2gether NHS Foundation Trusthttp://www.2gether.nhs.uk/news2gether NHS Foundation Trust News Record nominations received for 10th annual health awards A record number of nominations have been received for 2gether’s latest Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs), now in their tenth year.

More than 270 nominations were received for the annual awards, which recognise the dedication of the staff and volunteers who work in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. This year’s event will be extra special as it is the tenth year the awards have taken place.

A judging panel, consisting of service users, carers, public governors, trust management, sponsors and staff representatives, faced the difficult challenge of whittling the list down to a shortlist of just three nominations for each category.

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of  2gether NHS Foundation Trust, who chaired the panel, said: “As usual, the standard of nominations was extremely high and this led to considerable debate among the judging panel in order to create a shortlist.

“The quality and volume of nominations is testament to the high standard of care and support provided by the dedicated individual who work and volunteer with the trust.

“Every year’s awards are special, because without our fantastic staff and volunteers, we couldn’t deliver our services across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. However, this year is also our tenth year of the ROSCAs, and it is incredible to look back at all the previous awards and see the very strong foundations this trust is built upon.

 “I thank all of the nominees for their continued dedication, and look forward to celebrating the achievements of all of those shortlisted, as well as the long service award recipients, at our celebratory event in March.”

The nominees will be honoured at an awards ceremony on Friday 3 March, alongside their colleagues who have achieved 20, 30 or 40 years’ NHS service, totalling an impressive 1,670 years between them.

The 2016 ROSCAs are being sponsored by Alpha Colour Printers, West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN), Midcounties Co-operative and Gloucestershire Young Carers.

Mike Pickering, Community and Sustainability Manager at The Midcounties Co-operative, which is sponsoring the event, said: “Recognising the great work the staff and volunteers do to support people in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire is hugely important, which is why we’re proud to be a sponsor of the ROSCAs.

“As a co-operative, it’s essential for us to work alongside likeminded organisations, like 2gether that are making such a positive impact in the local community. We’d like to congratulate all of the nominees and wish them luck at the awards ceremony in March.”

Mandy Bell, Development Manager, Gloucestershire Young Carers, said: “The ROSCAs are about noticing those who may go unnoticed; those who quietly go above and beyond the day job to the benefit of others.

“It’s a privilege to be part of making a song and dance about the wonderfully creative and hard-working people and teams that make such a difference.”

The shortlisted teams and individuals are as follows:

Unsung Hero

  • Phoebe Coleman-Wood – Expert by Experience, Children and Young People Service, Gloucestershire
  • Cody Gingell – Volunteer at Weavers Croft
  • Kevin Hall – Volunteer, Health Records Department, Charlton Lane Hospital

Award for Innovation

  • Sharon Colley and Julie Swash – Learning Disability Nurse and Physio Technical Instructor, Herefordshire
  • Robin McCarthy – Art Psychotherapist, Herefordshire
  • Basia Snaith – Outcome and Performance Manager, Children and Young People Service Gloucestershire

Carer and Service User Involvement Award

  • Gemma Coltraro – Mulberry Ward Manager, Charlton Lane Hospital
  • Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis (GRiP) Team
  • The Managing Memory Service, Gloucestershire

Valuing Diversity

  • Children and Young People Service/Learning Disability Team
  • Simon Shorrick and Lorraine Peters – The Health Facilitation Team, Gloucestershire
  • Jonathon Thomas – Community Services Manager, South Locality, Gloucestershire

Best Supporting Colleague

  • Dr Simon Christopherson – Consultant Psychiatrist, Avon House, Gloucestershire
  • Martin Foster – Crisis Assessment Home Treatment Team, Stonebow Unit
  • Natasha Wallace – Unit Administration Manager, Honeybourne and Non-Medical Prescribing Administrator

Best Supporting Manager

  • Rob Blagden – IMT Programme Manager
  • Tracy Cresswell – Willow Ward, Charlton Lane Hospital
  • Ree Jefferies – Manager, Herefordshire Community Learning Disability Team

Service Users’ and Carers’ Choice

  • Vicky Mulholland – Community Mental Health Nurse, Forest of Dean Assertive Outreach Team
  • Dr Matt Stainsby – Clinical Psychologist, Herefordshire
  • Rob Phillips – Community Mental Health Nurse, Albion Chambers

Non Clinical Team of the Year

  • Administration Team, Herefordshire Community Learning Disability Team
  • Collingwood House Administration Team
  • Vocational Services,  Albion Chambers

Clinical Team of the Year

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Herefordshire
  • Gloucester and Forest of Dean Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team
  • Willow Ward, Charlton Lane Hospital

The CEO Award for Outstanding Contribution

  • Bill Newton, Community Mental Health Nurse, Albion Chambers
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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-nominations-received-for-10th-annual-health-awards http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-nominations-received-for-10th-annual-health-awards Thu, 09 Feb 17 09:12:22 +0000
Trust supports Time to Talk Day 2017 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to speak openly about mental health issues.

The trust is supporting national Time to Talk Day on Thursday 2 February, which aims to encourage people all over the country to take five minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

The conversations can take place anywhere and with anyone, such as with friends, family, work colleagues, fellow students, and in workplaces, schools, colleges, in the community and even online.

Time To Talk Day is organised by national anti-stigma campaign Time to Change. 2gether is holding a number of events in the two counties to provide support, information and encouragement for those who want to start a conversation.

Lauren Wardman, Deputy Director for Engagement  for 2gether, explained why the trust is supporting this important event. She said: “One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health condition each year, so we need to speak as openly about mental health as we do about every other aspect of our physical health and wellbeing.

“Time to Talk Day is a simple concept, but can be very effective in breaking down the stigma that exists around mental health. The simple act of thinking about our mental health and having these important conversations can make a big difference.

“We would encourage everyone to use the day to take five minutes to discuss mental health and wellbeing with anyone they wish.”

Events will be taking place across the UK on, and around, 2 February. The trust is supporting several events in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. They are:

  • Cheltenham Get 2gether – an event focusing on young people’s mental health, taking place at Gloucestershire College’s Princess Elizabeth Way campus, from 5.30-7.30pm on Thursday 2 February. Places are limited and anyone wishing to attend will need to register by contacting 2gnft.comms@nhs.net
  • The Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) bus will be in Cheltenham from 9.30am-4pm, Thursday 2 February, supporting the Heads Up Cheltenham campaign. The bus will be outside Marks & Spencers.
  • Mental health awareness sessions – these will form part of student tutorials at Herefordshire and Ludlow College, Folly Lane, Hereford. Karen Bent, Social Inclusion Development Worker Herefordshire locality, from 2gether, will be delivering the sessions and, alongside a learning service officer from the college, will be talking and interacting with students around the canteen and library at lunchtime.
  • We’re supporting a tea and talk event for staff at Shire Hall in Gloucester on 2 February.
  • Independence Trust will be at The Market House, Dursley, from 11am-1pm. They will have a market stall and will be offering the opportunity to find out more about mental health support in the area, alongside handmade crafts from Trust clients.

 Dr Tristan Lench, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Mental health tends to be something that people are reluctant to talk about, but the reality is that mental health issues can affect anyone.

“We want to help people in Gloucestershire to stay well, both physically and mentally, and to encourage them to think about their own mental health, as well as that of their friends.”

The CCG has also recently launched a new website, On Your Mind, for young people, to help them with life’s ups and downs. It includes lots of information and local sources of support about issues such as anxiety, eating issues, anger and bullying - check out the website at www.onyourmindglos.nhs.uk.  

To find out more about Time to Talk Day and get involved, visit http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-time-to-talk-day-2017 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-time-to-talk-day-2017 Fri, 20 Jan 17 09:02:04 +0000
Share your views on the care you receive We will be carrying out a survey to find out what people think about the care they receive. The information that is gathered will be used by the Care Quality Commission as part of a national programme to improve quality of care and people's experiences.

Taking part in the survey is voluntary and your answers will be kept confidential.

If you are selected to take part, your contact details will be used by researchers to carry out the survey.

If you don't want to take part in the survey, or have any questions about the survey, please contact the Service Experience Team on 01452 894073.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-on-the-care-you-receive http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-on-the-care-you-receive Tue, 17 Jan 17 11:25:35 +0000
Record number of nominations for 10th anniversary staff awards A record number of nominations have been received for 2gether’s 10th anniversary Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs).

More than 270 nominations were received for the annual awards, which recognise the dedication of the staff and volunteers who work in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

A judging panel, consisting of service users, carers, public governors, trust management, sponsors and staff representatives, faced the difficult challenge of whittling the list down to a shortlist of just three nominations for each category.

The nominees will be honoured at an awards ceremony on Friday 3 March, alongside their colleagues who have achieved 20, 30 or 40 years’ NHS service.

The 2016 ROSCAs are being sponsored by Alpha Colour Printers, West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN), Midcounties Co-operative and Gloucestershire Young Carers.

The shortlisted teams and individuals are as follows. The winner of the CEO’s Award for Outstanding Contribution will be announced in due course.

Unsung Hero

  • Cody Gingell – Volunteer at Weavers Croft
  • Phoebe Coleman-Wood – Expert by Experience, Children and Young People Service Gloucestershire
  • Kevin Hall – Volunteer, Health Records Department, Charlton Lane Hospital

Award for Innovation

  • Robin McCarthy – Art Psychotherapist, Herefordshire
  • Julie Swash & Sharon Colley – Learning Disability Nurse and Physio Technical Instructor, Herefordshire
  • Basia Snaith – Outcome and Performance Manager, Children and Young People Service Gloucestershire

Carer and Service User Involvement

  • Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis (GRiP) Team
  • The Managing Memory Service, Gloucestershire
  • Gemma Coltraro – Mulberry Ward Manager, Charlton Lane Hospital

Service Users and Carers Choice

  • Dr Matt Stainsby – Clinical Psychologist, Herefordshire
  • Rob Phillips – Community Mental Health Nurse, Albion Chambers
  • Vicky Mullholland – Community Mental Health Nurse, Forest of Dean Assertive Outreach Team

Clinical Team of the Year

  • Gloucester and Forest of Dean Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team
  • Willow Ward, Charlton Lane Hospital
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Herefordshire

Non-Clinical Team of the Year

  • Administration Team, Herefordshire Community Learning Disability Team
  • Vocational Services, Albion Chambers
  • Collingwood House Administration Team

Valuing Diversity

  • Children and Young People Service/Learning Disability Team 
  • Simon Shorrick and Lorraine Peters - The Health Facilitation Team, Gloucestershire
  • Jonathon Thomas - Community Services Manager, South Locality

Best Supporting Manager

  • Tracy Cresswell - Willow Ward Manager, Charlton Lane Hospital
  • Ree Jefferies - Manager, Herefordshire Community Learning Disability Team
  • Rob Blagden - IMT Programme Manager

Best Supporting Colleague

  • Dr. Simon Christopherson - Consultant Psychiatrist, Avon House
  • Martin Foster - Crisis Assessment Home Treatment Team, Stonebow Unit
  • Natasha Wallace - Unit Administration Manager, Honeybourne and Non-Medical Prescribing Administrator
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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-number-of-nominations-for-10th-anniversary-staff-awards http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-number-of-nominations-for-10th-anniversary-staff-awards Tue, 10 Jan 17 11:13:42 +0000
Find out when your local pharmacy is open over Christmas The opening times of your local pharmacy will vary over the Christmas period. Make sure you’re prepared and have enough medication to last throughout the holiday system.

