Better Together e-news issue 36

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

In this issue you can learn more about our on-going response to the pandemic and various resources available to support people’s mental wellbeing particularly during this difficult time, as well as the various recent successes we have been celebrating; including being shortlisted as Mental Health Trust of the Year in the Health Service Journal Awards 2020 and being appointed as the lead provider of Veteran’s Mental Health Midlands High Intensity Service (HIS).

Better Together e-news issue 36

Welcome from the Chair, Paul Devlin

Welcome to our final Better Together of 2020, and what a year it has been! We couldn’t have predicted quite how much life would change for so many of us this year, and that we would be entering the Christmas period with these social distance rules separating many of us from loved ones and friends. 

COVID-19 has brought challenges and loneliness, but has also brought out the very best in people and a true community spirit to support one another. As we enter the difficult winter period it is important that we remember we are in this together and take time to check in with family, friends and neighbours. Even if you’ve never spoken before, your friendly smile and conversation could make all the difference to them, particularly those living alone, or who have been shielding for many months.

As well as looking after your physical wellbeing it continues to be important to take time on your mental wellbeing too. Isolation and change can be difficult for so many people and you may feel low, anxious or stressed more than usual. If you are struggling it is important that you reach out for support; chat to friends and family. Or if you think speaking to someone else may help you can call Lincolnshire’s mental health helpline which is open 24/7. They can also signpost you to other help and support available. Find out more about the support available in Lincolnshire below.

I have been particularly proud of our staff during this year, both here in LPFT, but also across the entire health and care system. Our teams have adapted quickly to changes required by the pandemic, particularly at the peak and continue to go above and beyond for our patients and carers.

We have had to adapt how we deliver services, but I can assure you we are very much still here to support anyone that needs us. We’ve spoken in previous editions of Better Together, about how we have embraced technology, but recognise that many of our patients still need face to face support, so have robust safety measures in place to enable us to see patients where required.

We continue to adapt and improve our services and you’ll soon hear more about some of the exciting developments in the pipeline, including increased support for veterans, work to keep people closer to home, and the fantastic work our children and young people’s services have been doing to expand their online help resources.

We’ve also had some changes to our executive team more recently that you can read more about in this issue. I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank Brendan Hayes, who has taken retirement, for his lifelong service to the NHS and, on behalf of the Trust and his colleagues, wish him well for the future. Sarah Connery will continue to be Acting Chief Executive until we recruit to the role more permanently.

Whilst I will be leaving the Trust in April, after serving my maximum term as Chair, I am immensely proud of what the Trust has achieved over the last five and a half years, in particular during 2020, and look forward to watching services continue to grow in the years ahead, albeit from afar.

I’d just like to finish by saying a big thank you to all of our staff and volunteers for everything you do every day and wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Paul Devlin, Chair

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

Our ongoing response to COVID-19

The Trust and Lincolnshire health and care system continues to have in place a broad range of safety measures to ensure we protect our patients and staff, whilst ensuring services are available to those who need us.

All of our services are available, but may be delivered in a different way. We are using technology to safely meet and support patients and carers where it is safe and appropriate to do so, but recognise that face to face contact is important. We are therefore able to provide face to face appointments with appropriate safety measures in place where required. We do ask that patients and visitors wear a face covering when attending any appointment and all our staff are wearing the required personal protective equipment whilst at work.

Support from family and friends is vital in someone’s recovery, especially when in hospital, so we continue to maintain contact with family or friends in a variety of ways. All visiting must be pre-arranged with the ward in advance and some wards may not be able to offer visits on the premises at this time. However, instead there is a focus on using alternative outdoor and indoor spaces and appropriate patient leave to facilitate visiting, as well as the continued use of technology such as video calling and messaging.

We are grateful for the continued hard work of our staff, as they continue to find new and innovative ways to support our patients and carers during this difficult time. Please be assured we are here to support you and you should continue to attend your appointments or seek help if required.

Supporting people with their mental wellbeing during COVID-19

The current pandemic is difficult for us all and more people may be experiencing stress, anxieties, or low mood and not know where to turn for support.

Below is a quick guide to some of the resources available in Lincolnshire that can support people struggling with their mental wellbeing.

Mental Health Helpline – If you’re feeling low, anxious or stressed and you think that talking to another person may help you cope you can call the new mental health helpline in Lincolnshire which is open 24/7.

Telephone: 0800 001 4331 (open 24/7)

Here4You line – The advice line offers support for young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. It is available to children, young people, parents, carers and professionals in Lincolnshire.

Telephone: 01522 309120 (open 24/7),

Steps2change talking therapies – Anyone over the age of 16 can self-refer or contact their GP for a referral to our steps2change talking therapies service. The service is for mild to moderate mental health problems and cannot provide an urgent/emergency service. Find out more on our steps2change site by using this link.

