Better Together e-news issue 34
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.
This issue comes during the coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented time for all of us across the NHS and beyond. Learn how we have continued to support our patients and staff, recognising volunteers and team members with our Long Service Awards, free online courses with our Lincolnshire Recovery College, and furthering the fight of COVID-19 through research.
Better Together e-news issue 34
Welcome from the Chair, Paul Devlin
As I write this welcome to the new issue of Better Together I have been reflecting on how different our circumstances are from the last time we published our e-magazine in March.
Coronavirus has changed everything in ways nobody had anticipated. Many of our plans for the near and distant future have been turned upside down, and we have all had reasons to worry about our own wellbeing and that of our loved ones. And while a virus doesn’t discriminate – in the sense that everyone can get sick – it’s worth remembering that its consequences are not distributed equally. I am aware how lucky I am to be able to work from home and have enough room for my partner and me to share the space comfortably (albeit due to broadband capacity we need to sometimes schedule our video calls).
However, I’m acutely aware of the additional challenges many others face. Our black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff, volunteers and service users are disproportionately more at risk of contracting coronavirus and, sadly, of becoming more sick or even dying. Some people have underlying additional risks including some health conditions. Many are living with economic uncertainty through not being able to work. We also know that isolation can be very challenging, and also that for some, being in ‘lockdown’ is not safe.
I want to emphasise that the Trust continues to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing services, even though we’ve had to adapt to the new reality of caring for others while following social distancing guidance. We have outlined what the Trust is doing to be able to provide mental health, emotional wellbeing and learning disability services, and you can read about it in 'Our response during the coronavirus pandemic'.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health, please let them know that the NHS is still here to help and people don’t have to suffer alone. Aided by new technology that we rolled out in the last few months, we can still see service users, talk through issues, and provide support and help.
We also now offer virtual “cuppa and chat” sessions for carers. We know that caring for your loved ones is a great responsibility and can be very challenging. Talking to other carers provides social interaction and these sessions are a fantastic opportunity to talk about your feelings, share ideas and gain advice. Having the opportunity to talk to other carers may help you feel more connected and not alone with your worries. You can read more about carer support in the Carers Week article available on our website.
Finally, please remember that this is difficult for us all and – as I’ve reminded myself from time to time – it is okay not to be okay and to seek help if you need it.
Paul Devlin, Chair
Click on each of the items below to expand the news story.
Our response during coronavirus pandemic
We are still here for you and have a number of services you can use if you are struggling with your emotional or mental wellbeing - even if you’ve never accessed support before.
Many of our teams have been supporting patients by working differently with the aid of technology. Read more about we use technology for patient care.
In partnership with health, social care and third sector organisations, we recently launched a new confidential mental health and emotional wellbeing helpline. It provides emotional support, advice and guidance for anyone who is feeling low, anxious or stressed. The helpline is open 24/7. This highly trained and experienced team of support workers can be contacted by calling 0800 001 4331.
We had to temporarily stop patient visiting to protect our patients and staff, but put in place a number of ways to help patients keep in touch (which you can read more about here). We know this decision has been difficult for many patients and families and at the time of publication we are reviewing new Government guidance regarding visiting and hope to make this possible again soon.
Whilst we are continuing to manage the impact of coronavirus, we are now moving into the next phase of recovery planning. There will be a number of opportunities for you to tell us how these last few months have been for you, and how you have found our different ways of working. We want to learn from your experiences and keep doing the things that have worked well, but also understand how things could be further improved. Please lookout for opportunities to get involved.
It is more important than ever for carers to seek support
In Lincolnshire alone, there are over 84,000 carers. Caring responsibilities can be particularly challenging during the period of increased isolation, so it is more important than ever for carers to seek support. At the beginning of June we celebrated Carers Week – an important annual campaign that highlights the challenges unpaid carers face and helps them to recognise their importance. This year’s theme was ‘making caring visible’
The Social Isolation Responder phone Service (SIRS), support carers in our community who need a friendly, non-clinical and non-judgmental chat. A listening ear during these uncertain times can be a lifeline for carers, allowing them to talk about their feelings and receive positivity to help them get through the day. SIRS has been progressing since the start of lockdown and officially launched this month thanks to funding from The Triangle Trust to support carers. We are urging carers to come forward and remember that you are not alone if you call a ‘MATE’, which stands for 'me and thee (together) every day'.
