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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.

September 2022

Ben Workman and Chris Clark with their awards at the University of Worcester Mentor Awards

Next week we hold our Trust AGM which is an opportunity to summarise the performance of the organisation during the last financial year, 2021/22.

There has been lots of developments during this period, including multi-million pound projects to enhance mental health environments across Herefordshire and Worcestershire; the launch of new services supporting young people; and great examples of innovation. These are really exciting, but there are also many more examples of our teams simply getting on with the job, and working together with our local partners to do the very best they can in often testing, pressured and challenging circumstances.

Working together is in our DNA; our Trust vision is ‘Working Together for Outstanding Care’ and there is very little we do as an organisation which isn’t in partnership with other groups and organisations. Our partnerships are widespread and while we work extremely closely with our statutory partners - GPs, the Acute Trusts and local authorities - we also deliver services alongside charities and community organisations which enhance the overall impact our services have on local people and communities.

Our AGM will feature more great examples of integrated care and partnership working, with a presentation from our Urgent Community Response Team who work in the community alongside GPs and the ambulance service to reduce avoidable hospital admissions. The impact they are having is growing and this is of huge benefit to patients, families and our local system too

If you would like to find out more about this, or the overall performance of the Trust, then please feel free to join our AGM. It is a virtual event running from 5pm until 6pm on Wednesday, September 29th - to register your interest please contact

Mark Yates

Chair, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

National IT system outage – electronic patient records

We are one of a number of NHS organisations nationally that have been affected by the system outage from the supplier Advanced on August 3rd.

The outage has impacted on the access to our electronic patient record system, Carenotes, which is used by the majority of our services. It has meant that our staff have, until very recently, had little or no access to patient notes and clinical documents stored on Carenotes up to August 3rd when the incident occurred. Carenotes logo

Since the start of the incident, our teams have been deploying contingency plans, utilising a number of well-rehearsed manual ‘downtime’ measures. These measures are only intended to be used for short periods of time however, and so over the last couple of weeks our IT team have been developing an electronic system called THEA, which pulls together systems used by the Trust and our partners, and re-purposes existing infrastructure to enable clinicians to see and input data on our patients.

As a result of this development, our staff have been able to access clinical information up until the 3rd August when the incident occurred and they are also now able to add electronic clinical notes into the THEA system. This is a significant step forward for us. It is however an interim solution which does not provide the full functionality of Carenotes but it will support our teams until Carenotes is restored.

We are waiting for national confirmation of a definitive date for when Carenotes will be available for us again. The national programme and incident management team are overseeing a phased restoration plan and we are in discussions to determine which phase we will be in. Based on the broader information we have to date we are working on an assumption that Carenotes will remain unavailable for us until the end of October/early November. We will update you when a more definitive date is shared with us.

Mental health practitioner receives recognition for delivery of ‘life changing’ treatmentKay Fisher holding the Barry Reynolds Award

A mental health practitioner from Worcestershire has received the prestigious ‘Barry Reynolds Award’ for her delivery of ‘life changing’ mental health treatment. 

Kay Fisher, Lead Practitioner and registered Operating Department Practitioner (RODP) at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the delivery of electroconvulsive therapy by colleagues and members of professional forums, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists ECT Accreditation Service and National Association of Lead Nurses in ECT.

A big congratulations to Kay from everyone at the Trust.

Read the full press release on our website.

‘Reach Out’ for mental health support

The Trust has teamed up with a local band to promote mental health support forSplit Second playing at Kidderminster - brintons park young people. 

The Bromsgrove based band Split Second have written a song called ‘Reach Out’, about the impact of the pandemic on their own mental health. Working with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, its core message is to encourage other young people to open up and talk if they are struggling too.

A series of busking events were arranged over the summer, and the performance of ‘Reach Out’ was filmed to create a music video which is about to launch across both counties. The music video will form part of a wider campaign, including sessions in schools and community art displays.

Success at recruitment day

We were delighted to successfully recruit 14 new staff in community nursing and healthcare assistant roles at our recent recruitment event.  Simon Kerslake, Retention and Recruitment Lead Nurse in front of the Trust's headquarters where the recruitment event took place.

In a span of just 3 hours, the applicants were screened and interviewed for roles in the Worcestershire-based Integrated Neighbourhood Nursing and Therapy Teams.

The new recruits will work alongside community nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and healthcare assistants to provide care to patients in the community.

Read the full press release on the Trust’s website.

