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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.

May 2022

Pictured Tanya Knibbs and Melanie Palfrey

Welcome to May’s edition of Connect, our monthly e-newsletter keeping you updated on news and developments from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

We were delighted that our Chief Executive, Sarah Dugan, was named in the top 50 NHS leaders by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) last month. The list is compiled based on the performance of the individual, the performance of the organisation they lead, and the role they play within their local system, and so Sarah’s well deserved personal acknowledgement is also a really positive reflection on all our staff and teams who have worked so hard during the pandemic.

I also want to talk about Mental Health Awareness Week which took place last week (from May 9-15). The national focus was loneliness and it served as a really important reminder that there are many wider social determinants which contribute to our mental health and wellbeing. Being lonely is certainly one of them and can lead to social isolation and poor physical health and importantly, doesn’t just impact older people.

Throughout the week we worked with our partners across Herefordshire and Worcestershire on our Now We’re Talking campaign to highlight local support which can help. Some of this support is available through NHS services, but there are also lots of other local community groups who do important work helping people to reconnect with others.

People often tell us that navigating to the most appropriate mental health support can be challenging, so we have produced a ‘poster on a page’ for adults across our two counties which describes the different options available depending on how someone might be feeling. It includes help to stay mentally well, support if you’re experiencing stress, worry or anxiety, and details of where to turn in a crisis.

We hope you find this newsletter useful and informative and as always if you would like more details on any of the below then please let us know.

Mark Yates

Chair, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Dementia Nurses nominated for national award

Two nurses from Worcestershire have been nominated in this year’s StudenPictured Tanya Knibbs and Melanie Palfreyt Nursing Times Awards for their commitment to continuous development and learning.

Tanya Knibbs and Melanie Palfrey, both registered mental health nurses at the Trust have been shortlisted in the ‘Post-Registration – Learner of the Year’ category for their continuous development as Developmental Advanced Clinical Practitioners.

Natalie Willetts, Director of Nursing and Quality said, “We’re incredibly proud to have two of our nurses nominated in this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards. Both Melanie and Tanya are infectious with their passion for dementia nursing and a testament to their profession. We wish them the best of luck at the awards ceremony later this month”.

The Student Nursing Times Awards will be celebrated on Friday 27 May 2022 in a live ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Image of downloadable social media graphics on mental health support availableThank you to our partners across Herefordshire and Worcestershire for your support during Mental Health Awareness Week. We used the week as an opportunity to highlight and promote the mental health support available to local people from the NHS, local authority and voluntary sector.

We recognise that knowing where to go for help can sometimes be challenging, so we’ve created a new ‘mental health on a page’ poster which outlines the support available to people living in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

You can view and download the poster, along with other materials to promoting local mental health support on the Healthy Minds website.

Psychiatry service awarded national accreditation

A service supporting patients experiencing mental health difficulties has been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for the quality of care they provide patients.

The Worcestershire Mental Health Liaison Service, provided by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has been awarded accreditation for its commitment to meeting core standards for liaison psychiatry services, set out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN). Embedded within Worcestershire’s acute hospitals, the team provides assessment to all people, regardless of age, who attend Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital Emergency Departments following an episode of self-harm, attempted suicide or presenting with symptoms of mental illness. They also support patients admitted to medical wards for treatment following self-harm or attempted suicide.

The accreditation process includes a comprehensive peer-review and measures the service against over 180 care standards. Read the full press release on our website.

System working - Rapid Improvement Cell

We’ve been working with colleagues across Worcestershire on an eight week urgent care initiative that aims to ease pressure on local urgent and emergency care services, reduce waiting times and improve ambulance handovers to deliver a better experience for patients at all stages of their urgent care pathway.

Lead by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, the scheme supports staff across the local health economy to deliver sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our local urgent care services. This includes ensuring that teams in all parts of the system are clear about their roles and responsibilities and able to play their part in embedding long term improvements.

In addition to this 8 week programme, we continue to #DoOurBit and promote alternatives to ED such as our minor injury units, pharmacy, GP and NHS111.

NHS unsung heroes nominated for national awards

Two local NHS staff who play a key role supporting frontline clinical services have been shortlisted for national awards.Image of Jackie Bunn and Carole Walker

Jackie Bunn and Carole Walker from the Estates and Facilities Team at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust have been shortlisted in the national Health Estates & Facilities Management Association Awards (HEFMA). Jackie, who leads the facilities team based in Herefordshire is up for the Leader of the Year Award, while Carole, who works in the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering (EBME) Services department is up for the Personal Development Award category.

The HEFMA awards recognise the outstanding contributions of those staff and teams working in estates and facilities services within the NHS. The Trust’s Estates and Facilities teams includes housekeeping, maintenance, catering, portering, transport, linen and laundry, EBME, switchboard, uniform services and reception services. Visit our website to read more about the nominations.

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Earlier this month, people from all backgrounds came together to talk about death, dying and grief. Every year, people use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage people to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them about their wishes at theirDying Matters logo end of life.

Talking about death, dying and bereavement is hard. It can feel awkward or uncomfortable and sometimes, you just don’t know what to say. Dying Matters is the campaign that’s trying to change that. Their mission is to break the stigma, challenge preconceptions and normalise public openness around dying. Dying Matters believes in an open culture that talks about death, and where people feel able to listen and support those who are planning for end of life, who are dying and who have been bereaved.

Join the conversation and find out more on the Hospice UK website.

New Green Plan to become Net Zero by 2040

In March we launched our new Green Plan, which firmly sets out our commitment and contribution towards meeting both local and national NHS Net Zero targets, with the aim to be Net Zero by 2040.

The impacts of climate change present a significant health and wellbeing challenge to us all. The Trust has an important role to play in maintaining the wellbeing of its staff and the health of people within the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area.

Our role in this extends to the contribution we can make in ensuring sustainability is embedded within our delivery of services and the reach that we have across our local communities to lead by example, and encourage positive change by our staff, supply chain, patients and stakeholders.

All our staff will be encouraged and supported to contribute in this important journey to ensure we make substantial progress towards our own Trust targets and those of the NHS, as we work together to deliver a net zero health service.

Take part in our survey about LGBT+ inclusivity

We are inviting patients, service users and visitors to our sites to take part in a short survey about LGBT+ inclusivity.Rainbow badge

LGBT+ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans with the plus representing other sexual orientations and gender identities.

Promoting equality, inclusion and human rights is integral to our values and the delivery of our services. This survey will help us to understand and improve the experiences of LGBT+ people and help facilitate meaningful change specifically designed to improve the experiences of our LGBT+ patients, service users and staff.

The survey is open to everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, and will only take a few minutes to complete.

Complete the survey [opens in new window]

Read more about the Trust's commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

We recently marked Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week at the Trust, a campaign dedicated to talking about mental health problems during and after pregnancy.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women will experience some form of mental health difficulty during their pregnancy and the first year following birth.

Having a baby is a period of significant change and transition, and it is more common than you might think for mothers, partners and even the wider family to experience a range of emotions during this time. For many this will pass, but if you're worried about how you're feeling, it is okay to ask for help. The chances are you are not alone.

There are lots of teams and services specifically designed to support families with the challenges of parenting. They will not judge you, instead, speak to you to understand the bigger picture and identify ways to support you and your family moving forward.

If you need some extra support, speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.

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