Better Together e-news Issue 39

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 the progress on our new acute wards in Lincoln and Boston, as well as the achievements of our teams, services and service users this year - not least the Trust being a finalist for Mental Health Trust of the Year at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards for the second consecutive year.

Better Together e-news issue 39

Welcome from the Chair, Kevin Lockyer


Welcome to our final Better Together of 2021, and what a year it has been! I am not sure that many of us thought, when the pandemic first broke in this country at the beginning of last year, that we would still be feeling the impact more than 20 months later. We have been, and still are, living in wholly unprecedented times.

As we enter the winter period, with COVID-19 and flu both circulating, there are some things we can all do to help reduce the pressures on health and social care services. Having both the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations is one of the most effective interventions that will help protect you, your family, friends and colleagues. I strongly urge anyone who is yet to receive either vaccine to ensure that you get them as soon as you can.

During this time, it is also important that we continue to look after our mental wellbeing, as well as reach out to those who may be quietly struggling. Talking is extremely powerful, whether that be with friends, family, or to a professional through our 24/7 mental health helpline. Please reach out for support when you need it.

Since starting my role as Chair in May, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand a number of services across the Trust and I have been deeply impressed and personally moved by the commitment, passion and resilience of all of the colleagues I have had the privilege to meet. I would like to thank everyone very sincerely for their continuing commitment, particularly during such difficult times. I am conscious that there remain many teams and individuals that I have not yet been able to meet. I will put this right as quickly as I can!

In this issue you will hear more about the achievements of our teams, services and service users this year, not least the Trust being a finalist for Mental Health Trust of the Year at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards for the second consecutive year. This national recognition commends the ongoing work of the Trust to strengthen the county’s mental health offer and support people to access high quality care as close to home as possible, in the least restrictive environment. Although we did not win the award, the achievement of being shortlisted again is, in itself, no mean feat.

We have had a number of changes recently to our Board of Directors and to our Council of Governors. You can read about some in this issue, including Sarah Connery being appointed to the position of Chief Executive and Mark Platts to the position of Director of Finance and Information. You can also read more about our new governors who have joined the council following the public elections that took place this summer.

I would 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 a happy New Year.

Kevin Lockyer, Chair

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

Get boosted now

Get boosted now national campaign graphic. Get your COVID-19 booster vaccine by visiting across Lincolnshire are being strongly urged to ‘get boosted’ before Christmas, in response to the exceptionally quick spread of the Omicron covid variant.

The UK Health Security Agency last week  confirmed a significant drop in protection against the Omicron variant from two doses of the covid vaccine, compared to previous/other variants, and so the entire country is being encouraged to get a booster vaccination, to maximise protection against Omicron.

The roll out of the vaccination continues to be a collective effort across Lincolnshire, with people from all walks of life playing a part in making sure our communities are protected as quickly as possible.

There are many ways to get your vaccination in Lincolnshire and the latest information can be found on the NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group website at 

Being involved - A case study by Gary Hillary, LPFT service user

Gary Hilary.jpgBeing an expert by experience for LPFT has without question, been fundamental in my ongoing recovery story.

By chance I came across a request for previous inpatients of acute mental health wards to be involved in the development of a new project to deliver on the eradication of dormitories.

Still early in my recovery from a significant period of poor mental health, I was undecided whether to click on the link and I am so grateful I did.

The gentle encouragement of the Trust's involvement coordinators has never been far away and has played no small part in giving me the confidence to get involved in a range of projects.

I sit on the procurement sub-group for the new wards. I also sit on interview recruitment panels as an expert by experience, as well as for the advisory group to the newly established community rehabilitation teams.

Through this involvement, my confidence in my abilities started to return. To feel part of a team, talking, interacting, listening, being listened to, encouraged, feeling valued, being respected and respecting, has been the best medicine there is.

I have been using our Individual Placement and Support Service and the employment specialist has helped me secure an offer of employment within the Trust.

Promoting the unseen benefits of involving service users and carers seems to me vital if we are to not only deliver better services, but by foster inclusivity and encouragement, giving people the opportunity to realise their potential again.

Want to get involved? 

We are proud to have a people-centre approach where all voices are heard in shaping how we deliver our services. Hear those closest to it explain why involvement in our services is so beneficial.