Lincolnshire’s Recovery College – People over the age of 16 can access free educational courses on mental health and wellbeing through the Lincolnshire Recovery College. All courses are delivered online. For more information contact or visit our Recovery College web pages by using this link.

Professionals’ helpline – Telephone helpline offering mental health advice, guidance and signposting to statutory, third sector, voluntary and wider community services. This line is staffed by registered practitioners.

Call 0303 123 4000 and ask to be put through to tier 2 professionals’ line (open 24/7)

Feedback about our community mental health services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently published feedback from patients accessing community mental health services both within our Trust and nationally. We welcome this feedback, which is vital in helping us improve our community support for all Lincolnshire residents.

Overall the Trust continued to be comparable with other mental health trusts surveyed. It was pleasing to note that 84% of patients felt they were treated with respect and dignity and that 79% of patients felt involved in decisions about their care. There were just two areas which fell below the benchmark, supporting service users with accessing financial advice/benefits and joining groups and activities, which we will ensure are addressed.

Positive progress is being made, however we recognise there is still more to do and the feedback we received, as well as our on-going engagement with service users, carers, stakeholders and staff will influence further improvements across services.

Lincolnshire is one of 12 areas across the country to benefit from significant national funding to implement new models of community mental health care for people with mental health problems. We have, as part of this work, already introduced new services to support with personality and complex trauma needs, including a community rehabilitation service to ensure quick and safe re-integration, and our new integrated placed based teams are developing pathways aligned to primary care to ensure care is joined up.

There is still much to do, however together we have an exciting opportunity to listen and work together to ensure our services keep delivering what matters.

LPFT appointed as the lead provider to deliver the Veterans' Mental Health Midlands High Intensity Service (HIS)

We are pleased to announce that we have been appointed as the lead provider to deliver the new Veterans' Mental Health Midlands High Intensity Service (HIS), which became operational on 1 October 2020. The Midlands HIS is a new specialist community service which provides an intensive package of support to a select number of veterans and their families, enhancing existing pathways to ensure military sensitive and responsive care. The service works in conjunction with current NHS veterans' specialist mental health services such as our Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS).

The HIS is a unique collaboration of award-winning NHS Trusts and specialist charities. The Trust will be working in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, to deliver the new service across the Midlands. The team will also work collaboratively with veterans’ mental health charities Mental Health Matters and Tom Harrison House to offer a bespoke package of care to veterans and their families.

Teams are based in three Midlands locations, in Lincoln, Coventry and Birmingham, and will provide a range of interventions to assist with complex mental health difficulties. The team also aim to provide support to the wider family of veterans to ensure the needs of carers and families are met. Our passionate LPFT Veterans team provide support across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.

Read more about the service and referrals on our website by using this link:

Helping children and young people who have returned to education

The past few months have been a difficult adjustment for us all, including children and young people. Now that schools and colleges have reopened, students have had to adapt yet again and many are in need of mental health support and social interaction.

Our Healthy Minds Lincolnshire team provide emotional wellbeing support for children and young people, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help service users learn to cope with and manage their negative thoughts.

The team have created a range of helpful online resources, including self-help guides, top tips, links to useful websites, and relaxation exercises, for those who are feeling stressed or anxious. Service users have the option of telephone and video meetings and interventions, which have been especially useful during the pandemic. Workshops, one-to-one sessions and groups continue to be offered virtually and face-to-face as required.

The Healthy Minds team have received a very positive response to their specialised online workshops for children, young people and parents. Several recorded workshops can also be accessed on the LPFT YouTube channel by using this link.

To raise awareness of the support available and educate about common mental health problems, our team have alos been delivering training in schools. This training helps school staff support children and young people who may be struggling with the return to a school environment and the changes caused by COVID-19.

In addition to our Healthy Minds services and online resources, the Trust has a dedicated advice line for young people and parents/carers in Lincolnshire. Visit our website to learn more or to self-refer to our services by using this link.

Find out more about the specialised workshops on offer by using this link

Read our online resources for children and young people by using this link.

Celebrating 10 years of Lincolnshire's Sexual Assault Referral Centre

SARC Spring Lodge.JPGOur sexual assault referral centre, Spring Lodge, has been providing support to people in the county for 10 years.

The centre, which is jointly commissioned by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS England and Improvement supports any adult, male or female, who has been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused at any point in their lives.

Since opening its doors in March 2010, the centre has helped 2,275 men and women through its Independent Sexual Violence Advisor and Forensic Medical Examination services.

Amanda Farquhar, Manager of Spring Lodge, said: “Our aim is to help empower people by informing them of their options and assisting people in making their own decisions about their recovery.

“We do not just work with recent cases nor do we only work with those wishing to report to the police which is a common misunderstanding.”

