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Media enquiriesIf you are a member of the media then contact us by email: whcnhs.communications@nhs.net or on: 01905 760020 or 07882 725082.

Virtual Reality Tour Offers Innovative Look Inside Hospice

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Groundbreaking technology will offer children and their families a new innovative way to see inside the Acorns Three Counties children’s hospice.

The collaborative project between Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Owl 360 and Acorns Children’s Hospice has resulted in the creation of a 360-degree virtual reality tour of hospice facilities.

The tour aims to give a more immersive introduction to its facilities and services as well as tackle common misconceptions about hospices.  

The walk-through experience allows users to explore the corridors of the charity’s Worcester-based hospice, Acorns for the Three Counties, and see its warm home from home environment for themselves. 

Janine Warner, Deputy Head Nurse at Acorns for the Three Counties, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and Owl 360 for creating this amazing new tool and we’ve enjoyed working with their teams to bring our hospice to life in this way.

“Not only will it help families new to Acorns feel like they’ve already been to our hospice before they visit for the first time, it will also give the public and our supporters, whose generous donations and fundraising efforts enable us to continue our work, a new innovative way of seeing inside our hospice.”

Catherine Binney, Paediatric Clinical Psychologist said,: “The Orchard Service (Children’s Community Nursing and Palliative Care team) was keen to help one of their patients ‘see inside’ Acorns to allow him choices about his care and reduce any possible worries. As he was not at that time able to visit Acorns in person, we thought creatively and since our clinicians and IT GDE team had already supported this young man with virtual reality experiences due to the limitations of his condition, the idea of a virtual reality tour seemed an innovative solution.   

"Close collaboration between all partners involved enabled this patient and his family to experience the host of facilities Acorns can offer.  We are very proud of the responsiveness of our staff and grateful to Acorns and Owl 360 who responded quickly to make this happen. We are delighted that this project will provide ongoing opportunities for other families in Worcestershire to have an immersive experience of what Acorns can offer at their warm and friendly children’s hospice.’ 

The virtual reality tour will be available to view on Acorns website. Care teams from Acorns and NHS children’s community nurses can take will be able to ‘take the hospice’ to new families using a VR headset.

Acorns Children Hospice provides specialist palliative care for babies, children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions, as well as support for their families.

To take the virtual tour of Acorns for the Three Counties, please visit: www.acorns.org.uk/inside-our-hospice

Free lifesaving skills in Worcester

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Visitors to Worcester City Centre are invited to learn how to save someone’s life, by being trained in delivering lifesaving cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Annually there are 30,000 victims of cardiac arrest (in the community) with less than 1 in 10 of those surviving.

These statistics improve in other European counties, where CPR is taught as part of the national curriculum.

As part of World Restart a Heart Day, clinicians from Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the county’s main provider of community hospitals and mental health services are hosting a free CPR training event.

The event encourages members of the public to ‘drop in’ and learn basic CPR, a skill which has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The Restart a Heart campaign (RSAH) is an annual initiative led by the Resuscitation Council (UK) which aims to improve the low numbers of people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

On and around Wednesday 16 October 2019, organisations across the world will come together to increase public awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people trained in life saving CPR.

Andy McKee, Resuscitation Officer said, “If we achieve the same survival rates of countries like Norway where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week – the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the quick 10 minute training sessions. By increasing the number of people trained in CPR, we can increase the survival rates of those having cardiac arrest in the community”.

The event will take place on Wednesday 16th October between 10am-5pm at the Guildhall in Worcester.

People of all ages are encouraged to attend.

For more information contact fern.berry@nhs.net

Additional information for World Restart a Heart Day can be found at www.resus.org.uk

New Medical Emergency Preference Forms Go Live in Worcestershire thanks to Macmillan funding

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A new process to support people to get the care they would want in a medical emergency has been introduced across healthcare settings in Worcestershire.

The Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment, or ReSPECT, is a process that creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

The ReSPECT process is a new approach to encourage people to have conversations about the future with those important to them and the Healthcare Professionals looking after them, to create an individualised plan to try to ensure that they get the right care and treatment in an anticipated future emergency. Click here for more . . .

NHS Trust back LGBT+ campaign

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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has given its backing to a national campaign to support those who identify as LGBT+

Staff across the Trust, which is the county’s main provider of community nursing, therapy and mental health services, are being given the chance to wear the NHS Rainbow Badge which is a national initiative to demonstrate an open, non-judgmental and inclusive culture.

A recent Stonewall survey (Nov 2018) states that LGBT+ patients face inequalities in their experience of NHS healthcare and some avoid seeking treatment for fear of discrimination.  

Click here for more . . .

Press Release: Pioneering mental health app up for national award 

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A ground-breaking new app to transform mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people in Worcestershire has been shortlisted for a national award.

BESTIE - an interactive online platform built by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and designed by local young people, clinicians and IT experts - has been nominated in the Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards. It has also been cited nationally as the first of its kind, and aims to revolutionise the way children, young people and parents get access to online help to support emotional resilience and wellbeing.

Click here for more . . .

