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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.

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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 2023

Welcome to the May edition of Connect, our newsletter rounding up news and developments from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

Last month, NHS England announced that the official COVID-19 incident is being stood down. Whilst we continue to see some cases of COVID-19, and the wider long-term impact of the pandemic will be seen for years to come, this is a significant milestone for our staff and communities.  As such, I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank everyone who played their part during this extraordinary health emergency – thank you. 

This is particularly timely as we approach the NHS 75th birthday on 5th July 2023, a chance to celebrate the incredible achievements of the last 75 years and look ahead to the future of our services.  Personally, I feel very proud to be a part of this institution which treats over a million people a day in England, and touches all of our lives. When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery. Today, our integrated care system brings health and care organisations together to address health inequalities and plan services to better meet the needs of our patients.

I would also like to welcome our new Board members Carole Cumino, Veena Allison, Biraj Parmar and Susan Hincks who have been appointed as Associate Non-Executive Directors as part of on-going succession planning processes, it is a pleasure to have them join us.  More on their appointment below.  If you would like to read about what we covered in our latest Board meeting, you can take a look at our one-page summary.

I hope you find the below useful, but as always please come back to us using the contact details provided if you would like further information or would like to share any feedback.

Many thanks,

Mark Yates

Chair, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

New appointments to our Trust board

The Trust has confirmed the appointments of four new non-executive directors to its board to address succession planning and in readiness for two of our NED colleagues completing their term of office during the coming year. Herefordshire and Worcestershire Trust logo

In the NHS, non-executive directors are not substantive employees, but act as critical friends working alongside executive directors as equal members of the Trust’s Board. They share responsibility with the other directors for the decisions made by the Board and for the overall performance of the organisation.

Carole Cumino, Veena Allison, Biraj Parmar and Susan Hincks will work alongside other non-executives and the Executive Team to set the organisation’s strategic direction, monitor performance, ensure high standards of corporate governance, and help promote links between the Trust and the local community.

Read the full press release on the our website.

OneNHS Finance accreditation

On 10th May, the Trust was awarded the One NHS Finance Towards Excellence Accreditation at level 1.   ONENHS Finance department accreditation certificate

The accreditation is a recognition for the meticulous effort and development by our finance department. With multiple steps involved in qualifying for the accreditation, the team was able to demonstrate continuous improvement.

The accreditation represents our ‘Future Focussed Finance’ regime, a tool used to promote and establish best practice in Finance Teams around how they work and provide the finance function, how finance team members are supported, and how equality and diversity is embedded into teams.

Osborne Court’s new Ofsted rating

Osborne Court, our respite unit in Malvern run, has been described as a “fun, safe and caring service” following their latest OFSTED inspection. Osborne Court staff holding a banner which celebrates being rated 'Good' at their latest OFSTED inspection

In the report published last week, parents and external professionals spoke highly of the service and its staff, adding that the children enjoyed their stays and participated in meaningful activities. It added that children using the service are cared for by committed staff who know them well, are supported and are able to form friendships by attending the unit.

A parent of one of the children using the children’s short breaks service said: ‘my child loves and really looks forward to staying in Osborne Court, they have a great bond with all the staff and always comes home happy. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to trust with one of the most important people in my life. They are always there in an emergency; they go above and beyond to do everything and anything to help.’

Read the full press release on our website.

New service to improve support for Worcestershire’s stroke survivors

Funding has been agreed to develop a new service in Worcestershire to enhance the care provided to people recovering from a stroke. It will be part of the Worcestershire Community Stroke Service, provided by the Trust, after securing funding from NHS England’s Stroke Quality Improvement in Rehabilitation (SQuIRe) project. Collage of staff involved in the Squire project

The national SQuIRe programme seeks to improve the quality of community-based stroke care by improving clinical outcomes and patient experience. The funding will help develop a new team to run a rehabilitation service as part of the Community Stroke Service, which is more inclusive of stroke survivors who require social care support. It will include a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, rehabilitation assistant, speech and language therapist and a project manager to oversee it.

Read the full press release on our website.

New yellow name badges for staff

The Trust has introduced new name badges aimed at improving experiences for patients with cognitive and visual impairments.Elaine Clough, Natalie Willetts, and Robert Mackie standing outside Kings court wearing yellow badges

The badges feature names in large, bold black text against a yellow background. Having a yellow background and bold text increases contrast, which can support patients with both cognitive and vision impairments when reading information.

For patients with conditions such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s, having the staff member's name as the focus of the badge may give a sense of friendliness and support faster recognition if the patient has met the staff member before. The badges also feature the text ‘Hello, my name is’, reminding staff of the importance of introducing themselves to their patients.

Read the full press release on our website.

Menopause conferenceImage of Kate Leese Health and Wellbeing Lead from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust alongside event speakers from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust the Newton Clinic and event organisers

Hosted by our Trust, a first of its kind Menopause conference was held in March. The conference brought together staff from organisations across the two counties to share their experiences and hear from clinicians about the effects of menopause and the types of support available.

Attendees heard from an expert panel of speakers, comprising of GPs and menopause specialists who spoke about perimenopause, menopause, and treatment options, as well as consultant psychiatrists discussing the impact of menopause on a person’s wellbeing and emotional health.

There was also an opportunity for managers and supervisors to learn how best to support colleagues going through this stage of their life.

Celebrating Learning Disabilities WeekA group photo of the learning disability teams

Learning Disability week 2023 took place from 19th-25th June. The Community Learning Disability Teams organised events across the week to celebrate the occasion.

In Herefordshire, the team held a ‘Meet the Community Learning Disability Team’ event on Thursday, 22nd June at the Aspire Hub, Hereford with activities such as salsa, mindfulness, arts and craft taking place, as well as free food and drink.

In Worcestershire, the team hosted two open days in conjunction with Replacement Care and Children’s Short Breaks at Osborne Court on Monday, 19th June 2023 and Churchview on Wednesday 21st June 2023.

Administrator scoops silver medal at international para-snow sports competition Mark Abel standing in snow with ski gear showing medal with another winner

Mark Abel, an administrator in the Complex Discharge Facilitator team at the Trust, took home a silver medal with the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST) at a snow sports event in Colorado, USA.

Mark, who provides administrative support to nursing colleagues, joined over 80 wounded, injured or sick members of the armed forces and veterans from around the world to complete in snowboarding, and alpine and nordic skiing.

Read the full press release on our website.

Marking International Nurses Day

12th May was International Nurses Day. As part of the celebrations and to mark the outstanding contribution of nurses who live, work, or study in the county, the Guildhall in Worcester was illuminated in blue. Guildhall exterior lit up in blue lights

Using the hashtag #CelebratingHWNurses we shared a range of stories and ‘Big Shout Out’ thank you messages across the Trust’s social media channels.

Read more about the Guildhall illumination on our website.

Celebrating local healthcare heroes

Last month the Trust launched nominations for its annual patient choice award. Patients, service users and their families across Herefordshire and Worcester are invited to nominate teams or individual members of staff who have made an outstanding difference to their care or treatment in the past 12 months for this prestigious award. Patient Choice Award 2023 logo

Nominations for a staff member or team can be placed via the nomination form on the Trust websiteEntries close on Friday, 21st July 2023, and the winner will be announced at the Trust’s annual Staff Awards event taking place this autumn. Read more on our website.

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