One staff member said: “The opinions and experiences of service users, carers and stakeholders has shaped, and in some instances, totally changed my approach and ensured what I do is meaningful and relevant.

“Being involved helps carers to feel part of the system and not left out in decision making which often affects their caring role and their ability to care.”

Nicci Fleshbourne,an Expert by Experience at LPFT, added: “With the backing of my family and care team, I successfully applied for a Peer Support role. Having been involved with the engagement group it felt like a positive step forward in my recovery journey to be able to work alongside people going through mental health difficulties."

If you would like more information on how you can get involved, please contact the Involvement Team at

Work continues on the new acute wards in Lincoln and Boston

site1.jpgThe Trust’s flagship acute mental health ward re-provision schemes at both Norton Lea (Boston) and the Peter Hodgkinson Centre (PHC), Lincoln County Hospital site are both continuing to progress well.

The Norton Lea project continues to engage with our experts by experience on the design of the new wards and their valuable feedback has gone into the initial layout drawings, in preparation for the next design stage.

Over at PHC, the steel frames have been delivered and erected for both wards. There have been many challenges along the way due to national disruptions to supplies and deliveries. However, despite these obstacles our recent inspection from building control was positive and they are extremely satisfied with the work to date. This is fantastic news and a credit to the Integrated Health Project Team's hard work.

PHC_building_site_3.jpgAs part of the development we will be looking to rename our wards to reflect the exciting new environments. As with all our wards will be theming these with Lincolnshire landmarks and are currently in the process of consultating with our patients, staff and carers on their chosen names. We hope to announce the chosen names very soon.

We continue to seek any patients and/or carers who have experience of staying on an adult acute mental health ward and would like to be involved in our Building Together Focus Group. If this is something you are interested in, please email for more details.

Transforming our community mental health support

The last eight months has seen the Community Mental Health Transformation project make excellent progress. With new roles introduced into the heart of our communities, such as peer support workers and social prescribers, this has given people better support to access local groups and activities that can help them stay well.

People presenting with mental health issues at their GP practice can now be linked to dedicated mental health practitioners or clinical pharmacists who can provide specialist support to keep them well, whilst at the same time easing pressure on local GPs. We are already seeing positive benefits for our patients and improved capacity in our community mental health teams and this work will ensure people are receiving the right support, at the right time.

The Night Light Crisis Cafés currently operating in Lincoln continue to provide warm welcome and peaceful environment for people to go and talk to trained volunteers face to face when they are struggling. People who have accessed the cafes tell us that they have reduced harmful behaviours, seen a positive boost to their overall mood and increased their confidence as a consequence of the help they have received. The cafés provide a source of connection between users and others in their community, something which has been especially important during the pandemic. Thanks to additional investment, the cafes will be extending to other areas of the county very soon, particularly on the east coast where we know it is more difficult to access community support. You can find out more about Lincoln’s Night Light Cafés on the Acts Trust website -

Each stage of the transformation continues to be done in partnership with people with lived experience, enabling us to design, develop and evaluate everything we do to shape how mental health services will look and be delivered in the future.

Celebrating our fantastic volunteers

Musical note to thank Trust’s band of volunteers

A Lincoln man who helps to rekindle memories of the past by playing his ukulele to dementia patients was one of five volunteers to be formally thanked by the Trust as part of our annual Volunteer Long Service Awards.

Following a lifetime working in public services, Steve Marshall, 76, from Lincoln, decided to volunteer to play his ukulele at the Trust’s Witham Court site, for older people with dementia.

Steve said: “I enjoy playing music and it’s a great way to bring happiness to people and rekindle an emotional link to their memories.

“People love singing and dancing along to the old music hall tunes and it helps them to feel happier. From my experience, the link between music and good mental health is clear and I find playing to the patients incredibly rewarding.”

Steve was one of five Trust volunteers reaching a combined total of 36 years’ voluntary service to help patients with mental health and learning disabilities across Lincolnshire.

Former Stakeholder Governor Ron Oxby, 69, who lives in Heighington also received a certificate for 12 years’ service.

Ron, who took the decision to step down from his Governor role in May this year said: “As part of my duties being a County Councillor, I was asked to join the Trust as a Stakeholder Governor.