If you need a pharmacist over Christmas, you can find details of opening hours below.

Gloucestershire pharmacy opening hours

Herefordshire pharmacy opening hours

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/find-out-when-your-local-pharmacy-is-open-over-christmas http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/find-out-when-your-local-pharmacy-is-open-over-christmas Fri, 16 Dec 16 13:25:59 +0000
Safeguard your mental health this Christmas Experts are encouraging everyone to safeguard their mental health and wellbeing this Christmas.

The festive season can be particularly busy, so 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is offering some useful tips and advice to help combat the stresses and strains the season might bring.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, of the Trust’s Let’s Talk service, said: “For those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is often thought of as being a time for enjoyment and getting together with family and friends.

“It’s sometimes easy to forget that it can also be a very demanding time. It can be stressful as it involves a lot of expectation, expense and organisation.

“Some people find it lonely, and potentially a sad time, if they are far away from people they miss or if their loved ones are no longer alive.

“We want people to be able to enjoy their Christmas and spend the time relaxing and resting, and we hope our advice may make that a bit more possible. There is, however, also support available if you are struggling with your mental health.”

Tips and advice from Let’s Talk include:

  • Be realistic about what can be achieved and afforded. Don’t aim for perfection and be disappointed.
  • Share the work out. Don’t take on every responsibility, such as shopping, cooking and coordinating engagements just because you always do. Ask someone else to help you out – people are often grateful to be asked.
  • Plan in advance. List making is an age old tactic, but it really works, and don’t leave everything until the last minute.
  • Make sure you get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Both are scientifically proven to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Don’t drink to excess. Alcohol can make you act in a way you might regret, and it can also have a depressive affect.
  • Try not to spend too much money. Gifts are not the most important part of Christmas and you may be storing up problems for the future if you get yourself into debt.
  • Help other people. Helping and giving to others will benefit the recipient of the help as well as yourself.
  • Take a break. If the family is getting too much, take a break, a spot of meditation or a walk in fresh air will help. Try to not let tensions mount up.
  • Be sure to check up on family and friends – particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Loneliness can be a particular issue over Christmas, so try and make sure no one spends the whole time without visitors or company.
  • Get enough sleep. A good sleep pattern can help you maintain good mental health and make you feel more alert and able to cope better with stress.
  • Try to spend some time relaxing. Remember to rest, spend some time just ‘being’ and take a break from ‘doing’.

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed leading up to, or after the Christmas break, you can contact our Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk. If you have serious concerns about your mental health, speak to your GP who can help and/or make an appropriate referral to services in your area. 

The Samaritans anticipate an increase in calls around Christmas each year. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via 116 123. Do not hesitate to call them if you need support.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-health-this-christmas1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-health-this-christmas1 Thu, 15 Dec 16 10:59:45 +0000
Trust welcomes Neil Savage as new Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to welcome Neil Savage as the new Director of Organisational Development.

Neil brings extensive experience to the role, having held a number of roles within other NHS trusts. He is joining 2gether from his previous role as Director of HR Transformation, leading on the HR integration of Birmingham Children’s and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trusts.

Prior to that, Neil worked at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he successfully delivered local and national performance and access targets, developed and implemented a number of service improvements and people strategies, as well as implementing Business Continuity Management and Emergency Planning systems.

Neil is no stranger to the area 2gether covers, having previously worked for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has also worked in HR roles for other NHS trusts, covering acute, mental health, learning disabilities and community services.

He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and was the winner of the Health Education England West Midlands Inspirational Leader of the Year award in 2015, as well as being shortlisted as national finalist in 2016. 

Neil said: “I am very proud to be joining 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. They are a forward-thinking and innovative trust and I’m excited to build on the excellent work of my predecessor, Carol Sparks, who is retiring.

“I’m a firm believer that if we have engaged and committed staff, this has a positive impact on the quality of the services we deliver to our communities, so the benefit and welfare of all my colleagues will be one of my main priorities.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting members of the communities we serve and learning about the partner organisations we work with, and using this knowledge to enhance the service we offer.”

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Neil to the trust and are looking forward to working him.

“Neil’s extensive previous experience, both in mental health and learning disabilities, and in the wider NHS, will be a fantastic asset to the trust and we will certainly be utilising the skills and knowledge he brings with him.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-welcomes-neil-savage-as-new-director-of-organisational-development http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-welcomes-neil-savage-as-new-director-of-organisational-development Tue, 06 Dec 16 09:23:08 +0000
Funding Secured for New Perinatal Service Pregnant women and new mums in Gloucestershire are to benefit from nearly £1.5M funding that will improve specialist community mental health support for women, their babies and families.

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) worked with partners including 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gt), Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS) and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) to submit the county’s case to government in a bid to secure funding which will be released over the next three years.

Gloucestershire is one of only 20 areas across the country to be successful in being awarded this national funding.

The funding will be used to set up a new community mental health team which specialises in supporting pregnant women, new mothers, their babies and families experiencing post-natal depression and other emotional difficulties.

Dr Jeremy Welch, GP in Tewkesbury and Clinical Lead for Maternity Services at NHS Gloucestershire CCG said:

“Improving support for pregnant women and new mums is one of our key priorities in Gloucestershire.

Over the past few years, we have been working with and listening to women, and their partners, who have themselves experienced mental health problems around the time their baby is born. This has given us invaluable insight, and has helped us to develop our plans and guide steady improvements in care and support for women and families.

Establishing this Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team is an important part of our future plans, and will enable us to ensure that women have access to expert advice and information on the risks of pregnancy and childbirth on their mental health.”

Dr Sally Morgan, Consultant Psychiatrist at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The team will provide specialist care for women who have experienced severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or psychosis while pregnant or after birth, responding quickly if they become ill and helping to minimise risks to both the mother and baby. They might do this, for example, by giving medication advice, offering psychological support and providing lifestyle advice. They will also be able to offer expert advice on the risks and benefits of treatment options.”

Dawn Morrall, Assistant Director of Midwifery at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are recruiting a perinatal mental health specialist midwife to be part of this team to work to ensure that women have a comprehensive plan to support their mental health during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.

The team will work closely with Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services (IAPT), maternity services, health visitors, GPs and community organisations which can provide advice and care for women.”

Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long-term care at Gloucestershire County Council said:

“Pregnant women and new mums need their mental health to be as well cared for as their physical health. This is an important part of making sure that, right across health and social care, mental health issues are treated as seriously as physical health ones. This funding will help ensure mothers get the support they need at this critical time.”

Janet Mills, General Manager for Children and Young People’s Services at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said:

“We recognise that one in six women is affected by mental health issues and stress during pregnancy or after birth. These women need specialist care and support and this new team will help us to provide that, making sure that people get the care they need when they need it.”

This development supports a number of key themes within Gloucestershire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), including improving mental health support, placing greater emphasis on preventing ill health, helping people to be healthy and well at home and enhancing community based services and support. 

To read more about the STP and find out about how you can get involved, visit the STP website at: www.gloucestershireSTP.net

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/funding-secured-for-new-perinatal-service http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/funding-secured-for-new-perinatal-service Mon, 05 Dec 16 15:14:02 +0000
2gether takes part in countywide recruitment event 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is working with other NHS Trusts and Gloucestershire County Council to organise a high profile recruitment event.

The aim of this event is to attract a wide range of people to come and work in our services. The event, which takes place in Cheltenham on Saturday 12 November, will host stalls from a wide range of employers, including:

  • 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gloucestershire Care Services
  • NHS Gloucestershire CCG
  • Gloucestershire County Council

Those attending will have the opportunity to meet employers, who are actively looking for candidates, face-to-face. They will be able to talk about the vacancies currently on offer and, in some cases, interviews for some vacancies will take place on the day.

There will also be a number of speakers on the day, focusing on a range of topics, including returning to practice and mental health nursing.

Carol Sparks, Director of Organisational Development, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are looking for people who want to work in clinical and non-clinical roles. We are looking for nurses, doctors, other clinical staff and, in particular, people who want to work in our in-patient and community mental health teams.

“We are a forward thinking trust and we want to not only encourage people to return to practice, but also to encourage people to explore other routes into mental health nursing, such as apprenticeships and through opportunities for students. There really will be opportunities for all.”

The fair runs 10am to 4.30pm and will be held at Jury’s Inn, Cheltenham.

For more information, visit http://www.2gethernhs.co.uk/discover/

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-takes-part-in-countywide-recruitment-event http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-takes-part-in-countywide-recruitment-event Thu, 27 Oct 16 11:54:19 +0000
Trust thanks Pied Piper Appeal for interactive screens for childrens waiting areas Children and young people visiting two of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s sites will now have access to new interactive games, thanks to a generous donation from the Pied Piper Appeal.

The charity, which helps sick and disadvantaged children, has donated the interactive screens, complete with a built-in seat, to the Trust’s waiting rooms in Gloucester and Cheltenham. Visitors to the Children and Young Person Service (CYPS) at Acorn House, Gloucester, and Evergreen House, Cheltenham, have been putting the screens to good use while waiting for appointments.

One parent, who took her son to Evergreen House, said: “The computer game station was ace. It gave him age-appropriate games, rather than him draining my phone! He played it alongside another child who came in later. Thank you so much; I was even joining in with some of the games.”

Nick Broady, Chairman of the Pied Piper Appeal, explained why the donation had been made: “We are delighted to be working with 2gether to tackle the stigma around mental health, particularly for children and young people.

“We hope that the donation of these screens will help make the experience of visiting mental health services easier for children and young people, as well as their families and carers.

