the needs of those that may not be otherwise heard so easily.

“I am pleased to be a part of the Governance team and to serve the people of Lincolnshire. I would encourage any LPFT member or constituent who has any feedback or queries to please get in touch with me through the Trust's website.

“I look forward to continuing to engage with the community to provide the best advocacy possible for Lincolnshire’s on-going mental health needs”.

Calming Canines: a relaxing read from Patty the PAT dog

Service users at Carholme Court have been visited by Patty, a pets as therapy dog.

Owner Mick Curran recognised the caring and calm nature of 9-year-old Patty and said that she “likes to give back and support others with mental health issues”.

Mick usually works with the families of veterans but after seeing the relaxing effect of Patty, he has volunteered to visit local mental health services. As a veteran and PTSD-sufferer himself, he knows first-hand the impact a dog can have in terms of emotional support.

Mick has owned Patty for 7 years. She used to serve in the military as a sniffer dog but unfortunately her career was short-lived as she was prone to getting distracted.

Patty is now praised for being friendly and loving, but strangely for a lady, she doesn’t like having her nails clipped.Carholme Court is the base for the community mental health teams and service users regularly visit the site for appointments.

Sara Brewin, Occupational Therapy Vocational Lead and Service Development Manager thought it would be really useful to have a pets as therapy dog in community services. Sara said: “Patty reduces anxiety of service users who are waiting for appointments, offering a bit of distraction and helping them relax. She can also join appointments with service users if they feel particularly nervous.

“Patty’s calming presence has also benefited staff, carers and relatives.”

Your chance to celebrate NHS heroes: nominations now open

Nominations are now open for the LPFT Staff Excellence Awards, which celebrate the dedication and compassion of our staff and volunteers.

If you’ve witnessed excellent care; whether you’re a staff member, patient, carer, or member of the public, you can nominate your NHS hero across nine categories.

Two of these categories, the People’s Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award, are open for public nominations.

The People’s Award will be presented to an individual or team demonstrating commitment in ensuring patients receive the highest quality of care. The winner will be someone who always goes above and beyond the call of duty, offering a smile and a helping hand.

With approximately 200 dedicated volunteers in the Trust, our Volunteer of the Year Award recognises those who give their time and effort to support us, showing a genuine care and commitment to assisting our services across the county.

Chief Executive Brendan Hayes said:

“Our Staff Excellence Awards provide an opportunity for the public to help celebrate our staff and volunteers’ fantastic work supporting our patients.

“We are proud of the work they do to care for our patients every day, and we believe it is important to recognise this dedication.

“Do you know someone within our services who deserves thanks and recognition? Please consider submitting a nomination today.”

Nomination forms are on the Trust’s website, alternatively, contact the communications team for a hardcopy form by emailing

Nominations close Sunday 22 March 2020, with a shortlist to be announced in April. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Friday 12 June 2020.

Dignity of patients to be restored after refurbishment

Major refurbishments to the Brant Ward in Lincoln are now complete, transforming the mental health ward to provide a more private, dignified style of accommodation for those over 65 who are in mental health crisis.

The 18-bed ward formerly had dormitory style bays, which are no longer considered good practice in a modern mental health care environment. This £4.4million refurbishment will provide patients with a modernised place to stay with ample facilities, making Brant Ward LPFT’s main older adult mental health ward in Lincolnshire.

Sue Brace, Brant Ward Manager, said:

“We’re very excited to welcome our patients into their new-and-improved Brant Ward. Works have been in progress since October 2018 and this is a huge step forward in furthering our ability to care for our patients.

“The team has always provided fantastic care, but doing so in a pleasant, private space will greatly aid our patients’ ability to recover and feel safe.”

During the refurbishment, a new home treatment team was piloted with patients who were temporarily moved from the ward. The team offered intensive support seven days a week to patients in their normal place of residence, providing an alternative to hospital admission.

The home treatment team received such positive feedback from patients, carers, clinical staff and partners that it will now be rolled out to patients at the Rochford Unit in Boston, in a bid to offer service users community and family support in a comfortable home environment.

Intensive home support launched for children and young people

Home support for children and young people in Lincolnshire struggling with mental health problems has been increased with the launch of the Intensive Home Treatment Team.

For some time we have been working with the NHS England, Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups and Lincolnshire County Council on the new ways of working for our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The new way of working means that instead of going to a mental health hospital, the vast majority of treatment a young person needs is given at home, with support from their family. This hugely improves the quality of care and patient experience.

Due to pressures on staffing at Ash Villa (our inpatient unit in Sleaford), particularly the availability of doctors to safely staff the unit, the difficult decision was made to temporarily close the unit in October 2019. We had exhausted all possibilities to recruit doctors to work there and agreed therefore to bring forward the pilot

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy, Planning and Partnerships, said:

“We planned to pilot the intensive home support for CAMHS in April 2020. However, because we had to temporarily close Ash Villa, we agreed to bring forward the pilot and start it earlier than planned.

“The initial impact of moving to intensive home support has shown that we have been able to reduce the number of children and young people in hospital. The new way of working allows young people to stay better connected with their family and friends while they are receiving specialist support for their mental health.”

We will keep you updated about the progress of the pilot after its trial ends in October 2020.

New complex trauma and personality disorder community treatment coming soon

People who meet the criteria for personality disorder will receive better access to services thanks to investment as part of our on-going community mental health transformation.

It is nationally recognised that there is a gap in providing equal and specialist support for people who meet the criteria for personality disorder in the community. Thanks to new funding, we are currently working to recruit and develop a new pilot service in Lincoln and Gainsborough that will provide specialist therapy, intensive support and advice to close this gap.

People whose quality of life is frequently interrupted due to them feeling distressed and needing to manage complex emotions will be offered well-evidenced and NICE recommended Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. The team will also have experienced, qualified staff, called intensive support clinicians who will support a person that would benefit from the service to develop crisis plans, formulate their experiences and communicate their needs to existing care coordinators and other services.

The team will also be providing support and advice to other professionals and voluntary agencies to help all staff better understand and support people whose experiences mean they would meet criteria for a personality disorder diagnosis.

The team will be up and running from May 2020 and more information will be available on our website once launched.

News in brief

60 seconds with...

Pauline Mountain, Lead Governor

The CALM group supporting mums

The Trust’s perinatal team is running a wellbeing drop-in group for new and expectant mums.

Kiki the Worry Monster brought to life in book

A ten-year-old has written a book aiming to help children and young people to deal with and openly talk about their worries.

We want your opinion

Complete our Community Mental Health survey to help us improve our community mental health and crisis teams.

Supporting vulnerable people in the criminal justice system

A new Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service for Lincolnshire supporting vulnerable individuals suspected of committing a crime is due to start in April 2020.

Never a better time to work with us

There has never been a better time to advance your healthcare career in Lincolnshire with a range of opportunities available over the coming months.

Talking therapies reaching out to protect older adults’ mental health

The Trust is supporting national campaign ‘talking helps’ to increase awareness of talking therapies available for older adults suffering with low mood, depression or anxiety.

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