“It was a steep learning curve and there was always something to learn about as the Trust had to constantly evolve and adapt.

“I take great pride in my involvement in the selection process for the Trust’s most recent Chairs to lead the organisation forward.”

Three further volunteers also received thank you certificates from the Trust for their achievements including:

  • Susanne Ridley who has been a Staff Governor for nine years.
  • Dawn Pearson, who has supported the Greyfriars Group for the past six years with creative ideas, great baking, a friendly ear and regular contributions to the Trust’s Volunteer Newsletter.
  • Rachael Burnett, who has been an active member of the drama group for the past six years and, following the completion of a creative writing and education course, hopes to bring her skills to develop a future career with the Trust.

Volunteers_photo.pngThe Trust is always looking for people to volunteer. Volunteering is open to anyone aged 18 years – people are welcome from all walks of life and there is no age limit.

To find out more about the opportunities available and how to apply, please visit the Trust’ volunteering webpage at

Welcome to our new governors

We are delighted to be able to share with you the results from the public governor elections held this summer for our Council of Governors.  

We would like to extend our thanks to all members who took the opportunity to vote. This year the result brought a mix of new and familiar faces to the council.

Several of our public governors have been re-elected and we are thrilled that they can continue their great work. We welcome back…

  • Debbie Abrams – South Kesteven
  • David Docherty – West Lindsey
  • Thomas Ellis – City of Lincoln

We also welcome a number of new governors:

  • Florence Mangenje - Public - Rest of England Governor
  • Carole Hagan, North Kesteven Governor
  • Marleen Fullwood, Public – Borough of Boston Governor
  • Brenda Wickham, Public – South Holland Governor
  • Emma Slack, Public – East Lindsey Governor

To introduce our new governors we have collected their thoughts on their new roles.

Florence Mangenje, Public – Rest of England Governor:

“I am ready to think outside the box and push boundaries. I understand that mental health stigma and discrimination exacerbate broader social and health inequalities and present major challenges for people with mental health problems to live as equal. I will promote good corporate governance, champion sustainable development and identify value drivers that will improve lives through the provision of best quality health and social care for patients and carers.”

Carole Hagan, Public – North Kesteven Governor:

“As a parent of a young adult with autism, epilepsy and learning disabilities I know how stressful attending a hospital appointment or undertaking a procedure can be for a patient with autism and /or learning disabilities or mental health issues. As a Governor I would endeavour to represent the views of constituents in North Kesteven. I hope that I could make a contribution to the Trust's aims of " supporting people to live well in the community".

Marleen Fullwood, Public – Borough of Boston Governor:

“I am the mum and carer for my 18-year-old son who has learning difficulties, Autism and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We face daily struggles with him having both a mental and physical disability. I would like to make a difference and help people who are in a similar situation to us as not everyone has the confidence to speak out when they are having difficulties.”

Brenda Wickham, Public – South Holland Governor:

“I have long had an interest in participation and empowerment of communities to have a voice in the setup and running of their services. As a governor I would listen and respond to the worries and concerns of all local people and be their voice on the Council of Governors going forward. My communication and interpersonal skills as well as my interest and knowledge in areas of social care, community health and mental health services, policies and procedures would enable me to represent and be the voice, of all my local community, to the best of my ability.”

Emma Slack, Public – East Lindsey Governor:

“I am a carer of a child with severe learning difficulties. Since 2012 I have run a parent support group called Sharing Minds. I have knowledge and experience that I feel would be helpful in this role.”

The Trust also welcomes Linda Melhuish (Service User Governor), Eve Ellerby (Service User Governor) and Debbie Judge (Staff Governor – Older Adult Services) to their new positions.

In addition to the elections, this year we are also welcoming Nicola Clarke (Healthwatch) and Mark Gresswell (University of Lincoln) who were recently nominated and join our Council of Governors as partnership governors. 

Lead Governor

Debbie Abrams Lead Governor for LPFTAs a result of the elections, Debbie Abrams has now been elected as Lead Governor for the Trust. Debbie was previously Acting Lead and after a thorough and competitive process, has been appointed Lead and will hold the role for 18 months.

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 before 1 October 2021.

We would also 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.

You can view all of our Council of Governors on our website.