SIRS is available to all carers, LPFT volunteers and anyone who is struggling with social isolation. Contact Pauline Mountain free by calling 0800 8832111 for further information.
LPFT also runs ‘cuppa and chat’ teleconferences for carers every Monday – Friday 11am-12pm. These calls offer excellent opportunities to speak to other carers in the community, share ideas and ask for advice. If you have any questions about this, please email Laura Suffield: email@example.com. You may also wish to join the LPFT carer WhatsApp group and can do so by emailing Donna Bradford: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising for our charity continues to support services during COVID-19
We have seen great efforts in recent months to raise funds to enhance services at LPFT. We are proud that many of these examples are from staff members extending their kindness to their colleagues and patients, but we have also seen kindness from the general public and local businesses and organisations. We are grateful for every donation received.
LPFT Information Governance Lead Andrew Scott was keen to support the Trust during the pandemic and raised an impressive £3,109 for Lincolnshire NHS Charity in April. With the help of a friend, Andrew sold canvas prints of Lincoln’s Cathedral bathed in blue in a tribute to key workers during the COVID-19 response. Andrew has also kindly donated a canvas to Trust HQ, encapsulating a city which stood together during an unprecedented time.
During Mental Health Awareness Week in May, the Tunstall family decided to fundraise in aid of LPFT’s children and young people mental health services. Rosalind (aged 6) and Emmeline (aged 4) alongside their parents, Jamie and Claire, ran 5k a day for seven days, raising £600 for the Trust.
Several of the Trust’s mental health wards have sensory gardens that will be brought back to life this summer, thanks to a donation of over £700 from the Lincolnshire Women’s’ Institute, and flowers kindly donated by Pennells Garden Centre to the Peter Hodgkinson Centre, Ashley House and Discovery House.
Free online courses with Lincolnshire Recovery College
People over the age of 16 can access free educational courses on mental health and wellbeing through the Lincolnshire Recovery College.
Courses are designed and delivered by people with lived experience of mental ill health, qualified trainers and health professionals. The college has a range of new courses that will be available over the next few months, including “#bekind – I’m worth it”, “Living with the COVID-19 blues” and “Dreaming of a better sleep during COVID”.
Though courses are usually face-to-face in an educational setting, due to circumstances with COVID, they are all currently taking place online. The full course timetable can be found on the Lincolnshire Recovery College webpage: www.lpft.nhs.uk/recovery-college.
For current students please contact the team via email: email@example.com to book onto the courses or register your interest. For new students, you will need to complete and submit an online application form which is available on the webpage. If you have any queries please contact the team using the email above.
With the increase in online content, the team also created many wellbeing support videos with hints and tips on how to stay well during lockdown. These can be found on the LPFT YouTube channel.
When asked about the online courses, one student said:
I felt connected and hearing about how they were coping helped. Life is currently very isolating and a huge learning curve. I felt ‘lifted’ after the course.
Recognising our staff and volunteers
Long Service Awards
Each year we celebrate staff who have achieved 20, 30 and 40 years of service with the NHS. Before the pandemic we congratulated some of our winners at the Inspirational Leadership Programme event but we now have to celebrate in different ways. We still recognised winners with certificates and vouchers sent to them directly and we hope you will join us in applauding their commitment.
