"This week has been national Pride in the NHS Week, an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT+ community in the NHS and beyond. At the heart of campaigns like this is a commitment to ensuring everyone, regardless of their background, sexual orientation, religion or any other protected characteristic feels supported, is treated with respect, is valued and have the same opportunities as others. This is a basic human expectation and across our Trust we’re constantly developing a culture which celebrates the diversity of our staff, patients and families/carers and which values us all for who we are and the unique contributions we all make.
This week at our Trust Board meeting we formally endorsed our new Trust Strategy which will be launching in October. It builds on the ICS and Health & Well Being Board Strategies and priorities outlining how we will contribute to the delivery of the joint plans and within that sets out our path to providing outstanding clinical and support services across our portfolio every single day. For us, achieving excellence starts with our simple, core values which are based on treating people properly, doing the right things and showing kindness and respect.
We are all different and this is something to be embraced, but we are also all united in that need to be treated well and with decency and compassion and I am really proud that these values continue to be the heartbeat of the organisation now and into future years."
Mark Yates, Chair of the Trust
Investing in our mental health environments
Work is underway across Herefordshire and Worcestershire on the demolition and reconstruction of mental health dormitories to create single, en-suite bedrooms for patients in our care.
More than £400 million has been committed by the Government to eradicate dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities across the country to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients experiencing mental illness. Locally, that see’s the transformation of Holt and Athelon Wards in Worcestershire, and Jenny Lind, Cantilupe and Mortimer in Herefordshire into single, en-suite private bedrooms.
Replacing the dormitories for private rooms will improve the individual care that can be given to patients, reducing the length of their stay and supporting their right to privacy and dignity. It will also have benefits for patient safety, through better infection control and by reducing the risk of incidents involving patients or staff.
The works will be carried out in a number of phases to minimise disruption to patients and is expected to be completed by mid-Summer 2023.
Hereford Art Trail now open!
Our Now We’re Talking mental health art trail has now moved to Hereford City Centre. It runs throughout September and has around 20 art pieces scattered throughout the city with each depicting someone’s personal experiences of mental health. We’re aiming to give a positive message of hope and recovery, while using art to raise the profile of local support available, including our own Healthy Minds services which support people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire experiencing more common issues such as stress, anxiety, low mood or depression.
You can download the trail map online: https://www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk/hereford or pick one up from the Tourist Office in Hereford
Create hope through action this World Suicide Prevention Day
It’s World Suicide Prevention Day today (Friday,10 September), which is an annual event to raise awareness of how we can all help to create a world where fewer people die by suicide.
“Creating hope through action” is the theme this year and to support this, new local resources have been created to provide help and advice for those who are struggling with their emotional health.
Residents are being encouraged to go to the suicide prevention page of the Now We’re Talking website where they will find lots of hints and tips to help them talk to someone about suicide - a conversation that may just save someone’s life.
The Now We’re Talking website also has resources and advice to help get you through a crisis, conversation starters for talking about suicide and guides on how you can support someone in crisis. There’s also free suicide awareness training which takes just 20 minutes to complete.
If residents need to talk to someone they are encouraged to call the Herefordshire & Worcestershire 24-hour urgent mental health helpline on 0808 196 9127. Calls are free and confidential.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, people are also encouraged to light a candle near a window at 8pm on Friday 10 September to remember a lost loved one, show your support for the survivors of suicide and those bereaved by suicide.
How can you get involved?
Please help to promote the suicide prevention page of the Now We’re Talking website and the Herefordshire & Worcestershire 24-hour urgent mental health helpline (0808 196 9127) on World Suicide Prevention Day and in the lead up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
Tell us about any positive mental health initiatives you are involved in. We would like to promote these so we can encourage others to take action. Please get in touch to share the wellbeing opportunities in your area by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about the Herefordshire & Worcestershire’s Suicide Prevention Programme on Worcestershire County Council’s website
Worcester City Run
Over 100 of our staff took to the streets in the Worcester City Run last weekend. The team were running for our Now We’re Talking campaign, raising awareness of mental health services with some doing the 10k and others the gruelling half marathon. As well as raising the profile of local support, the event had the added benefit of bringing our teams together behind such an important cause, and also boosting their own health and wellbeing following the most challenging 18months.
Huge thanks and well done to everyone who took part in the event!
Our commitment to inclusive support for all
This week we relaunched our rainbow badge scheme, reaffirming our commitment to providing non-judgmental and inclusive support and care for all.
The NHS Rainbow Badge, which was started by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London in partnership with Evelina London Children’s Hospital, is a symbol of NHS commitment to promoting inclusivity and reducing inequalities.
The pin badge includes the iconic NHS lozenge on the rainbow flag, which can be worn on NHS staff lanyards or on uniforms.
Its colours reflect both the immense diversity and the unity of the LGBT+ community. Each member of staff that wears one is required to sign a pledge demonstrating their commitment to providing support and signposting to LGBT+ people, and open, non-judgmental care.
Sammie Boatema-Cook, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at the Trust said, “The rainbow badge is a powerful way of demonstrating our commitment to being inclusive and celebrating diversity across our Trust, not only to our patients but to our colleagues as well. If you see a member of our staff wearing the NHS rainbow badge, you can be confident in speaking to them about who you are, your identity and how you feel ”.