Celebrating success

LPFT shortlisted for Mental Health Trust of the Year for second consecutive year

HSJ shorlist graphic.jpgFor the second consecutive year, LPFT was shortlisted for Mental Health Trust of the Year at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards. This national recognition commends the ongoing work of the Trust to transform mental health and learning disability services for vulnerable communities across Lincolnshire, enabling them to access high quality care as close to home as possible, in the least restrictive environment. These awards recognise outstanding contributions to healthcare and LPFT was one of three finalists in this category.

The nomination for this award drew on the ambitions, achievements and initiatives delivered by the Trust over the past year. The Trust has worked hard to develop its community mental health services and crisis and home treatment teams, helped introduce new 24/7 mental health helplines, enhanced services and resources for children and young people, implemented patient feedback, and fostered an equal and inclusive environment.

Sarah Connery, Chief Executive at LPFT, said:

“We are immensely proud of this recognition, which commends our fantastic Trust on a national scale, during a year in which the NHS and its workforce have again faced unprecedented pressure and demand.

“Being shortlisted for this award is also an opportunity to thank our staff and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to making a difference every day for service users, carers, families and colleagues. We couldn’t have achieved this without them.”

Lincolnshire’s Children and Young People Complex Needs Service wins national award 

Lincolnshire’s Children and Young People Complex Needs Service (formerly known as the Future4Me Health Team) have won a national Children and Young People Now Award  for their work on mental health and wellbeing.

The service was up against ten other exceptional finalists, which go the extra mile for children and young people. The Mental Health and Wellbeing category particularly recognises "the initiative that has done the most to transform the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, whether through prevention, early intervention or treatment”. The service was also praised by judges for “coordinated working across multiple organisations to support children and young people with complex needs”.

The service works as an integrated partnership between LPFT, Lincolnshire County Council and other partner agencies such as education and the criminal justice system, providing holistic support to young people who are at risk of homelessness, criminalisation, or exploitation.

Dr Nicola Silvester, Clinical and Strategic Lead for the CYP Complex Needs Service, said:

“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award which recognises the important role that the service plays in overcoming the challenges of segregated working, where children risk falling between the gaps and losing access to the right services. The team is supported by an integrated network of specialists from health, education, housing and criminal justice services to ensure that the right support is provided, at the right time, by the right worker.”

Children and Young People Peer Support Team highly commended at Positive Practice Mental Health Awards 

The Children and Young People’s Peer Support Team at LPFT were recently shortlisted in the peer support category at the Positive Practice Mental Health Awards 2021.

The team were highly commended at the awards, recognising the valuable role peer support workers play in supporting young people and parent/carers accessing mental health services. The nomination was in recognition of the introduction of parent/carer peer support workers across Lincolnshire’s children and young people’s services.

Amy Butler, Head of Operations for Children and Young People Services at LPFT, said:

“Peer Support Workers have lived experience of mental health difficulties and use this experience and stories of recovery to provide emotional and practical support. They help service users and their families feel that somebody out there truly understands, which instils hope for recovery and bridges the ‘them and us’ divide that can sometimes worry the young people we care for.”

Research Team shortlisted for the CRN East Midlands Research Awards 

BT_Research_team_photo.JPGThe Trust's Research Team were shortlisted for ‘Outstanding Achievement by a Team’ at the CRN East Midlands Research Awards 2021. This category provides the opportunity to recognise an outstanding achievement by a research team in the region and awards teams that have gone above and beyond what would normally be expected of them to achieve outstanding results. These awards celebrate the inspiring achievements from research in the East Midlands and it is a significant achievement to be named a finalist.

LPFT Medical Director, Dr Ananta Dave, nominated the team for their positive team spirit, work ethic, “can do” attitude and exceptional contribution to clinical research.

"The team is excellent at translating National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) priorities into action at a local level. They do everything they can to give participants a positive experience, encourage others to take part in research, improve quality of care, and help make LPFT an attractive place to work."

Francis Willis Unit win two awards at National Service User Awards

FWU_Awards plates.pngFollowing the shortlisting of five Francis Willis Unit service user projects, the ward has been crowned winner in two categories at the National Service User Awards 2021. The National Service User Awards are held annually and recognise the achievements of service user led projects across the country.