“The screens have been really well-received and we’re looking forward to working with the Trust more in the future.  We’re already planning donations for future projects.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful that the Pied Piper Appeal has embraced the needs of children and young people with mental illness, not only through this fantastic donation but also through continued engagement with us as a trust.

“It is so important that a local charity is standing up and contributing to children and young people’s mental health services, but also being proud to say they are doing so, which helps immensely in raising awareness and reducing stigma.

“We know these screens will be well-used and they are already proving a brilliant addition to our waiting rooms.”

Photo caption: L to R clockwise

Richard West, fundraising manager, Pied Piper; Sarah Batten, Service Director of Children and Young People Service, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust; Nick Broady, chairman, Pied Piper; Ruth FitzJohn, Chair, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-thanks-pied-piper-appeal-for-interactive-screens-for-childrens-waiting-areas http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-thanks-pied-piper-appeal-for-interactive-screens-for-childrens-waiting-areas Wed, 26 Oct 16 09:52:41 +0000
NHS estates and facilities managers mark 60 years of sharing best practice for patient and staff safety Adrian Eggleton, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, joined colleagues to mark the 60th anniversary of the Health Estate and Facilities Management Association (HefmA) South West branch.

Adrian, who is Chair of the branch, joined CEO John Thatcher in planting a tree at Eastwood Park, Gloucestershire. HefmA has had long-established links with Eastwood Park, as it was formerly the national training centre for all NHS engineers, although it now operates independently.

The event was combined with a day’s educational seminar on the latest best practice and safety guidelines and marked six decades of the branch sharing estates’ and facilities’ best practice in support of patient care.  Many HefmA members would have undertaken their apprenticeship skills training at Eastwood Park at the start of their careers and now return in the present day for further skills development and management courses. 

The tree planting was significant as the Regional Engineers Association chose to plant a stand of trees (seen to the right of the picture) in 1981 to commemorate their 25th anniversary of the formation of the branch.  In the early 1990s, the South West branch was absorbed into the Health Estate and Facilities Management Association (HefmA).

Adrian Eggleton commented:  “The new generation of Estates and Facilities managers in the South West have chosen to plant this commemorative tree at Eastwood Park today in recognition of the historic links and to celebrate the new strategic partnership the South West Branch has with Eastwood Park Training in providing bespoke educational seminars.  We are delighted it will be here for many more years to come and will eventually be moved closer to the new training centre being built on the estate.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-estates-and-facilities-managers-mark-60-years-of-sharing-best-practice-for-patient-and-staff-safety http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-estates-and-facilities-managers-mark-60-years-of-sharing-best-practice-for-patient-and-staff-safety Tue, 25 Oct 16 09:42:18 +0000
Help us to improve online health information in Gloucestershire We know that if you are living with a long-term condition, you will spend around six hours a year with a healthcare professional and the remaining 8,754 hours managing your health yourself. This is a big challenge, but we also know that many people have the strength and ability to manage their own health, given the right support. 

We want to help you do this by providing local online health information, all in one place, by creating a new website. The website will aim to pull all health information into one website. It will link to national websites such as NHS Choices, patient.co.uk, condition specific sites such as Diabetes UK and local health and social care provider website.

To make sure the website is as helpful as possible, we need your help. Please complete our very short survey and let us know what you would find most useful.

Click here to complete this on-line survey - it should only take 3 minutes!

For more information about the project, contact Gina Mann on 0300 421 1507 or email gina.mann@nhs.net.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/help-us-to-improve-online-health-information-in-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/help-us-to-improve-online-health-information-in-gloucestershire Fri, 14 Oct 16 12:25:40 +0000
Make time for mental health on World Mental Health Day With one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem at any given time, it has never been more important to look after your own mental health and the wellbeing of those around you.

This World Mental Health Day, on Monday 10 October, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is involved in a number of events across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to encourage people to do just that.

We will be encouraging people to follow five simple steps to wellbeing, as well as providing information about how people can access support if they need it.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We hope that World Mental Health Day will act a reminder to people that their mental health and emotional wellbeing is important, not just on 10 October, but every day.

“We also want people to be aware of the stigma that surrounds mental health and what they can do to help reduce that. Anyone of us could suffer from a mental health problem, so it’s vital that we keep talking about how we are feeling and how we are, and listen when other people tell us how they are.

“If you do just one thing today, then ask someone how they are and really listen to their answer; it can make a big difference.”

The five ways to wellbeing are:

  • Connect – connect with the people around you, whether they are family, friends, colleagues or neighbours, and spend time developing these relationships.

  • Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your life.

  • Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.

  • Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

On Monday 10 October, staff from the Trust will taking part in the following events:

  • Tea and Talk session at Shire Hall, Gloucester, to talk about mental health with county council staff.

  • Delivering mental health first aid light to Cheltenham Borough councillors.

  • A stand at a lecture on Mental Health and Wellbeing at Hereford University Centre, from 6-7.30pm.

  • Joining the Gloucestershire CCG Information Bus in Cheltenham High Street from 9.30am-3pm.

  • A Tackling Stigma Stand at an evening session following the launch of Heads Up Cheltenham, Cheltenham Borough Council, aimed at businesses and the voluntary sector.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-time-for-mental-health-on-world-mental-health-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-time-for-mental-health-on-world-mental-health-day Thu, 06 Oct 16 14:09:42 +0000
Innovation Award to Improve Quality of Health Care A proposal from the Gloucestershire Health Community led by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The fourth round of the Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting 20 health care projects in the UK, with the aim of improving health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

The initiative led by 2gether’s Let’s Talk service, aims to equip people experiencing Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) to live a healthier and happier life and reduce unnecessary medical attendance by introducing and evaluating a specialist primary care service for 12 months. This will build on the expertise of psychological therapists in the delivery of a new trans diagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy (tCBT).

The project will primarily impact upon patients experiencing MUS and their primary care team. MUS patients and GPs will be able to access and benefit from psychological support that they will previously have struggled to access. Impact will be measured by change in referral rates, patient outcomes, and GP feedback.

Over the course of the programme, the team will develop its innovative idea and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care.

The team will be led by 2gether’s Alison Sedgwick-Taylor and Julie White and the Let’s Talk Team, alongside local GP Dr Simon Opher in collaboration with Professor Paul Salkovskis and James Gregory from the University of Bath.

Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, on behalf of the team, said: “I am delighted to accept this award which will help the team to increase access to psychological therapy for patients who are struggling with low mood and/or anxiety and also living with medically unexplained symptoms and long term health conditions.”

Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation, said: “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK.”

The programme will run for fifteen months and will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/innovation-award-to-improve-quality-of-health-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/innovation-award-to-improve-quality-of-health-care Thu, 15 Sep 16 09:40:29 +0000
Time to Change results suggest colleagues are tackling stigma around mental health 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been working with the national Time to Change campaign on a project aimed at tackling stigma and discrimination reported by people using mental health services across the UK.

As well as reporting that they have experienced stigma on a day-to-day basis, Time to Change reports that service users have also said that they sometimes experience stigma from within mental health trusts as well.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, said: “We understand that stigma around mental health doesn’t just come from outside our organisation; it can also be present within the organisation as well and we wanted to address this.

“We’ve been working with Time to Change to tackle stigma, and were keen to take part in a pilot project that looked at how we could also address stigma within our own organisations.

“We asked staff to fill in a short survey before and after participating in the workshops, and were proud to see that the results showed a statistically significant improvement in the way staff engage with our service users.”

The results show an 11 per cent improvement in staff strongly feeling that they are personally able to make a difference to the experience of service users.

After attending Trust-facilitated workshops there was a nine per cent increase in staff feeling that people reporting stigma had valid concerns. 

People who took part in campaigns and workshops said they were more likely to make changes as a result of the work, and almost half of those taking part said they had made changes to their practice.

And 67 per cent of respondents to the survey said that as a result of the campaign, they were more likely to find out about the small things that can make a positive difference to the experience of people using services. 

Brian Dow, Director of External Affairs at Rethink Mental Illness, one of the charities that runs Time to Change in conjunction with Mind, said: “We know attitudes are gradually improving, and that the one in four people with a mental health problem are experiencing less discrimination in many areas of life, including from family, at work and in relationships. But one area where we haven’t seen the same level of improvement is, perhaps surprisingly, within mental health services.

“We took the decision to tackle this head on in 2015 and have since been working closely with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, mental health professionals and those who use these services to make a change. It’s good to see that as a result of this important piece of work, nearly half of staff who took part are already making changes to the way they work. Everyone should be able to live their life and access the support they need without fear of being judged, and it’s good to see we are edging ever more closely to this.”

The next steps for the Time to Change project are now being considered nationally, and we will continue to support it within the Trust.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-change-results-suggest-colleagues-are-tackling-stigma-around-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-change-results-suggest-colleagues-are-tackling-stigma-around-mental-health Tue, 13 Sep 16 10:57:00 +0000
Wellbeing House for Gloucester A wellbeing house for people experiencing acute mental illness and emotional distress will be opened in Gloucester.

The premises, in Alexandra Road, will be operated by a local branch of the national mental health charity Mind.

In an initiative supported by both 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, the premises will enable adults to access support, therapy and advice for up to two weeks. 

Dr Donna Lovell, Chief Executive Officer of Swindon Mind, said: “We have experience of running a similar wellbeing house in another part of the country. The service can prove to be a lifeline for people who might be experiencing the early stages of mental health crisis or for those who are experiencing emotional distress.

“We have learnt that sometimes people in emotional distress require a temporary place to stay away from their home but that a hospital environment or medical intervention is not always the best option.

“A wellbeing house provides another option when an individual is feeling overwhelmed and needs somewhere peaceful and away from everyday life to be able to take steps to recover from a period of mental illness.

“We will offer that space and also have access to a range of support services in partnership with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust should any further help be required.”

The premises will have five or six individual bedrooms, with shared cooking and communal facilities. It will be managed by staff and volunteers of Swindon Mind.

People can access the service by referral from a range of agencies, including GPs, housing services and charities.

The building was previously home to a mental health recovery unit, and is owned by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Les Trewin, Service Director of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Mind on this important initiative. The house will enable residents to manage their own mental health and wellbeing, but in a homely environment with access to a wide range of services.

“We are looking forward to seeing the building transformed into a therapeutic environment for the benefit of our local communities in Gloucester and beyond.”

Dr Tristan Lench, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The CCG is committed to making sure that people get the help they need when they have a mental health crisis and developing new services that can help prevent mental health crises from happening.