The centre recently received funding to recruit its first male Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), a positive step forward in the support it offers to its clients.  

To mark the 10-year anniversary, a  number of service users have come forward to share their stories, including Karen, who is now giving back by creating “With Love” bags with her family to support children of families who are fleeing domestic violence. The bags give hope in a difficult time, helping those receiving them to feel that they are not alone. You can read more about Karen’s story here.

Help us improve our adult acute wards

We want to eradicate dormitory ward accommodation across all of our hospital based services. Currently, three of our adult mental health wards in Lincoln and Boston still use dormitory accommodation and we are committed to obtaining funding to convert these environments to individual bedrooms for our patients.

We are currently applying for funding to re-provide these wards to enable us to meet the modern standards of mental health inpatient wards, and we would like feedback from our current and previous patients to help us plan for this.

We are in the process of designing and planning what these wards could look like and it is important to us to understand the experiences of our patients.

If you have been an inpatient on a ward within our Peter Hodgkinson Centre at Lincoln County Hospital, or on Ward 12 at Pilgrim Hospital at any time in the last ten years, we would like you to please share your views.

Please take part in our online survey by using this link, or if you’d like to be more involved in reviewing possible designs email

Volunteers urgently needed for dementia research

Over the last few months COVID-19 research trials have been the priority for many organisations, to aid the development of vital vaccines and treatments to fight the virus. However, we must not forget the importance of other types of research, such as dementia research.

Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK and research helps to advance dementia care and treatments. Join Dementia Research has 47,540 volunteers registered so far, with nearly 800 in Lincolnshire. Anyone over the age of 18 can sign up, including those living with dementia or memory problems and their carers.

Studies continue to operate in a safe way and participants can take part in research from home by phone and online. Read more about the safety measures that researchers have put in place on the Be Part of Research website by using this link.

The Join Dementia Research ‘learn tool’ is available for all healthcare professionals, enabling them to find out how to help patients to take part in research. ​​​​​​​ A brief training session can also be accessed on the Join Dementia Research website by using this link. Professionals are guided through a short video, invited to complete a quick quiz, and rewarded with a certificate at the end.

LPFT are the third top NHS trust in the country for the completion of this module, with over 185 staff members taking part. We will be encouraging even more of our staff to get involved before the end of the year to support Join Dementia Research and continue to improve the care of people with dementia.

Welcome to our new governors who have joined the Trust

We value the input from our Council of Governors, who represent the people of Lincolnshire and help us shape how we provide services. We would like to welcome and congratulate all governors who started their term on or after 1 October 2020.

Several of our governors were re-elected at the last election and we are thrilled that they can continue their great work. We welcome back…

  • Lisa Norris: Staff – Specialist Services
  • Jacky Tyson: Staff – Older Adult
  • Susanne Ridley: Staff – Older Adult
  • Christine Coupar: Staff – Adult Community
  • Mithilesh Kumar Jha: Staff – Adult Community

We have collected some thoughts from our new governors about their new roles.

David Docherty, Public – West Lindsey Governor: 

“I have spent the majority of my life working for the NHS, starting at the bottom and working my way up the ranks. Since retiring from LPFT in 2015 where I was Director of Estates, I have worked in a variety of healthcare settings. Over forty years on from the start of my career, I am still as impassioned about the NHS and welcome the opportunity to continue offering my skills and services to the community I live in.”

Suneetha Siddabattuni, Staff – Specialist Services Governor:

“I strongly believe that the biggest asset to our trust is our staff. Where staff feel happy and confident, and where they are valued, respected, and provided with the resources needed, they can identify their talents and train to climb their career goals.”

Laura Suffield, Staff – Corporate Governor:

“I represent those of us who are in the corporate division, as our roles are integral to supporting all staff within our Trust and the people for whom they care.”

Drew Rowley, Staff – Adult Inpatient:

“I hold a passion for change and supporting mental health trusts to provide the best services possible. I believe this should be undertaken in a compassionate, caring and understanding way and the care of our patients/service users should be always to the highest standards.”

The Trust also welcomed Helen Smith (Staff – Adult Inpatient Governor), Rebecca Mezzo, (Service User Governor), Giles Crust (Deputy Service User Governor), and Ingrid Gill (General Carer Governor).

We would like to thank all of our governors who have recently left their posts for all their hard work, and hope they will continue to support the Trust as valued members.

Celebrating success

Celebrating our LPFT Heroes

In what has been a challenging year, we’ve been in awe of the commitment shown by all of our staff. Celebrating the commitment of staff through our LPFT Heroes initiative is a well-deserved highlight!