Specialist Mental Health Support for Teachers

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Great to hear the news today that schools across the country will be offered additional mental health training as part of a new scheme. Did you know? Within Worcestershire, services are already in place to equip professionals within our schools and children’s services to support young people with their mental health.

CAST; Consultation, Advice, Support and Training provides specialist mental health support to professionals working with children and young people. This may include; School nurses, teachers, GPs, health visitors, social workers and family support workers. The service empowers professionals understand their responsibility and role in supporting the mental health of a child or young person. This is achieved by giving recommendations on how to support the emotional and mental well-being of a young person through strategies and recommendations. The team can also give advice on issues that may be affecting groups of children for example, self-harm and if required, can provide individualised support to young people accessing local mental health services such as CAMHS. Click here for more info

NHS Trust signs Carers Charter for Carers Week

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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has become an accredited ‘Working for Carers’ employer, reaffirming its commitment to its staff who also have a caring role away from work. By signing the Charter the Trust will to continue to support the needs of carers across all levels of the organisation and encourage equality and diversity within teams and services.It will recognise staff who also have a caring role and support or signpost them to relevant help as and when required.

This week is national carers week and 3 in 5 people will be a carer at some point in their lives. A carer is someone who cares for another who cannot live without support. The support provided is unpaid and caring responsibilities are normally juggled with paid work. Click her for more info

Mental Health support for those with diabetes

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People in Worcestershire living with diabetes are being invited to access a group therapy course aimed at supporting the mental health effects of the condition.

Worcestershire Healthy Minds supports people aged 16+ experiencing more common mental health conditions like stress, anxiety or low mood. The service also provides a range of group therapy courses including ‘Living Well with Diabetes’ delivered weekly from venues across Worcestershire. It is an educational course providing tools to help manage the mental health effects of diabetes to help people feel happier, healthier and more in control of their life. 

Click here for more information

Help shape future of Neurological rehab services

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Local people who have experienced a neurological condition are being invited to join a group to help improve services for the future.

Run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the new Neurological Conditions Panel is being formed to work alongside clinicians to ensure recovery services are developed jointly so they can better meet the needs of patients and families.

Neurological conditions are diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them. There are more than 600 diseases of the nervous system, such as brain injuries, brain tumours, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and stroke.

Click Here for more info

Coffee morning to create awareness of long term illness

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The Worcestershire ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome service is holding a coffee morning in aid of M.E. Awareness Week.

More than 250,000 people in the UK have M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis), which manifests as unrelenting fatigue and extreme pain.

The condition, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, has no known cure and is made worse by exertion.

In Worcestershire, there are currently 159 patients accessing the service, which is provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. Click here for more information

Kidderminster Police back mental health campaign

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Police officers and staff in Kidderminster are backing a local campaign to encourage people throughout Worcestershire to get support for their mental health

The ‘Now We’re Talking’ campaign, which is run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, was launched in October to raise awareness of Healthy Minds, an NHS self-referral service supporting people experiencing more common issues such as stress, low mood and anxiety. Staff leading the campaign were on hand to support staff and to raise awareness of the local support available as part of a well-being morning at Kidderminster Police Station last week. The staff had the opportunity to talk to the Healthy Minds team about how they can support colleagues and others they come into contact with.

Click here for Information

Kidderminster Café backs local mental health campaign

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A Kidderminster Café is backing a local campaign to encourage more people to talk and get support for their mental health

Lifestyle Deli, in Bromsgrove Street, will host a ‘Now We’re Talking’ drop in morning at 10am on the 16th April to promote Worcestershire Healthy Minds, a local NHS service set up to support people experiencing more common mental health issues, such as stress, worry and anxiety.

The ‘Now We’re Talking’ was launched in October 2018 by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the county’s main provider of mental health services.

Click here for more information

Trust signs mental health employer pledge

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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has pledged to ‘change the way we think and about mental health at work’ as part of a national campaign. The Trust’s Board have signed the Time to Change pledge and have developed an action plan of activity that will continue to create an open and supportive culture for its 4,000 staff. Time to Change is a national initiative led by mental health charity Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to change the way we think about mental health in the workplace and is calling on businesses and organisations across the country to make the pledge.

The Trust is the county’s leading provider of mental health care and also runs community nursing and therapy services, including the county’s community hospitals. It already runs a programme of health and wellbeing support for staff, including stress awareness courses, mental health first aid, counselling, and online resources. Click here for more

NHS Trust estates team land national award

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The team responsible for the county’s community hospital buildings has been named among the best in the country at a national awards event. The Estates and Facilities Team at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust have won the Estates and Facilities Management Award at the national Leading Healthcare Awards 2019. They recognise outstanding practice across the healthcare sector.

The team were named winners of the award in recognition of their leadership of a project called One Public Estate, which brings together estates teams from across the public sector in Worcestershire to make the best and most effective use of local sites and buildings. The ambition is for a single, local health and public sector estate strategy across Worcestershire delivering sustainable revenue savings, economic growth and improving local services. Click here for more information

Anti-depressant prescriptions in England double in a decade

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Following an article published this week, we learnt that prescriptions for antidepressant medication in England have doubled in the past decade, with almost 71 million items to treat conditions including depression and anxiety given out in 2018. On our journey to becoming the most mental health friendly county in England, we’re championing the value of talking therapies and the impact they can have on a patient’s mental wellbeing. 