“The wellbeing house is an exciting development between 2gNHSFT and Mind and the CCG is proud to be a partner in helping to make this happen.”                                                                                                                      

The Alexandra Road property has been empty since 2013, having previously been run as a recovery unit for people overcoming mental illness. It will now be refurbished before being reopened in the coming months.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/wellbeing-house-for-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/wellbeing-house-for-gloucester Mon, 12 Sep 16 10:55:34 +0000
Nominate Your 2gether Health Hero for a ROSCA A call is being made for service users and carers to nominate a staff member of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust for an award.

The Trust’s Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) are held annually, and the Service Users and Carers Choice is one of the most hotly contested categories.

Carol Sparks, Director of Organisational Development for 2gether, said: “Our ROSCAs are an opportunity for us and our communities to pay tribute to the enormous contribution made by our health and social care professionals.

“Anyone who has received services from the Trust or cares for someone who has can 
nominate an individual or team who, in their opinion, has made an outstanding contribution for the Service Users and Carers Choice.  

“This contribution could be in any area - clinical care, service user involvement or administrative support. The decision is entirely up to the proposer but must clearly demonstrate that the nominee truly sees from a service user's perspective.”

The ROSCAs are sponsored by various organisations, including Alpha Colour Printers and the West of England Academic Health Science Network. 

Dave Oldfield, Operations Director of Alpha Colour Printers, which sponsors the Service Users and Carers Choice category, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the 2gether ROSCAs again this year. 

“We’re particularly pleased to sponsor the Service User and Carer Choice category, because it’s for people who have received services from 2gether to nominate people and teams who have made a real difference to their lives. 

“There is so much work taking place around Gloucestershire for people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities, and it’s great to be part of celebrating the marvellous contribution the staff and teams of 2gether make.”

The closing date for ROSCA nominations is 5pm on Friday 11 November. To nominate, click here. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nominate-your-2gether-health-hero-for-a-rosca http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nominate-your-2gether-health-hero-for-a-rosca Fri, 02 Sep 16 09:37:20 +0000
New Hub to Become Base for Gloucester Services

A building in central Gloucester is to be redeveloped as the new home for many of the city’s community mental health services.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust has purchased Pullman Place, in Great Western Road.

The four-storey building will provide high quality, purpose designed clinic space and office accommodation for services.

Jan Furniaux, Service Director for 2gether’s Gloucestershire Localities, said: “This is the next in a series of planned developments, as part of our ongoing commitment and investment in the continued quality improvement of our services.

“We’ve recently opened our Forest of Dean Hub, in Cinderford, our refurbished Stroud Hub, at Weavers Croft, and also the Fritchie Centre, our base for our research team and Managing Memory 2gether service, in Cheltenham. 
 
“Pullman Place will become our new Gloucester Hub and is the perfect location, being in the centre of the city with very good public transport links. It is also near to other health and social care partner premises, such as Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and is close to our own Wotton Lawn Hospital.

“We’re investing in new premises, recognising that we need to continue meeting the changing needs of our local communities and provide the best possible accommodation from which to deliver our high quality services. This development will benefit service users, carers and also our own staff.”

Teams moving into Pullman Place from late 2016 are currently based in different premises in and around the City of Gloucester.

Service users and carers directly benefitting by the move will be notified by letter and in person by their Care Coordinator as and when the services they use are moving.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-hub-to-become-base-for-gloucester-services http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-hub-to-become-base-for-gloucester-services Fri, 26 Aug 16 14:58:48 +0000
Top tips to avoid stress when waiting for exam results Across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, students are anxiously awaiting their exam results.  Whether it is for GCSEs, A-levels or higher education, it can be an anxious and stressful time both for the students and their families.

While it isn’t possible to change the outcome of the exam results, it is possible to take steps to reduce the amount of anxiety or stress that people are feeling.

Elaine Davies, Clinical Lead for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) in Herefordshire, said: “When we are anxious, we are likely to predict, catastrophise or exaggerate outcomes before knowing the facts.

“When we think of those waiting for exam results, they place a high value on their results, so that in itself puts pressure on them.

“With any anxiety, thoughts can often snowball into what we call the problem approach, moving from ‘what if I don’t get the results I want or need’ to ‘I’m useless’ and ‘my parents will be disappointed’. This can then lead to physical symptoms, such as belly ache, a racing heart and nausea, to name but a few. It can even lead to changes in behaviour, such as not even wanting to pick up the results or leaving them unopened.

“When students experience the problem approach, they can often forget that there are other alternatives available to them, and their parents can help them work through a plan B.”

Elaine suggests the following tips to help reduce stress and anxiety:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Distraction, such as a family meal or board game
  • Exercise – stress can produce toxins which exercise helps reduce
  • Less coffee or other sources of caffeine
  • Less alcohol

If stress or anxiety persists, or becomes a concern, then our free Let's Talk courses could help. You can access them here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-tips-to-avoid-stress-when-waiting-for-exam-results http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-tips-to-avoid-stress-when-waiting-for-exam-results Wed, 17 Aug 16 15:26:43 +0000
Waterstones joins fight against mental health stigma

The Gloucester branch of a national chain of book stores has joined the fight against mental health stigma.

Waterstones, in Eastgate Street, has hosted a weekly reading group of service users from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust for more than two years.

The group, which is managed by 2gether Recovery College worker Jackie Webb, reads a selection of books, newspaper articles and poems together. Discussion then follows on what has been read.

Jackie said: “The group meetings involve between five and 12 service users in general, and it’s an opportunity for people recovering from mental illness to join together, socialise, enjoy reading and get into a regular routine in the community.

“It’s also very relaxing and therapeutic. The staff at Waterstones have been very welcoming and the group is so successful that we’ve got a waiting list.”

Waterstones has now mounted a display of materials aimed at highlighting sources of mental health and wellbeing support near its ‘self help’ section.

Store manager Katharine Seymour said: “We know that reading can be very therapeutic and there are many books that we stock that are aimed at helping to improve mental health.

“We’re very happy to host the weekly reading group and want to do everything we can to encourage people to speak openly about mental health and tackle stigma which often prevents people from speaking up and seeking help.”

One in four people is experiencing a mental health condition at any given time. 2gether’s Let’s Talk service provides courses and therapy to people experiencing conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Ring 0800 073 2200 to find out what Let’s Talk can offer, or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

Other sources of online support include www.time-to-change.org.uk, www.mind.org.uk and www.mentalhealthfoundation.org.uk. You can also ring the Samaritans on 116 123.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/waterstones-joins-fight-against-mental-health-stigma http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/waterstones-joins-fight-against-mental-health-stigma Wed, 17 Aug 16 09:43:41 +0000
Gloucestershire Health and Social Care Awards open for nominations Have you received outstanding care or support?  

It’s time to show your support by nominating someone today.  

With individual and team categories and a range of other awards celebrating innovation and health improvement, your nomination could give them the recognition they deserve.

The Awards showcase all that’s great about health and social care in the county with a ceremony at Gloucester Cathedral in November.

NOMINATE NOW 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-health-and-social-care-awards-open-for-nominations http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-health-and-social-care-awards-open-for-nominations Wed, 17 Aug 16 09:10:56 +0000
Elephant in the Room aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health An ambitious art project aimed at reducing the stigma that surrounds mental ill health is taking shape in Gloucestershire.

‘The Elephant in the Room’ is a project which  is being run by Indepdence Trust, in conjunction with the Nature in Art Museum and Art Gallery.

Gloucestershire-based Independence Trust is part of a multi-agency countywide group which aims to tackle the stigma surrounding mental ill health. Members of the group include NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust NHS Foundation Trust, Stroud District Council, Gloucestershire Constabulary, ISIS Women’s Centre and Healthwatch Gloucestershire. Of great importance is the partnership with people who have expereinced mental illness to form, shape and champion the work. Gloucestershire’s Tackling Stigma group is supporting the Independence Trust project.

Independence Trust has been working with a team of people, all of whom have a diagnosed mental illness, to create the huge elephant. The elephant will then visit different locations, so that people can sign their names on it in support of reducing the stigma surrounding mental ill health .

The team has also been working with artist and tutor Camilla Metcalf, who herself has a long history of mental ill health and is an advocate for mental health, and with the Nature in Art Museum and Gallery, which is based at Twigworth, on the outskirts of Gloucester, to set up an exhibition of clients’ artwork, which will run from 16-29 August.

Sue Tomlinson, District Co-Ordinator at Independence Trust, said: “We hope to raise awareness of mental ill health by creating the Elephant in the Room. It will be a definite conversation point, as well as a real statement.

“Wherever we take the elephant, we will be asking people to sign their names on it as a pledge to try to reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health.”

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Tackling Mental Health Stigma Group is delighted to be able to support  Independence Trust with this worthwhile project.

“This is a thought-provoking and different way of raising awareness of the stigma surrounding mental ill health issues and will hopefully really encourage people to address this elephant in the room.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/elephant-in-the-room-aims-to-reduce-the-stigma-surrounding-mental-ill-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/elephant-in-the-room-aims-to-reduce-the-stigma-surrounding-mental-ill-health Mon, 08 Aug 16 11:23:37 +0000
Trust celebrates opening of new Research 2gether and Managing Memory centre 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has celebrated the official opening of the Fritchie Centre, its Research 2gether centre and Managing Memory base.

The existing Trust building at Charlton Lane, Cheltenham, has been refurbished to provide the Trust with a dedicated base for research, and also to respond to increased demand from those affected by dementia and other long-term mental and physical health conditions. 

The new centre is named in honour of former Trust chair, Baroness Rennie Fritchie, whio performed the official opening.

The Research 2gether Centre provides a base for the Trust’s research team, who support and deliver research opportunities for patients and carers across all our services in mental health and learning disabilities, both at the centre and in the community.

The primary focus of our current research will be into Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The Trust wants to help understand the causes of dementia and find ways of diagnosing it earlier and more accurately.

The Trust also wants to contribute towards research that helps to develop more effective treatments, as evidenced by the recently announced partnership between 2gether and Cobalt Health. The partnership will contribute to improving standards of care for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease at a local level, while also contributing to the wider health research environment nationally and internationally.

Genevieve Riley, Head of Research and Development, Research 2gether, said: “The development of the new Fritchie Centre is an exciting time for research services in 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

“For many years, we have had a skilled, dedicated group of clinicians who work on national research studies, as well as developing their own ideas. The Research Centre will give us a fantastic opportunity to expand our clinical trial portfolio and help us work towards our vision of being a world-class centre of practice-based research.