Congratulations to our winners
|20 years||30 years||40 years|
|David Price||Christine Elsey||Anne Cossins|
|Jacob Tobias Ellis||Diana Beech||Christine Noble|
|June Fyfe||Fiona Jackson||Peter White|
|Kerry Ingall||Ingrid Whitaker||Robert Marshall|
|Margaret Biddles||Jacqueline Loft||Kate O'Leary|
|Meika Woods||Robyn Crosby||Steve Dunham|
|Melvyn Edwards||Steven Pitt|
|Nick Harwood||Clare Jago|
|Tracy Woods||Tracy Chamberlain|
|Vivien Rushmere||Tracy Jones|
Celebrating our LPFT Heroes
Emma is never too busy to help colleagues and makes time to listen and create solutions. She is well respected because of her expert data knowledge and her ability to develop close relationships with operational services.
The pharmacy team show exceptional dedication and passion. Two examples are the implementation of the electronic prescribing (EPMA) system, and setting up the Trust’s clozapine clinics. The team work collaboratively to provide expert medicines advice and support excellent patient care.
Debbie is a role model for effective and compassionate leadership and goes above and beyond to ensure patients and staff are well cared for. Through recent challenges she has demonstrated her commitment to older adult dementia services and mental health nursing.
Older adult community mental health placement team
As part of Grantham older adult community mental health team, the team supports patients in 24hr care settings with reviews of medication, assessments and safety, ensuring the highest standards of care are achieved. They are a great source of positive feedback from families/carers and other service providers. Since this service was rolled out in Grantham, it has significantly improved the quality of care and reduced the number of hospital admissions. The team are also working on training and education packs for the 29 care facilities they support.
Staff Excellence Awards still open for nominations
Due to the pandemic we are rescheduling our Staff Excellence Awards. Nominations are still open to capture the incredible work in response to COVID-19 but also the unrelenting effort staff and volunteers put in day-to-day.
If you’ve witnessed excellent care; whether you’re a staff member, patient, carer, or member of the public, you can nominate. Two of the nine categories are open to public nominations; the People’s Award and Volunteer of the Year. Details are on our website www.lpft.nhs.uk/staff-awards and the SurveyMonkey form is still open www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/staff-awards-2020.
Fighting COVID-19 with the power of research
We face an unprecedented challenge in our efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Using research to understand the disease is one of the critical areas of work to limit the impact of the pandemic and save lives.
Research is the third phase of the government's four-phase approach. COVID-19 urgent public health research has been prioritised to gather the necessary evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to be developed. The LPFT research team is working alongside colleagues in acute and primary care to deliver COVID-19 research across the county.
The Trust is participating in an ISARIC/WHO trial which is led in our organisation by Dr Jazpreet Phull. We recruit COVID-19 positive patients who are on our wards to analyse their symptoms.
We also continue with our existing online studies:
- CAP-MEM: exploring the cause and prevalence of memory problems in mental health
- CLIMB: how health data is shared and used
- GLAD: the largest study of depression and anxiety
- NEON: impact of the quality of life of receiving versus not receiving online access to recorded mental health recovery stories in the treatment of psychosis.
News in brief
Volunteer to give mental health a voice
Nominations are open for you to volunteer as a governor and make a real difference
We are Here4You
Children and young people can now easily speak to a mental health practitioner and self-refer to our emotional wellbeing and mental health services.
Don't struggle in silence - our services are here to help you
If you're struggling with your mental health, it's important to remember that you can contact Lincolnshire mental services to help you.
60 seconds with...
Claire Ryan, Estates Officer
An inspirational story of mental health recovery
Read how one of our patients gave voice to her mental health during a creative writing session.
New patient postcard scheme launched across LPFT inpatient wards
Efforts have been made to ensure patients don't feel isolated on LPFT inpatient wards, as visiting remains suspended.
How technology helps us to help you
Many of our teams have introduced new ways of working to continue providing care for our service users during the pandemic.
Applications open for Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund
The government has made available £5m, which voluntary and community organisations can apply for.
New criminal justice liaison and diversion service launched
A new service supporting vulnerable individuals suspected of having committed a crime has been set up in Lincolnshire.
Celebrating the commitment of NHS volunteers
Join us in higlighting the hard work, resilience and compassion of our LPFT volunteers over the past year.