Trust staff recognised at Mentor Awards 2022

Congratulations to our colleagues who were recognised for their support for student learning at the University of Worcester Health and Care Mentor Awards 2022. Ben Workman and Chris Clark with their awards at the University of Worcester Mentor Awards

Staff in a variety of different roles were recognise for their exceptional support to facilitate student learning in the workplace.

A big congratulations to our winners; Kelly Hollier - Outstanding Mentor of Nursing Students (Mental Health), Sarah Blizzard - Outstanding Mentor of Nursing Associate Students, Ben Workman - Outstanding Mentor of Occupational Therapy Students, Christine Clark - Outstanding Mentor of Post Registration Students and our Early Intervention Dementia Service - Outstanding Practice Learning Environment: Allied Health and Community.

Tenbury Minor Injury Unit

Despite some short-term closures over recent weeks, Tenbury MIU remains a keyTenbury Hospital exterior part of the wider urgent care system in Worcestershire.  

Phil Shakeshaft, the Trust’s MIU Lead, reassures residents over the provision of the unit and encourages anyone who needs urgent care for minor injuries to go to their local MIU.

Find out about your local minor injury units, including locations and opening times.

Extended X-ray service announced at Bromsgrove Minor Injury UnitWe're here for you, for longer. We've extended the opening hours of Bromsgrove Minor Injury Unit and X-ray department as part of a 3 month trail. Your minor injury unit is now open 8am-8pm 7 days a week. Your x-ray department is now open 9am-5pm 7 days a week (closed daily between 1-2pm). Trust logo top right with a person in clinical uniform smiling.

The x-ray service at Bromsgrove MIU has now been extended to 7 days a week. In line with the opening hours of the MIU itself, the x-ray service will now operate from 8am to 8pm every day. 

This extended timing will initially be tried for a period of 3 months, to gauge the requirement of the service, and then depending on the need continued or reverted to the original timings.


Our Autumn Wellfest event took place throughout last week. Wellfest Autumn 2022. Tuesday 20th September - Friday 23rd September. Grassy fields and trees with mountains in the distance and the sun rising from behind them with celebrations banners. Beautiful scenery. The HUB logo on top left (reading Wellfest is brought to you by the Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub). NHS logo top right.

Wellfest was a 4-day, feel-good virtual festival providing free, short and easily accessible sessions to promote staff wellbeing to colleagues working in health and social care roles across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

There were a range of sessions on offer, for all health and care workers from support with money and finances, to mindfulness, yoga and detoxing from social media.

Staff take part in run to raise awareness of mental health campaignWorcester City Run 2022 participants running next to barricades that read 'Worcester city run'

100 members of staff from across the Trust took part in the Worcester City Run last weekend to raise awareness of our mental health campaign, Now We’re Talking.

The Now We’re Talking campaign aims to reduce the stigma of mental health, as well as promote the range of support available for local people including online therapy, self-help guides, NHS services, and urgent mental health support.

Runners donned bright orange t-shirts and included nurses, doctors, therapists, physios, and psychologists, and were easily spotted in both the 10k and half marathon events throughout the city.

Read the full press release on our website.

Look out for the Orange Button

We have been working with our colleagues at Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to promote the launch of the Orange Button Community Scheme across the two counties. The Orange Button is worn by people who have relevant training in mental health and suicide prevention. Now trained individuals will be able to make their skills available to help those in need.

The aim of the scheme is to create a community of Orange Button wearers who people can turn to. Orange Button wearers are there to listen, signpost to local support and help reduce stigma by talking openly about suicide.

Anyone across Herefordshire and Worcestershire who has had at least 3 hours of suicide prevention training (or mental health training with suicide prevention content) over the past two years is being asked to consider becoming an Orange Button wearer.

If you have had mental health training which includes suicide prevention and want to get involved you can apply for your Orange Button via the Now We’re Talking website.

Back to school support from the Starting Well Partnership

With schools returning following the summer holidays, the Starting Well Partnership has been promoting the range of help and support available to school aged families in Worcestershire including: A mobile phone alongside the text young people can easily and anonymously contact their school health nurses for advice on a variety of issues

  • ChatHealth – a confidential text messaging service for young people aged 11-19. The service is available Mon-Fri from 9am-4pm by texting 07507331750.
  • Series of ‘Be School Smart’ events across the county to help prepare children starting school this September.
  • Top tips and guidance for parents on dealing with feelings of worry and anxiety.


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