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I'm Mark Yates, Chair of Herefordshire and Mark yates portraitWorcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. Each quarter we produce 'Connect', a newsletter sharing exciting news and updates from our services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Subscribe and receive this newsletter direct to your inbox each quarter.

Alternatively, browse previous editions by clicking the links below.

Useful contacts

Available 24/7 our urgent helpline supports people of all ages experiencing a mental health crisis/emergency.

Provides a range of help, support and treatment for those of use experiencing things like stress, worry, anxiety or low mood.

If you live in Worcestershire and think you need physio support you can use our self-referral form on our website.

Our CAMHS website has lots of information and links to a range of teams and resources which support a child/family experiencing mental health difficulties.

March 2022

Robert Mackie Mike Taylor Clare McFaden and Sarah Simmons in Meadow Ward Garden

All of our thoughts are with those affected by the events in Ukraine which have dominated the news agenda over the last couple of weeks.

I am sure we have all felt anxious, concerned and worried about the situation that’s unfolding and for many of us those feelings may start to overwhelm us, especially if it’s on top of existing struggles. As always the message is to talk to someone and not bottle things up, and if things are getting too much then to reach out and ask for help.

Locally, across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, there are a number of services and resources which we can access today. In Herefordshire the Talk Community programme provides lots of resources and groups, and it’s the same in Worcestershire through the Here2Help directory.

If you think you need a bit more support you can self-refer to our Healthy Minds service if you’re experiencing anxiety, worry or depression, while our urgent mental health helpline is available 24/7 to anyone feeling at crisis point. The helpline is for people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and can also be used by families or friends if they have an urgent concern about someone’s state of mind - 0808 196 9127 (free phone 24 hrs a day 365 days a year)

It’s also been a challenging time for some of our community based staff who have been working night and day during the recent storms and floods which hit our area. We have mental health staff and nurses and therapists who support people in their own homes, in schools, clinics and other community venues and do such a vital job in helping people maintain their independence. They work in all weather and conditions to maintain services for our most vulnerable patients and we are incredibly grateful for their resilience in ensuring minimal disruption to the care we provide.

We hope you enjoy reading about some of our recent news and developments...


Mark Yates - Chair, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Work starts on new dementia garden

Work has commenced on a new sensory garden supporting patients with dementia in our New Haven Unit in Bromsgrove.

The Meadow Green project will see the creation of a new, multi-purpose therapeutic space for patients on Meadow Ward, which provides specialist inpatient care and treatment for people living witRobert Mackie, Mike Taylor, Clare McFaden and Sarah Simmons in Meadow Ward Gardenh dementia.

The project will see the development of a landscaped multi-sensory garden and features such as a corner shop and potting shed, designed to recreate familiar everyday environments for patients.

A separate area will provide a space that can be customised to meet a range of therapeutic purposes, including a 'corner shop’ where patients will be able to pick up a newspaper or a café where they can enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake. Find out more about the project in our press release.

We’ve launched our first dedicated recruitment site

The Trust has recently launched a dedicated recruitment website which focuses on promoting the Trust as a great place to work.

It features blogs and articles about our staff and their roleAn example page on the recruitment website displayed on a smart phone and PCs, alongside information promoting our values and the exciting opportunities we have available to prospective applicants. The site also includes a dedicated section on equality, diversity and inclusion, which gives a wider idea of how the Trust approaches EDI.

We hope the new site will support our recruitment efforts, an area of increasing pressure across the whole of the NHS. By sharing insights and stories from our staff we want to attract talented applicants who enable us to build the workforce required to continue to deliver outstanding care.

Knife Angel arrives in Worcester

The Knife Angel arrived in Worcester on 1st March and is a 27ft tall statue created out of 100,000 knives and blades received by 42 police forces across the UK.

The aim of the statue is to raise awareness of knife crime and how The Knife Angel installation stood in front of blue skymuch it impacts individuals, cities, families, and communities. With police records showing a 29% increase in knife crime across the UK since 2011, the Knife Angel encourages conversations addressing knife crime alongside a weapons amnesty.

Our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service will be running workshops for children near the sculpture in Cathedral Square during March to provide help and advice on wellbeing.

The workshops are pre-booked and will be attended by around 180 children throughout the month.

For further information about mental health support for children and adolescents, please visit the CAMHS website.

Community teams battle the elements for vulnerable patients 

Our community nursing, therapy and mental health teams provide essential care and support to patients in their own homes, in community centres, schools and care homes.

They often battle the elements to make sure our most vulnerable patients get the care they need, including during the recent storms and flooding which hit our area.

This month we spoke to some of our community staff to understand a bit more about what it’s like to work remotely in some of our more rural areas, and how they adapt to poor weather and the other unique challenges they face. This was featured in the Rural Services Network Online – Read online.

Urgent community response service reducing avoidable hospital admissions

Across Worcestershire we have 13 Neighbourhood Teams made up of nurses, therapists, social workers and GPs whose job it is to support generally older people in their own homes.

Last year the teams launched the Urgent Community Response service, which aims to support those patients deemed most at risk of a hospital admission, for example following a fall at home. Patients already under the care of a Neighbourhood Team have a direct contact number for the Urgent Community Response Team in case of emergencies.

Alternatively, paramedics or GPs can also call the Urgent Community Response Team when they are seeing a patient who needs urgent support, but may not require a hospital admission. They will visit the patient within 2 hrs of the call and aim to provide the immediate care they need at home.

The service is still being developed but historically around 20-25 hospital admissions are being avoided each day across Worcestershire, and that is increasing with the introduction of the new service.  This not only benefits the patient and their families, but also supports our urgent care system so we have the capacity and resources to help those who need emergency hospital care more quickly.

Our dedicated wellbeing website launches for health and social care staff

A new website has been launched to support the mental health of Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s NHS, care and social care workforce.

The new site is home to ‘The Hub’ – a nationally-funded mental heThe Hub logoalth support programme that provides emotional wellbeing help to local healthcare workers in both counties.

With a user-friendly design, staff can get the right support for a wide range of personal and professional issues such as anxiety, stress, long covid, relationship worries and more, all in one place.

There’s currently lots of wellbeing support on offer, however it may be challenging to navigate when you are under pressure at work and need the right help fast. The new website is designed to deliver convenient access to self-care information and offer an opportunity for people to contact the Hub team and other relevant organisations, at a time that suits them.

Colleagues working in health, care and social care across both counties can access the new Hub website by visiting: They can also get in contact with the Hub team directly by calling 01905 520025, emailing or by using the contact form on the website.

'Living with an eating disorder' - A young person's account

This National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are raising awareness of how professionals in educational settings can help support children and young people.

We provide children's mental health services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and we are sharing the experiences of Charlotte, a CAMHS service user. Charlotte's account acts as a guide - offering tips, support, and information to those working in education settings.

It is really impactful and has lots of helpful information that we encourage all staff to read. Read more on Charlotte’s account .

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