Patients and staff were thrilled to win in the ‘Recovery and the Arts’ category for Smart Phone Movie Making and the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category for the Monthly Health Challenge.

Francis Willis Unit Ward Manager, Louise Bannister, said:

“We are really proud of all our patients, not just for the awards but all the hard work they have done on creating their projects.

“These awards boost self-esteem and allow service users to see other projects and get different ideas for the future. We have really seen our service users grow in recent months.

“Every single patient on the ward made a contribution towards preparing for the ceremony and the nominations.”

Thomas Dunning wins NK Community Champion Award 

Thomas_Dunning.jpgThomas Dunning, a mental health ambassador and LPFT Service User Governor, has won an NK Community Champion Award in the ‘Contribution to Health and Wellbeing Award category’.

The NK Community Champion Awards are an annual celebration, based on community nominations in the North Kesteven area. They recognise often-unsung heroes who make a massive difference to life locally, through their selfless and tireless voluntary endeavour, community spiritedness or, in the case of businesses, a particular community-focus that goes way beyond the bottom line.

The Contribution to Health and Wellbeing Award is given to an individual who has gone out their way to better the health and wellbeing of their community, contributing to the wellbeing of others and encouraging positive healthy lifestyle changes.

Thomas was nominated  because of his passion for mental health and for dedicating his own time to improve the mental health of those around him by motivating them to get into sport. Around the UK and internationally, he provides workshops and keynote speeches, to share his story and mental health journey. Motivating and inspiring others to open up when they are struggling.

As a governor at LPFT, Thomas also helps to shape service user experience to ensure that their care is efficient and leads to the best outcome possible. To find out more about what governors do at our Trust, please visit

Congratulations to our latest LPFT heroes

Despite the ongoing challenge of the pandemic, we continue to be thoroughly impressed with every single member of the LPFT team. Here are the latest LPFT heroes:

Charlotte Skuse

Charlotte Skuse.JPGCharlotte continues to demonstrate an outstanding contribution and dedication to both her patients and the service within Boston Older Adult Community Mental Health Team.

Charlotte is a very compassionate nurse and always advocates to ensure the very best for her patients. She frequently goes above and beyond what is required within her role as a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN).


Lincolnshire Mental Health Adviser HelplineMH Helpline with Mark Platts.JPG

This is a relatively new team and service to LPFT. It was set up during the pandemic, doing 24/7 shifts whilst also working from home. Despite these difficulties the team has created a well-functioning service that has embraced new responsibilities and worked hard to make things work, often attending meetings in their own time to enable the service to be set up well and publicised.

News in brief

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

60 seconds with... 

Sarah Connery, the Trust's Chief Executive.

Read this article by using this link.

New Director of Finance appointed

Following a thorough recruitment process, the Trust has appointed a substantive Director of Finance and Information.

Read more about our Director of Finance and Information by using this link.

Caring for Carers – Carers Quality Award

We’re delighted to share the news that our community teams have successfully been reaccredited with the Lincolnshire Carers Quality Award.

Read more about this accreditation by using this link.

New courses at Lincolnshire's Recovery College

This term, the College has introduced a number of new courses, including the first course designed specifically for carers.

Read more about the new courses at Lincolnshire Recovery College by using this link.

Volunteers continue to make a difference

Our volunteers have been making a difference from home until face-to-face volunteering can resume, by getting involved with a variety of projects.

Read our volunteering update by using this link.

Lincolnshire NHS Charity – Langworth Ward Flower Appeal

We’re encouraging volunteers and members of the public to create knitted or crocheted flower heads for the courtyard area outside Langworth Ward.

Read more about the flower appeal by using this link.

Managed Care Network Wave 11 projects released

The management of Lincolnshire Managed Care Network has now moved to Shine Lincolnshire, who are supporting 34 projects through the latest wave of funding for 2021/22.

Read more about the Wave 11 projects by using this link.

New research study for service users experiencing psychosis

This study aims to investigate the prevalence of autoimmune antibodies in service users experiencing psychosis.

Read more about this research study by using this link.

Healthier planet, healthier people

We can all play our part in supporting the NHS to meet its target of becoming a net zero by 2040.

Read more about the Greener NHS by using this link.