“We want to provide more opportunities for patients and carers to be informed about research they can participate in locally that could make a difference to their lives and the lives of others, and we will be doing this in partnership with Cobalt Health and our primary care colleagues.”

Research 2gether will be working closely with the Trust’s Managing Memory service, which provides an assessment, dementia diagnosis and treatment service, and will be based at the Fritchie Centre.

Peter FitzPatrick, Managing Memory 2gether Team Manager, said: “The new base for Managing Memory will give us a greater presence and also a better carer and service user experience. It will also enable us to have an enhanced and closer working relationship with the research team, which will allow us to improve our collaboration.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-celebrates-opening-of-new-research-2gether-and-managing-memory-centre http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-celebrates-opening-of-new-research-2gether-and-managing-memory-centre Mon, 08 Aug 16 10:31:22 +0000
New Dementia Research Partnership Formed in Cheltenham

A new partnership has been formed to create and develop a centre carrying out research into Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. 

The pioneering programme, between the Cheltenham based charity Cobalt and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, will ensure that research into the illnesses is undertaken in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. 

The research results will contribute towards improving standards of care and treatment locally, and also to the wider research environment nationally and internationally. 

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for 2gether, said: “This is a very exciting development for both of our organisations, as we collectively have extensive knowledge and experience of working with and supporting people with dementia.

“By joining together we hope to develop world class, practice based, research and development locally and provide service innovation for the benefit of patients, families and society in general.

“We have recently established a new Research Centre and base for our Managing Memory service on our Charlton Lane site, in Cheltenham, which provides the perfect opportunity for this collaboration to begin.  

“Although we’ve always enjoyed a good relationship with Cobalt, particularly in terms of diagnostic imaging, this research partnership formalises our working arrangements and we’re very excited about what the future will bring.”

Peter Sharpe, Chief Executive of Cobalt, said: “We have been working closely to support the dementia service by providing cutting edge diagnostic imaging. We are very excited to enter into this research partnership, as by working together we can expand the boundaries far beyond what would normally be available.”

Professor Gordon Wilcock, Emeritus Professor of Geratology -University of Oxford, and Honorary Consultant Physician at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Bringing together the Trust’s patient base, and Cobalt’s state of the art imaging facilities and support, creates an important opportunity which will allow NHS patients with Alzheimer’s disease or one of the other dementias, and their families, to take part in research if they would like to, including the evaluation of new treatments and better diagnostic tests. 

“I am delighted to have contributed to this development and look forward to working with both organisations in the future."

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-dementia-research-partnership-formed-in-cheltenham http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-dementia-research-partnership-formed-in-cheltenham Thu, 07 Jul 16 10:05:45 +0000
Trust AGM The Annual General Meeting of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is being held on Thursday July 21.

The event, which is being held at Cheltenham Town Hall from 5 until 8pm, is open to all. 

Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee said:  “Our AGM provides an opportunity for us to review everything we achieved and the challenges we met during 2015 to 2016. 

“We will also be highlighting the main priorities we will focus on throughout 2016 and into 2017, so it’s an opportunity for anyone with an interest in our Trust and our work to come along and get involved. 

“Mental health affects all of us in some way – whether we are experiencing mental ill health ourselves, supporting someone who is, or just keen to tackle stigma and ensure that people who need mental health support can get the help they need.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in or appreciation of mental health issues in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to come along.” 

The meeting will feature presentations as well as an opportunity to visit information stands and ask questions. 
 
A financial review of 2015/16 will form part of the proceedings. Copies of the Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts 2015/16 will also be available.

If you would like to attend or would like to receive further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or anna.hilditch@nhs.net

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trusts-annual-general-meeting http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trusts-annual-general-meeting Thu, 30 Jun 16 14:46:53 +0000
Official Opening of Stroud Hub

A new base for teams who treat and support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions has been opened in Stroud.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s new ‘South Locality Hub’ is at Weavers Croft, in Park Road. 

The Trust has worked out of the building and the neighbouring Park House for a number of years. However over the last two years the buildings have been refurbished and reconfigured throughout.

They are now the home to doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists and other professionals supporting children and adults across Stroud, Dursley, Cirencester and the surrounding areas. 

Community Services Manager Jonathan Thomas said: “The work we have undertaken at Weavers Croft and Park House represents a big commitment in the services we provide to people in the local area.

“The old buildings were no longer fit for purpose – not only for our staff but more importantly for the people we support in our community.

“We’ve been supported by the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, who have assisted with equipment, décor, furniture and many other donations. 

“We’re very grateful to the League of Friends as well as the other organisations – Artlift included - who have helped us to create a more comfortable and welcoming place for our service users and carers to visit.”

The teams working from the ‘hub’ include: 

·    Stroud Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT)
·    Later Life Team
·    Assertive Outreach Team
·    Recovery: Stroud
·    Crisis Team
·    Children and Young People Service
·    Managing Memory 2gether
·    Mental Health Intermediate Care Team
·    Let’s Talk

People who access 2gether’s services are generally referred by their GP or other health professionals, however certain services can be accessed directly. 

These include:

•    Let’s Talk, which can be contacted on 0800 073 2200 by anyone experiencing conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.
•    Managing Memory, which can be contacted on 0800 694 8800 by anyone worried about memory, people with dementia and carers of people with dementia. 

For further information on 2gether’s services, visit www.2gether.nhs.uk. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/official-opening-of-stroud-hub http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/official-opening-of-stroud-hub Wed, 29 Jun 16 14:34:44 +0000
Recruitment Event in Hereford A recruitment event is being held for health and social care staff in Herefordshire.

The event, being hosted by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, is aimed at recruiting for positions on the Trust’s Staff Bank. 

Staff Bank is the Trust’s own internal ‘agency’, for staff who can work occasional shifts with the Trust when the need arises.

Alison Wilmott-Miller, of the Trust’s recruitment team, said: “We will be hoping to recruit health care assistants, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists, students and administrators at our event.

“We will be able to explain what working on Staff Bank entails, and the benefits the Trust can offer to its employees.

“We’d love to see a wide range of people at our open day, and are looking forward to a great event.”

The event runs from 11am until 3pm on Tuesday 12 July and is taking place at the Kindle Centre, in Belmont Court. For further details or enquiries, please ring 01452 894650.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recruitment-event-in-hereford http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recruitment-event-in-hereford Mon, 27 Jun 16 12:05:27 +0000
Armed Forces Day Call for Veterans to Seek Support Armed forces veterans in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are being urged to seek support if they are experiencing mental health issues.

The call comes in advance of Armed Forces Day this Saturday (June 25), and by the first mental health NHS trust to sign the Corporate Covenant.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust signed the Corporate Covenant a year ago, as a sign of commitment to its two core principles: 

• no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
• in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

Shaun Clee, 2gether’s Chief Executive, said: “When we signed the covenant a year ago, it underlined our commitment to supporting military personnel and veterans.

“We know that the earlier people seek help for mental health conditions, the better the outlook is for a swift and straight forward recovery. However, we also know that veterans may take longer to seek help.  

“As Armed Forces Day approaches I would encourage all veterans to speak up if they are experiencing any form of mental health issue and if you know a veteran who needs support, please encourage them to seek it.”

There are a variety of ways in which veterans can seek support. These include: 

·    Speaking to your GP
·    Ringing 2gether NHS Trust’s Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200
·    Visiting the Let’s Talk website at www.2gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter
·    Visiting Big White Wall at www.bigwhitewall.com
·    Ringing the Samaritans on 116 123
·    Ringing Combat Stress on 0800 138 1619
·    Visiting the Combat Stress website at www.combatstress.org.uk

2gether will be participating in the Herefordshire 1916 Centenary Commemoration and Armed Forces Day celebrations in Ledbury on Saturday. The free event runs from 10am until 4pm in Ledbury High Street. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/armed-forces-day-call-for-veterans-to-seek-support http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/armed-forces-day-call-for-veterans-to-seek-support Fri, 24 Jun 16 13:50:45 +0000
Learning Disability Week Activities in Gloucestershire A week-long series of events will be taking place across Gloucestershire to mark national Learning Disability Week 2016.

The annual event is organised by the charity Mencap. The theme this year is ‘Friendships and Relationships’.

The events, organised under the umbrella of the Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities Board, start on Monday (June 20) and the Board’s Co- Chairs Jan Marriott, Zara Humphrey and Tim Heaven said there was much to look forward to.

They said: “We are really excited about this week and many organisations and support groups will open their doors to provide opportunities for people with a learning disability in Gloucestershire.”

Simon Shorrick, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Health Facilitation Team, is coordinating the event with the Board. 

He said: “We really hope people will take the opportunity to get involved in the week. It’s a great opportunity to get together and celebrate everything people with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire do, and what support organisations have to offer.

“There’s a lot happening so I’d encourage everyone who has a learning disability, as well as their friends, families, support workers and carers, to get involved.”

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long term care at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Raising awareness to help people with learning disabilities and supporting them to live their lives to the fullest is a priority for the county council. Whatever your interests, with so many different activities going on this week across Gloucestershire, there’s something for everyone.”

Events taking place during the week include: 

• Monday to Friday - The Butterfly Garden, Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham - open house coffee mornings. Find out more about education, recreation and therapy.

• Tuesday to Friday - Kingfisher Treasure Seekers shop - The Cavern - Westgate Street, Gloucester - find out more about creative workshops.

• Monday to Sunday - Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS  Foundation Trust – Learning Disabilities information and resource display stands at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.

• Tuesday 21st - Gloucestershire Voices Drama Workshops at The Skills Centre, Rikenel, Montpellier, Gloucester.

• Tuesday 21st - Health Facilitation Team, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. Drop in for staff and carers to find out more about easy read information and resources.

• Wednesday 22nd – Jamats activity centre for adults with Special Needs, in London Road, Gloucester – Learn more about exercise, music, drama, keep fit, life skills and much more.

• Thursday 23rd - Guideposts Music Therapy Service - Community Hub, 6 London rd., Stroud - try out different instruments and take part in a musical jam.

• Thursday 23rd – Carers Gloucestershire - Support for carers - drop in for a coffee and chat at Messenger House, Gloucester, in the morning or The Curio Lounge, Kings Street, Stroud, in the afternoon.

• Friday 24th – GL Communities quiz night – at the Phoenix Community Centre, Matson Lane, Gloucester.

There will also be sessions in three of the Drop ins during the week - Tewkesbury, Stroud and Coleford, and for people to find out about services available in those areas. 

