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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.

October 2021

The past year and a half has presented challenges never before seen in the history of the NHS. The pandemic has commanded skill, determination, compassion and resilience from our staff, whom have graciously adapted to new ways of working and maintained the safe delivery of our services.

Yesterday I had the honour of celebrating these qualities at the Trust’s annual staff awards ceremony following its hiatus last year. It was an opportunity to thank staff for their continued efforts during the last 12 months and showcase the high-quality care delivered to our patients and service users. I was in awe listening to stories about the selfless acts and innovations of staff who had gone above and beyond to provide outstanding care to those who needed it most. The demonstration of commitment to teamwork and continued prioritisation of patient care was nothing short of extraordinary.

The evening concluded with the presentation of the ‘Special Recognition’ award, which for the first time was given to all staff for their role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether they provide direct care to patients or support those who do, everyone at the Trust has worked tirelessly during the last 12 months, taking the challenges of the pandemic in their stride.

I am profoundly grateful for all that our staff have done in the last 12 months, and want to congratulate all of last night’s winners on their achievements.”

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

Congratulations to all of the Staff Awards 2021 winners

  • Courageous award - Rebecca Fraser, Worcestershire Crisis Team Assistant
  • Ambitious award - WISH Outreach Team
  • Responsive award - North & South Community Stroke Teams
  • Empowering award - Lisa Denby, Housekeeping Supervisor
  • Supportive award - Jan Redding, Senior Community Nurse
  • Emerging Talent award - Dr Prveen Shah, Principal Clinical Psychologist, and Ceri-Ann Delaney, Advanced Clinical Practitioner
  • Quality Improvement award - Psychological Therapy Service Leads
  • Team of the Year award - Community Hospital Matrons
  • Leader of the Year award - James Womersley, Integrated Lead for MSK and COT
  • Patient Safety award - Infection Prevention and Control Team
  • Volunteer award- Rob Walkley, Youth Board
  • Patient Choice award - Hannah Carroll, Community Children's Nurse
  • Nurse of the Year 2020 award - Andrew Cotterill, Learning Disability Nurse

Hospital at Home – Consultation

The Trust seeks the views of it’s patients, their families and stakeholders on the Hospital at Home approach to service delivery for older people experiencing mental health issues.

Hospital at Home is a service for older people experiencing mental health problems that are not attributed to dementia. It enables patients requiring treatment and support for an acute mental health problem to be cared for within their own homes. The service offers time limited interventions and support and it works closely with a range of other Trust services. 

It was setup in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when efforts were made to keep older people out of hospital where possible, to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19. It meant that patients could be cared for and treated in familiar environments and resulted in the temporary closure of Athelon ward in Worcester.

The Hospital at Home service is an additional resource insofar as ward based care continues to be provided for patients who need this at the New Haven site in Bromsgrove.

We would like to hear your views on the Hospital at Home service and whether you think the Trust should retain this model of care. 

The information you provide will be anonymous and will only be used by the Trust to inform the consultation.

Complete the survey

This survey will remain open until Friday 17th December 2021.

Work on Hereford mental health unit resumes

Construction works at the Stonebow Unit in Herefordshire have resumed following an investigation into archaeological remains discovered on the site. 

Contractors have been given the go ahead to continue work after a comprehensive investigation and excavation was carried out by a team of archaeologists.

The site is being developed by the Trust to convert existing mental health dormitories into single, en-suite bedrooms, enhancing the environment for patients on the wards. 

The unit provides specialist intervention and care across two wards for adults and older adults experiencing mental health difficulties, and has a third ward dedicated to the specialist care of patients with dementia.

The project is formally called ‘Eliminating Dormitories’ and is part of £26 million scheme taking place across Herefordshire and Worcestershire to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients experiencing mental ill health.

It will support the recovery of patients by providing them with individual, en-suite bedrooms with improved privacy and dignity away from other patients. The improved facilities will also have benefits for patient safety, including better infection control and reducing the risk of incidents involving other patients.

Similar works are underway at the Elgar Unit in Worcestershire - also managed by the Trust.

The completion of work in both county’s is scheduled for 2023.

World Mental Health Day

Sunday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. It was an opportunity to come together with organisations across the system to promote the comprehensive portfolio of services available locally to support people experiencing mental health difficulties.

In the week following we have continued to promote local services, highlighting the support available to families, young people, those experiencing mental health crisis, and our specialist services such as eating disorders and CAMHS.

Local wellbeing support

Healthy Minds supports people experiencing more common mental health difficulties, for example stress, anxiety, low mood and depression which can affect around one in four people. The website includes lots of advice, self-help guidance and resources to support wellbeing. However, if someone feels they need further support, then they can self-refer into the service online or by phone, without needing to contact their GP or another healthcare professional first.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Urgent Mental Health helpline is available for anyone experiencing a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or experiencing problems for the first time. The team offer advice, support and, if required, a mental health assessment to assist people in crisis.

It’s open to all ages, including children and young people, and can be accessed for free by calling 0808 196 9127 24/7 365 days a year.

Housing, finances, work and family life can also have an impact peoples wellbeing. There are lots of services available across both counties who can help. The Here2Help and Talk Community websites feature a directory of organisations local to you.

Follow the links below to find out more.

Join us this Wear Red Day and show your support for tackling racism

We’re encouraging partners across the system to join us in wearing red for Show Racism the Red Card’s annual Wear Red Day which takes place on Friday 22nd October 2021.

Show Racism the Red Card is the UK's leading anti-racism educational charity. They provide educational workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages, and a whole host of other resources, all with the purpose of tackling racism in society.

We are asking organisations from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire to get involved and unite against racism by wearing something red to work.

There is a suggested donation of £1 for those taking part, which will be used to help fund anti-racism education for young people and adults across the UK. Find out how to donate.

Can't wear red to work? Here are some other ways that you can get involved;

  • Change your social media banner or profile picture for the day to the campaign branding
  • Add a red background to your video calls
  • Change your organisations PC desktop wallpapers/screen savers
  • Sport some red socks or accessories
  • Make a donation to Show Racism the Red Card

Sexual Health Outreach Team have join Instagram

Our Sexual Health Outreach Team have been sharing lots of information, resources and advice around relationships, sexual health and consent on their recently launched Instagram page.

The team, who sit within the Worcestershire Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) service provide contraception, screening and treatment of STIs to vulnerable young people across Worcestershire. 

They offer advice and guidance to young people who would otherwise struggle to access sexual health services, and help them to make informed choices about sex and relationships. The team carry out visits in schools, clinics and in people’s homes.

If you work with young people please take this opportunity to promote their service and follow their Instagram account.

Useful contacts:

Urgent mental health helpline – 0808 196 9127 (free phone 24 hrs a day 365 days a year)

Available 24/7, every day of the year, our urgent helpline supports people experiencing a mental health crisis/emergency.

Healthy Minds (Herefordshire and Worcestershire) –

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

Physio support -

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

Worried about child’s mental health? -

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

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