Since the launch of Now We’re Talking; a campaign which promotes the benefits of talking therapies and self-help services for people living with low level mental health conditions, we have seen a significant increase in referral numbers, with March 2019 having the highest number of referrals since the service was commissioned. Click here for more information

More local people accessing mental health support – Now We’re Talking!

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More people are getting support for common mental health conditions such as stress and anxiety following the launch of an awareness campaign in Worcestershire. The ‘Now We’re Talking’ campaign encourages more people to access Worcestershire Healthy Minds, a self-referral service run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust for local people aged 16+ experiencing common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, low mood or depression.   

The campaign launched in October 2018 and has seen a steady increase in overall referrals. In September (2018), before launch, 874 referrals were received, and in February 2019 there 1,230 – a 17% increase. February also saw the most self-referrals than ever before - this is when people contact the service independently without being referred by a GP or other healthcare professional. Click here for more information

Local nursing students nominated for national award 

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Two nurses from Worcestershire have been shortlisted in the national 2019 Student Nursing Times Awards.

Kate Robson and Matthew Pimm, Trainee Nursing Associates at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS who are training at the University of Worcester, have been nominated for their ability to deliver safe, quality hands-on care to their patients. In their final year of study, they attend the University of Worcester one day a week alongside Matthew’s role at the Wyre Forest Ward in Kidderminster and Kate’s at Tenbury Community Hospital.

Their nominations for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year reflect their excellence in providing high-quality patient centred-care, knowledge and understanding within their field, and to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to patient care. Click here for more information

Half-term fun for families of poorly children in Worcestershire

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A roaring time was had by all last Thursday as families from across Worcestershire descended on West Midlands Safari Park for a fun packed day of safari trips, animal encounters and exploring. The weather proved to be on their side, as 49 families were treated to a day out, courtesy of the Orchard Service Trust Fund.

The Orchard Service, Children’s Community Nursing and Palliative Care Team, is a service provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and delivers care to children with long term complex health needs and their families.

Many of the children have life limiting illnesses which can make days out with the whole family difficult and challenging to organise. Click here for more information

Dementia Service Awarded National Accreditation 

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A service supporting people living with dementia and their families in Worcestershire has received national accreditation for their focus on quality and person centred care.

The Dementia Assessment and Support Team (DAST) based at Kidderminster Hospital have been awarded MSNAP accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The service provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, supports people to access a diagnosis of dementia and then explore interventions such as groups, psychosocial interventions, practical help and support, cognitive stimulation therapy and signposting to community and voluntary services. Click here for more information

Worcestershire gets talking on Time to Talk Day

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Time to Talk Day is part of a nation-wide push to get people talking more openly about mental health for one day. Thursday 7th February saw the vibrant orange of Now We’re Talking popping up across the county!

Now We’re Talking aims to raise awareness of Healthy minds a service which helps people aged 16 and over in Worcestershire who are experiencing common mental health conditions such as stress anxiety, low mood or depression – issues which affect 50,000 in Worcestershire alone. 

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many of us are too afraid to talk about it. Starting a conversation about mental health might seem daunting but Now We’re Talking provided the tools to break the ice and start the conversation. Click here for more

Residents across the county have been urged to brighten up Blue Monday and get active to support their mental wellbeing.

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Monday 21st January has been awarded the gloomy ‘Blue Monday’ title due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills. 

Worcestershire provides a service called Healthy Minds, a self-referral service run by the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust for Worcestershire residents aged 16+ experiencing common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, low mood or depression.

Sarah Jenks a Physiological Wellbeing Practitioner from the Healthy Minds team said: “January can be a difficult time for many people; especially those experiencing financial hardship, or poor mental or physical health.”

Click her for more

A Bromsgrove man has urged people to speak up about their mental health ahead of the ‘most depressing day of the year.’

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Dan Pendry-Moore is supporting the county’s Now We’re Talking campaign which is raising awareness of Worcestershire Healthy Minds - a free, NHS-run service supporting people with more common issues such as stress and anxiety.

 The Healthy Mind service offers group therapy, online support or if required 1:1 counselling. You can self-refer to the service without seeing a health professional first. 

Dan, who accessed Healthy Minds a couple of years ago, has shared his experiences to help encourage others in the same position to get the help they need. 

Click here for more

More people using County’s Minor Injuries Units

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Latest figures show that attendances were up at the county’s Minor Injuries Units at the end of 2018.

Over 1,000 people visited the units in Malvern and in Bromsgrove in December, and there were also increases in the number of people using the units at Evesham and Tenbury compared with the same period in the previous year.

MIUs can treat minor burns, strains, sprains, grazes and small cuts and wounds. Average waiting times are just 20 minutes and they all have x-ray facilities although opening times for those vary from unit to unit. 

Click here for more

Media enquiriesIf you are a member of the media then contact us by email: whcnhs.communications@nhs.net or on: 01905 760020 or 07882 725082.