Full details are available online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ldweek

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disability-week-activities-in-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disability-week-activities-in-gloucestershire Thu, 16 Jun 16 13:38:38 +0000
Former Ambassador Joins Trust Board

Former ambassador Quinton Quayle hopes that his diplomatic career and role in international trade and investment will bring a new viewpoint to the Trust board.

During his diplomatic career, Quinton served as British Ambassador to Romania, Thailand and Laos, before retiring five years ago. Since then, he has taken on a number of board roles with a focus on regulation in the public interest, including serving as a lay member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). He has also worked as an advisor to multinational companies, including Prudential and De La Rue.

Quinton, who lives in a small village in north Gloucestershire, said he is looking forward to using his experience in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of the Trust. 

He said: “I am passionate about the NHS as an institution and the experience of serving overseas in various countries has reinforced my appreciation of the value of the NHS as an institution which is free for all. Many other countries that I have visited either have a very basic service or a service run for profit.”

Quinton 's interest in the mental health and learning disability field developed  during his time in Thailand and Romania, when he worked with British charities which were helping people with physical disabilities and mental health issues, including children.

He also feels that the skills and knowledge he has developed in his current role with the NMC will be of value. He added: “I have very much enjoyed my time with the NMC and it has allowed me to enhance my understanding of health issues, as well as regulation, which will both be applicable to the Trust.”

He is looking forward to working with the Chair and Board to take the Trust forward. He explained: “One of the challenges facing the Trust is a financial one; the expectation people have of the health service is high and it’s always going to be difficult to reconcile working to budget with giving the best possible service to people. 

“I see communication with external stakeholders as very important and this is a skill that I developed during my time as a diplomat. I also want to extend the Trust’s outreach, particularly with the private sector, and encourage more companies to employ people with mental health conditions.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of the Trust, said she was keen to utilise Quinton’s experience: “Quinton is a very welcome addition to the board. His background is unusual and brings together a range of experiences which will add value to the Trust and I am looking forward to working with him.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/former-ambassador-joins-trust-board http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/former-ambassador-joins-trust-board Wed, 15 Jun 16 15:04:19 +0000
Dementia Campaigner Awarded MBE

Trust Expert by Experience June Hennell has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

June, 71, from Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, first began working alongside us and partner organisations in 2009, shortly after her late husband Brian was diagnosed with dementia.

She was involved in developing the Gloucestershire Dementia Strategy, helped to design the Living Well with Dementia handbook and has been involved in a host of training and awareness raising activities.

June said: “I received a letter from the Lord Chancellor’s office eight weeks ago, letting me know that my name had been sent to the Queen to be included in her Birthday Honour’s List.
“I was amazed. I felt very humbled and shocked but obviously am delighted.“

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June will be officially presented with her MBE at a future date. In the meantime, she continues to run Stonehouse Memory Link and is a valued Trust Expert by Experience and member of our Service Experience committee. June also continues in her educational and awareness raising work, which has involved work with the University of Worcester and a lecture tour of Australia. 

June added: “When Brian and I first started our campaign we couldn’t possibly have foreseen the impact we would make or the fantastic people we would meet.

“When I toured Australia I had people in the audience who had travelled three hours through the bush to come and see me. It shows how much people want to learn from my practical knowledge and share their experiences with others.”

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, said: “June is a marvellous asset to our Trust, and to communities and organisations across Gloucestershire and beyond. We value her advice, knowledge and expertise enormously. 

“June’s MBE is richly deserved and I would like to congratulate her on behalf of the Trust.”

Experts by Experience are people who perform a voluntary role with the Trust and use their own experience of using mental health services or experiencing health conditions to advise the Trust in its work. 

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-campaigner-awarded-mbe http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-campaigner-awarded-mbe Tue, 14 Jun 16 18:59:38 +0000
Be on the ball about mens mental health With Euro 2016 starting this week, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging men to be on the ball about their mates’ mental health.

This week is also Men’s Health Awareness Week, with a theme this year of stress, so we are asking people to check if their friends are off their game.

Every year, one in four people will experience a mental health issue. Men don’t always like to talk about their mental health, including stress, but as they get together with their friends to watch the games, we’d like to encourage them to also take the time to ask each other how things are going.

Elaine Davies, a Clinical Team Lead from 2gether’s Let’s talk service, said: “In our experience, we have found that men are often embarrassed to talk about their mental health, fearing that it could be perceived as a sign of weakness or that their mates might laugh at them.

“We want to encourage men to look at their own mental health but also to look at their friends and ask them how they are feeling. Be aware of the warning signs and, if you’re concerned, take steps to help and support them.”

Some warning signs that everything may not be okay with your mate include:

  • He’s tired or having problems sleeping
  • He thinks people are trying to harm him or are laughing at him
  • He’s losing interest in work, sex, eating, football, or something else that he normally enjoys
  • He’s self-harming or showing signs of addiction
  • Showing extremes of behaviour, such as too much energy or not enough energy, wanting to go out more or wanting to be alone more often.

If you’re worried about one of your friends, ask him “how’s it going?” Give him the opportunity to talk to you and listen when he does. Take the time to do things with him and make sure he knows you are there for him.

If you are concerned about yourself or a mate, the following resources can provide help and support:

The Samaritans provide round-the-clock support. Visit their website at www.samaritans.org or call them on 116123.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-on-the-ball-about-mens-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-on-the-ball-about-mens-mental-health Tue, 14 Jun 16 12:42:33 +0000
Share Your Views About 2gether People in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are being asked for their views on local NHS mental health community services.

The survey for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) is part of the national programme led by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is being carried out by Quality Health, an independent research organisation.

The independent annual survey is an important way for the Trust to seek the views of people in their care.

It seeks to find out what service users think about different aspects of the care they receive from the Trust. This includes care planning; availability of information; and your views about communication with health and social care workers.

The survey is used alongside a number of measures of Trust performance of patient and carer experience. These include feedback provided to our local Patient Liaison Services (PALS), the Trust’s Service Experience Team and local surveys that can be undertaken around the Trust sites and within the community. Members of the public can also leave their feedback on the Trust website by clicking here.

Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: "We really value the time that people take to provide us with feedback about the service that they receive. The results from the national survey help us to make appropriate improvements to our services and improve patient experience."

The survey is sent out to a random selection of service users and is used by the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission, local Commissioners and others to assess how well the Trust is meeting the needs of patients. It also helps measures overall patient experience.

Jane continued: "If you receive a survey, please take some time to share your views about the care you received with us. We are committed to providing responsive, personalised and high quality care. Your feedback will help us understand what changes we need to make so we can continue to improve local mental health community services".

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether12 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether12 Wed, 18 May 16 13:40:27 +0000
2gether helps launch free mental health support for veterans in Herefordshire 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with award-winning digital support service, Big White Wall, to offer 24/7 support to veterans living in Herefordshire.

Big White Wall provides a supportive, anonymous online community where members can share experiences and get support, whatever they are going through. There is a library of information and clinical tests. Veterans can also join online courses especially designed for the Armed Forces community, covering everything from depression, stress and anxiety to decreasing drinking or getting a better night’s sleep. Wall guides are available 24/7 to offer support and keep the community safe.

Veterans can join Big White Wall for free, simply by going to www.bigwhitewall.com and selecting the Armed Forces community sign up option. The service is also available, at no cost, for serving personnel and their families, aged 16 and over.

Nine-tenths of Big White Wall’s Armed Forces community members report that shame, embarrassment and mental health stigma have previously prevented them from seeking help for mental health problems.

The online intervention of Big White Wall can support people to have important mental health conversations without an additional fear of experiencing stigma veterans due to the stigma around mental health issues.

BWW has a number of armed forces supporters, including Help for Heroes, NHS England and the Ministry of Defence.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for 2gether, said: “Big White Wall has been well-used in other areas of the country, so we’re pleased to be helping launch this very valuable resource in Herefordshire.

“We understand how hard it can be for veterans to talk about their emotional wellbeing and mental health and believe the anonymous and supportive nature of the BWW online community will help overcome these barriers.

“We also hope it will remove some of the stigma around mental health issues, and allow veterans to share their thoughts and feelings, as well as providing them with information and access to further advice and support.”

The service is anonymous, so people can share what’s on their mind without fear of judgment. This helps people to open up: fifty-six per cent of Armed Forces members reported that they had shared an issue or feelings for the first time on Big White Wall.

In addition, it’s available 24/7 so people can get help at any time, day or night. Sixty-eight per cent of logins by veterans to Big White Wall are outside office hours, when other services may be less readily available.

James de Bathe, Commercial Director, BWW, said: “We’re proud to be working with our partners at 2gether to promote 24/7 mental health support to veterans in Herefordshire. Offering veterans a digital option means they can get support anytime, 24/7, and access help easily from home or on the move.”

One veteran who used Big White Wall commented: “I found BWW a constant help. Depression and PTSD is a really lonely place. [Big White Wall] allows me to express my feelings fully without fear of condemnation. I can display my feelings knowing that I won’t be judged.”

Big White Wall Herefordshire will go live on 19 May and can be accessed at www.2gether.nhs.uk/bww

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/launch-of-free-mental-health-support-for-herefordshire-veterans http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/launch-of-free-mental-health-support-for-herefordshire-veterans Mon, 16 May 16 16:24:59 +0000
Will you make a relationship resolution for Mental Health Awareness Week? This week (16-22 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is relationships.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust is urging people to focus on their relationships with friends and family and to understand the impact the quality of these relationships can have on their health and wellbeing.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for the Trust, said: “We encourage people to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which can help to promote good health and relieve some of the most common mental health conditions.

“In keeping with this year’s theme of relationships, the first top tip is to connect with the people around you, including family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Our relationships are fundamental to our health and wellbeing, so it’s vital that we spend time investing in the quality of these.

“Relationships can be just as crucial to our wellbeing as other lifestyle factors, such as eating well, exercising more and stopping smoking.”

Mental Health Awareness Week is run by the Mental Health Foundation and we are supporting their challenge for people to go the extra mile in prioritising their relationships. They are asking people to make a relationship resolution and assess how much time they actively commit to building and maintaining good relationships. They want people to consider whether they can invest more in being present with and listening to friends, family and colleagues.

Professor Melton added: “As a Trust, we have a number of events planned for Mental Health Awareness Week, and we hope people will join us at some of these. But even if people are not able to join us during the week, I would encourage people to take the time to focus on nurturing  relationships as we know that good connections with people has a positive impact on wellbeing.”