Rebecca Gall

During the challenges of the pandemic, Team Coordinator at Lincolnshire Secure Unit Rebecca Gall has excelled herself in many ways. Rebecca leads by example, and is extremely passionate about supporting the team and young people accessing the service. Colleagues said how grateful they were for the support she had given them, commenting that they found her to be a true inspiration.


Physical Healthcare and Infection Prevention and Control TeamPhysical healthcare and IPC Heroes_0121ed low res.jpg

This team has been vital in supporting the Lincolnshire health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Trust enacted its resilience response, each team member has demonstrated the Trust’s values, and been extremely flexible to support great outcomes for our patients and staff.

The team have worked incredibly hard to ensure and maintain patient and staff safety. Working above and beyond their usual roles, they provided a seven day service to ensure patients are screened for COVID-19 when required and have carried out staff antibody testing in addition to their usual workload. We can’t thank the team enough for their resilience and “can do” attitude; it’s a true testament to the dedication of our staff.

LPFT shortlisted as HSJ Mental Health Trust of the Year

We’re proud to have been shortlisted for Mental Health Trust of the Year in the Health Service Journal Awards 2020. This national recognition commends the on-going work of our Trust to transform mental health and learning disability services for vulnerable communities across Lincolnshire.

Our nomination for this award drew on a broad range of work and initiatives which have taken place across the Trust to support both patients and staff, including the transformation of our older adults inpatient service; implementation of the Lincolnshire mental health helpline, work on new models of care in children and young people’s services and expanding crisis support, among many others.

We’d like to thank our staff for their commitment and compassion for what we do, and hope you will join us in celebrating this accolade.

Lyndsay Khan wins Mental Health Nurse of the Year for work with veterans

Our very own mental health nurse and veteran Lyndsay Khan has won ‘Mental Health Nurse of the Year’ at the National British Journal of Nursing Awards, which celebrates excellence in nursing and patient care.

Lyndsay is a Team Manager for our Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and has been a mental health nurse for over 20 years, serving 14 years in Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service before joining LPFT. Since joining us, Lyndsay has consistently delivered a high level of care to veterans and their families, acting with compassion born out of her own experience as a veteran transitioning back into the community.

Lyndsay said: “I am very proud of my team, who are all extremely passionate about their work, and equally deserving of this accolade. I feel so honoured to serve the veteran community and give back to those who have given so selflessly to their country.”

PMVA Team shortlisted in Nursing Times Workforce Awards

The national Nursing Times Workforce Awards took place on Wednesday 2 December, where we were shortlisted for ‘Best Workplace for Learning and Development’ award. Our nomination reflected the the phenomenal work of various teams to streamline processes in our vital Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) training, which enables the safety of both staff and patients on our wards.

Unfortunately we weren’t winners on the night, but a big well done to all involved, it’s an amazing achievement.

NHS volunteers thanked for 36 years of support

Six of our valued LPFT volunteers who combined have contributed 36 years  supporting our services have been presented with Long Service Awards.

The volunteers, each receiving awards for six years’ service, received their certificates at a socially distanced event, and were later acknowledged at our Annual Public Meeting.

Trust Chair, Paul Devlin said: “Our volunteers make a fantastic contribution to the wellbeing of patients and their carers, and their vital input cannot be underestimated. They play a part in aiding every aspect of patients’ recovery, making a difference by offering support, skills, kindness, care and above all a friendly face and helping hand at all times.

“Whether people give a little of their time or a lot, the contribution of our volunteers is something worth celebrating.”

News in brief

Use this link to read all of the following news in brief items.

Changes to the Trust's Executive Team

The Trust has recently announced the retirement of Brendan Hayes, Chief Executive. 

Read more about the executive team changes by using this link.

Nurses joining our inpatient wards offered attractive welcome payment

To boost our recruitment we have taken the decision to offer payment incentives for registered nurses in inpatient areas.

Read more about the welcome incentive by using this link.

Your fundraising is making a difference

Find out how we've been spending monies raised for the Trust to help enhance the experience of patients and staff. 

Read more about fundraising by using this link.

Celebrating our fantastic volunteers

To celebrate the vital contribution of our volunteers the Trust hosted a Volunteer Celebration Event to coincide with International Volunteers Day 2020.

Read more about our volunteers event by using this link.

60 seconds with...

Rhiannon Dolby, Social Work Apprentice

Read more about Rhiannon by using this link.

New mental health ward due to open in New Year

We are pleased to say that changes to the existing Ash Villa building are going well and we expect to be able to open our doors from February 2021.

Read more about the new ward by using this link.

Have you had your flu vaccination?

With coronovirus still circulating, it's more important than ever to get your flu jab.

Read more about the flu vaccination by using this link.

NEON trial aims to understand the benefits of mental health recovery stories

This new study aims to understand whether receiving online recoreded recovery stories benefits people with experience of mental health problems. 

Read more about the NEON study by using this link

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