To find out more about the events 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has planned for Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-focuses-on-building-relationships-for-mental-health-awareness-week

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week 2016, visit the Mental Health Foundation website: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-a-relationship-resolution-for-mental-health-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-a-relationship-resolution-for-mental-health-awareness-week Mon, 16 May 16 11:17:34 +0000
Gloucestershire students recognised in dementia awareness competition The winners of a closely fought competition to create a radio advert to raise awareness of dementia have been announced.

Year eight pupils at Newent Community School and Sixth Form put together an impressive collection of radio adverts to make the final of the challenge, alongside a pupil from Al-Ashraf Secondary School for Girls. 2gether NHS Foundation Trust was supporting the challenge, which was set by the Gloucestershire Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Network for Dementia, a multi-agency organisation which works to improve access to memory assessment and community dementia services for people from BME communities.

The pupils were asked to design a radio advert, lasting up to 40 seconds, targeting people in Gloucestershire, particularly those who are worried about their memory or someone else’s memory.

Abi Zinkin and Ellie Vaughan of Newent Community School and Sixth Form won the competition after the results were put to a public vote. Also highly commended were Luke Gerken, Joe Jeremiah, Harrison Taylor, Felicity Williams, Rosie Golding, Jasmine King, Freya Jenkins, Tallulah Armstrong, Sarah Bilsby, Imogen Colenutt and Lois Field, all from Newent School, and Maariyah Bhamjee from Al-Ashraf Secondary School for Girls, who created a poem focusing on dementia.

Gloucestershire County Council has been working to teach students across Gloucestershire about dementia, as part of a national project.

The competition was meant to have a winner chosen by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, but because the five entries were so good, the trust decided to open it up to a public vote to decide the overall winner.

Dementia Awareness week takes place from 15–21 May, and this year will encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their worries by addressing dementia directly.

The winner of the competition will have their radio advert played on GFM 96.6fm online www.gloucesterfm.com  during Dementia Awareness Week.

Rachel Peak, Dementia Education Facilitator at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I want to thank everyone who entered the competition and congratulations to Abi and Ellie who won. All the adverts were truly fantastic and inspirational, making the final decision very difficult to make – so difficult that we decided to put it to the public vote.

“The competition has also been a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of dementia, and the importance of people from all ages coming together to make a change.”

The national project saw students in Gloucestershire of different ages training each other in dementia awareness; students from Gloucester College trained students from Newent Community School and Sixth Form, who then trained year 6 students from Picklenash Primary School.

The students at Newent Community School and Sixth Form entered the competition so that they could raise even more awareness about dementia among the public.

Di Harrill, Head of Personal, Health and Social Education at Newent Community School and Sixth Form, said “A massive congratulations to Abi and Ellie, the winners, and to all the students for their hard work and creativity in creating the adverts, and for their commitment to learning about and raising awareness of dementia.”

You can see part of the recording here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/students-recognised-in-dementia-awareness-competition http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/students-recognised-in-dementia-awareness-competition Thu, 12 May 16 10:53:14 +0000
Big Health Check Day encourages people with learning disabilities to stay active The eighth annual Big Health Check and Social Care Open Day will take place in Gloucester this month.

The event is aimed at helping people with learning disabilities to stay active and healthy. The popular day is expected to be even bigger than usual this year, as it will also mark the launch of Special Olympics Gloucestershire (SO Glos).

Those attending the event, on Wednesday 25 May, at Oxstalls Sports Park, will be able to take part in a wide range of activities.

Following the launch of SO Glos, a number of competitions, in a wide range of sports, will then take place across the county in the coming months, for sports people with learning disabilities.

Simon Shorrick, Strategic Health Facilitator for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, is the event’s co-ordinator. He said they were expecting more than 1,000 people to attend this year.

He said: “We’re really looking forward to our eighth annual Big Health Check Day, which promises to be bigger than ever.

“It is a brilliant opportunity to bring people with learning disabilities and their carers together, to meet new friends and, most importantly, have fun.

“We have a wide range of partners attending the event and it will give people the opportunity to find out more about local services and share their views.”

Simon highlighted some of the activities which would be taking place: “This year, we have organised interactive workshops on assistive technology (equipment that promotes independent living) and GDance, which is an inclusive and diverse dance group.

“There will be wide range of stalls for people to browse, and people will be able to have a go at plenty of sporting activities, including adapted tennis, football,  Boccia, golf, adapted bikes, snooker adapted bikes and trikes, adapted athletics, football and trampolining.”

Other attractions will include the Great Western Ambulance Service mobile response unit, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Gloucestershire Constabulary, a big red double decker bus and Mobiloo, who will be demonstrating their accessible changing, hoist and toilet facility.

The Big Health Check Day has been organised in partnership with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Voices, Active Gloucestershire, the Barnwood Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. Volunteer support has been provided from Hartpury College, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester College and Gloucestershire Voices.

Tim Heaven, Zara Humphrey and Jan Marriott, co-Chairs of Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board, said: “We are grateful for all the work that has taken place to make this Big Health Check and Social Care Day the best ever. There are an amazing number of organisations coming to show people what they do.

“We are so glad to see the Special Olympics back in Gloucestershire so that people with learning disabilities have the chance to compete against other people at a national and international level in a range of sporting activities.” 

The event, which runs from 9.30am-4pm, is open to anyone with a learning disability, as well as their families, carers and support workers.

Big Health Check Day is part of the implementation of the all-age, all-disability, Building Better Lives strategy.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/day-encourages-people-with-learning-disabilities-to-stay-active http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/day-encourages-people-with-learning-disabilities-to-stay-active Tue, 10 May 16 10:12:11 +0000
2gether Focuses on Building Relationships For Mental Health Awareness Week Activities are being held across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) 2016.

The occasion – which runs from 16-22 May – is organised annually by the Mental Health Foundation. The theme of this year’s week is relationships.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust is working with a range of partners to support MHAW and is coordinating events to raise awareness of mental wellbeing, promote advice and highlight locally available support.

Gill Oxley, Social Inclusion Team Manager for 2gether, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week again this year.

“While we work all year round to support people with mental health conditions, Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity for us to reach out to even more people.

“Quality relationships are essential for good mental health and we want to encourage people to think about the impact their relationships can have on their mental health. We also want to highlight how common mental health issues are, the steps we can take to improve our own mental wellbeing and the support that is available.

“One in four of us will be experiencing a mental health problem at any given time, with the most common issues including depression, stress and anxiety.

“We hope to be able to spread the message to our local communities that people do not need to struggle alone. There is lot we can all do to improve our mental health and help is available for anyone who needs it. We’re hoping to see a great turn out at all our events.”

The following events are planned in Gloucestershire:

  • 10.30am-12.30pm, Monday 16 May – tackling stigma workshop and mental health awareness session with Sahara-Saheli women’s group in Cheltenham
  • 10am-2.30pm, Tuesday 17 May – information bus in Cheltenham High Street, outside Marks and Spencer.
  • 10.45am-12pm, Tuesday 17 May – interactive workshop on tackling stigma as part ofInternational Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia events being held by Cheltenham Borough Council.
  • 8.30am-2.30pm, Wednesday 18 May – information bus outside Cirencester Leisure Centre.
  • 10am-12pm Thursday 19 May - talk on mental health and autism with the ASD Service at the Main Place, Coleford.
  • 1.30-3.30pm Thursday 19 May – talk on mental health and autism with the ASD Service at Gloucester Library.
  • Saturday 21 May – participating in a recruitment drive for mental health professionals at the Emirates Stadium, London.

2gether is involved in the following events in Herefordshire:

  • 10am-2pm, Monday 16 May – Stand at Morrison’s, Leominster.
  • 10am-2pm, Tuesday 17 May – Stand at Countrywide, Ledbury.
  • Wednesday 18 May – Event at Hereford College with Strong Young Minds.
  • Thursday 19 May – Launch of the Big White Wall mental health support service for veterans.

More information about Mental Health Awareness Week is available on the Mental Health Foundation website here.

Our Let’s Talk service runs a number of free courses across both counties, which can help with different aspects of your mental health. To find out more about the courses on offer and to book ring: 0800 073 2200 or visit https://courses.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-focuses-on-building-relationships-for-mental-health-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-focuses-on-building-relationships-for-mental-health-awareness-week Fri, 29 Apr 16 15:03:55 +0000
Duncan Brings Years of Experience to 2gether Trust Board 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to welcome a second new non-executive director to the Trust board.

Duncan Sutherland, who lives just outside Hereford, brings with him years’ of experience as a non-executive director of a number of public companies.

Duncan was non-executive director of the British Waterways Board for eight years before stepping down. He is currently a non-executive director for High Speed 2, in a role focusing on economic growth, regeneration and property. His other non-executive director post is with the South Bank Sinfonia, which works with music graduates.

He is also a director of Sigma, a specialist regeneration company, working with local authorities.

Duncan said the role with the Trust appealed to him because it would allow him to draw on his previous experience, while being involved with a local organisation.

He explained: “I thought the Trust role looked very interesting when I saw it. 2gether looked like a really good Trust and had an excellent reputation, which was a big attraction. I also really wanted to be involved with a local organisation, as that wasn’t something I’d done before.

“I’d worked for several councils at a senior level, and my areas of responsibility had included planning, housing and regeneration, as well as social care. I want to draw on this experience for this new role.

“I’ve also had firsthand experience of mental health issues after my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia six or seven years ago.”

Duncan is looking forward to finding out more about the services the Trust offers and how it operates. He has already identified areas of the Trust he is keen to be involved in. He added: “I’m looking forward to my induction and am planning to do a lot of reading and asking questions to find out information. I also want to get out and about to different areas of the Trust and talking to staff and service users.

“I’m very interested in the specific issues facing the Herefordshire side of the Trust and I hope to use my skills in helping to resolve some of those. We need to look at how we plan and manage those issues.

“The Trust as a whole is facing a period of financial challenges and I’m looking forward to working with the Board to help the Trust react to that and create strategies to mitigate against these upcoming issues.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of the Trust, welcomed Duncan to the Board. She said: “Duncan’s personal interest in Herefordshire and the valuable skills he brings with him will make him an asset to the Board. I’m very much looking forward to working with him to take the Trust forward and to hearing his views on how we can react to the financial challenges facing us.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/duncan-brings-years-of-experience-to-2gether-trust-board http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/duncan-brings-years-of-experience-to-2gether-trust-board Mon, 25 Apr 16 16:03:57 +0000
Commitment to Carers Recognised with Gold Star Award

The commitment shown by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust towards working in partnership with carers has been recognised with the award of a gold star under the national Triangle of Care scheme. 

The Triangle of Care, which is run by the Carers Trust, brings carers, service users and professionals closer together to jointly promote the recovery of people with mental health conditions.  

The Trust was accepted as a member of the scheme in April 2015 and has now successfully achieved its first gold star.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for the Trust, said: “Since we were accepted into the Triangle of Care programme we have been working hard to embed its principles across our inpatient and crisis teams in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. 

“The Carers Trust has been very impressed by our commitment to the scheme, and the work we have carried out to date.

“We know however, that we still have more to do for family members to feel involved. We have recently launched the Triangle of Care scheme for young carers and we will now be working to embed the principles of the scheme across our community teams, with the aim of achieving our next star as soon as possible.

“Membership of the scheme is, however, about much more than accreditation. We hope that it demonstrates to our service users, families and communities, that we hold carers and the role that they play in the highest regard. Carers not only need our full support, they are also experts in their own right who should be fully integrated into the care process.

“We’d like to thank our partners – Carers Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Young Carers and Herefordshire Carers Support - as well as the Carers Trust for their continued support.” 

Jo Denney, Consultant for Occupational Therapy, who is leading implementation of the scheme across the Trust, added: “The gold star award is testimony to a huge joint effort. We would not be in this position if colleagues across the Trust had not got behind the scheme so wholeheartedly.

“We also have a lot to thank the individual carers who are involved in the programme for too – they really make the meetings we hold and the training we deliver real by supporting our staff to understand the challenges they face on a daily basis.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/commitment-to-carers-recognised-with-gold-star-award http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/commitment-to-carers-recognised-with-gold-star-award Thu, 21 Apr 16 12:10:38 +0000
BME Dementia Network Radio Adverts Secondary school children in Gloucestershire have been challenged to create a radio advert to be played during Dementia Awareness Week.

The challenge was set by the Gloucestershire Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Network for Dementia, a multi-agency organisation which works to improve access to memory assessment and community dementia services for people from BME communities.

The pupils were asked to design a radio advert, lasting up to 40 seconds, targeting people in Gloucestershire, particularly those who are worried about their memory or someone else’s memory.

And now it's down to you!

Six adverts have now been shortlisted and they are now being put to a public vote. The winning advert will be played on Gloucester FM, on 96.6 FM, during Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 15-21 May. 

The adverts can be found below. For adverts 1-5, you will be taken to a soundclip website to listen to the adverts. Advert 6 is a written poem which you can download and read.

 

Advert 1

 

 

Advert 2

 

 

Advert 3

 

 

Advert 4

 

 

Advert 5

 

 

Advert 6

 

To vote, send an email with the number of your favourite advert to 2gnft.comms@nhs.net.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/bme-dementia-network-radio-adverts http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/bme-dementia-network-radio-adverts Tue, 19 Apr 16 14:52:24 +0000
Trust Appoints New Non-Executive Director 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to announce that it has appointed a new non-executive director, Marcia Gallagher.

Marcia brings with her 40 years’ NHS service and her experience both as a qualified accountant and the holder of a number of senior functioning roles in the NHS.

Marcia, who lives in Lydbrook, in the Forest of Dean, worked in both commissioner and provider organisations in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and the West Midlands. More recently, she worked for NHS England, before her retirement in January 2016.

Marcia has had both a professional and personal involvement with mental health services, something that has helped drive her decision to become involved with 2gether. She explained: “I was attracted to 2gether by the good reputation the Trust has, but I also have a personal understanding, through a family member, of the importance of good mental health and the impact it can have on someone’s physical health.

“It’s an area that I am passionate about and one that I have been involved with throughout my career, having spent time on-call in a mental health unit, which gave me a good understanding of operational issues.

“I feel that I can make a difference and, in the words of the Trust, I want to make life better.

“I want to ensure there is high quality patient care available for all service users. I want, where possible, to strive towards a service that is designed around an individual’s specific needs.”

Throughout her career she has undertaken a variety of voluntary work, something she has continued into retirement with her work with the Royal Voluntary Service.

She is keen to use the skills she has developed during her career in her role as non-executive director and Chair of the Audit Committee for the Trust. Marcia said: “I believe I’ve still got a contribution to make to the NHS. I feel that the skills I have obtained in my career are transferable and will allow me to bring independent advice and a breadth of experience to my role as a non-executive director.”

Marcia recognises the challenges that the Trust faces going forward and feels her experience will be valuable in guiding the Trust through this. She added: “I have no doubt that the Trust is entering an increasingly challenging financial climate, and I want to ensure that I help steer it through that challenging time, while continuing to try to improve the quality of care.

“As chair of the Audit Committee, I want to build upon the good financial systems, processes and governance that already exist within 2gether.

“I am delighted to be joining the trust and see it as a real privilege to be able to make a contribution.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed Marcia’s appointment. She said: “Marcia is a very welcome addition to our team. We look forward to utilising her skills and experience, which will stand her in good stead as a non-executive director. As chair of the Audit Committee, she will have an important role to play in our future development and our continued drive to provide the best possible service to all the communities we serve.”

The Trust is currently looking to appoint another non-executive director. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.gatenbysanderson.com/job/non-executive-director-at-2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-in-gloucestershire-and-herefordshire.4936

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-appoints-new-non-executive-director http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-appoints-new-non-executive-director Mon, 11 Apr 16 13:50:05 +0000
New Health Facility for the Forest of Dean A new base for the teams who treat and support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions has opened in the Forest of Dean.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s new Forest ‘hub’ at Colliers Court, in Cinderford, will be home to nurses, doctors, therapists, psychologists, support workers and social workers.

Jan Furniaux, 2gether’s Service Director for Gloucestershire Localities, highlighted that the building was a sign of the Trust’s commitment to providing high quality services in the area.

She said: “Our site at Colliers Court has been used as a location for health services for many years, and we have invested in the site through a significant renovation project.

“The result is a fantastic, bright and spacious base where we can make sure our teams and, most importantly, the service users and carers we support are given the best possible facilities to support recovery.”

The Trust’s Forest teams previously worked from Coleford House and Underleaf, in Coleford, and from rented accommodation in the Belle Vue Centre, Cinderford.  There were already some Trust teams based at Colliers Court.

The teams now working in Colliers Court include:

  • The Adult Mental Health Recovery Team
  • Older People Team
  • Children and Young People Service
  • Vocational Service
  • Assertive Outreach
  • Learning Disability Services
  • Complex Psychological Intervention
  • Managing Memory 2gether
  • Care Home Support
  • Integrated Care Team (including Let’s Talk/Improved Access to Psychological Therapy)

The teams in the Forest have, in the past year, provided an average of more than 1,260 appointments each month.

People who access 2gether’s services are generally referred by their GP or other health professionals, however certain services can be accessed directly. These include:

  • Let’s Talk, which can be contacted on 0800 073 2200 by anyone experiencing conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Managing Memory, which can be contacted on 0800 694 8800 by anyone worried about memory, people with dementia and carers of people with dementia.

For further information on 2gether’s services, visit www.2gether.nhs.uk.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-health-facility-for-the-forest-of-dean http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-health-facility-for-the-forest-of-dean Wed, 06 Apr 16 15:03:49 +0000
Mental Health Transport Survey As part of the South West Region Mental Health Transport Review, Gloucestershire County Council is seeking the views of people who have been transported under the Mental Heath Act (MHA).

The following link will take you to the survey: Mental Health Transport Survey.

The deadline for comments is 17th June 2016.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/mental-health-transport-survey http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/mental-health-transport-survey Mon, 04 Apr 16 16:45:01 +0000
2gether and Gloucestershire Young Carers launch young carers Triangle of Care 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Young Carers have launched a Triangle of Care for young carers.

The Triangle of Care is a national scheme, introduced by the Carers' Trust, which brings together carers, service users and professionals. It aims to promote safety and recovery for people with mental health issues, and encourage their wellbeing by including and supporting their carers.

Becca Shute, Head of Profession for Occupational Therapy for 2gether, said: “The young carers’ triangle follows the same principles as the adult carers’ one, but has been created separately to make sure the needs of young carers aren’t overlooked.

“This is our way of keeping our promise to work together to support young carers.”

Young carer Kira, aged 18, said she was very pleased young carers had their own Triangle of Care. She added: “It’s great to be formally included. If adult carers are, then we should be too.”

Michael, aged 18, who is also a young carer, explained why the young carers’ Triangle of Care is important: “It makes it clear to health care professionals where we as young carers fit in, and helps remind them that we need to be included as well when talking about the person we care for.”

The young carers’ Triangle of Care is based on six principles that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers:

  • Identify young carers and be aware of them
  • Make sure our staff are aware of young carers’ needs
  • Find the best ways to share information and keep people informed
  • Key people in 2gether to be responsible for carers and act as champions
  • Information and advice is available
  • Access to support is available

 

(Pictured, from left to right, are Becca Shute, Head of Profession for Occupational Therapy for 2gether, young carers Kira and Michael, and Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.)

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-and-gloucestershire-young-carers-launch-young-carers-triangle-of-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-and-gloucestershire-young-carers-launch-young-carers-triangle-of-care Fri, 01 Apr 16 09:55:56 +0000
Share Your Views About 2gether People in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are being asked for their views on local NHS mental health community services.

The survey for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) is part of the national programme led by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is being carried out by Quality Health, an independent research organisation.

The independent annual survey is an important way for the Trust to seek the views of people in their care.

It seeks to find out what service users think about different aspects of the care they receive from the Trust. This includes care planning; availability of information; and your views about communication with health and social care workers.

The survey is used alongside a number of measures of Trust performance of patient and carer experience. These include feedback provided to our local Patient Liaison Services (PALS), the Trust’s Service Experience Team and local surveys that can be undertaken around the Trust sites and within the community. Members of the public can also leave their feedback on the Trust website by clicking here.

Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: “We really value the time that people take to provide us with feedback about the service that they receive. The results from the national survey help us to make appropriate improvements to our services and improve patient experience.”

The survey is sent out to a random selection of service users and is used by the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission, local Commissioners and others to assess how well the Trust is meeting the needs of patients. It also helps measures overall patient experience.

Jane continued: “If you receive a survey, please take some time to share your views about the care you received with us. We are committed to providing responsive, personalised and high quality care. Your feedback will help us understand what changes we need to make so we can continue to improve local mental health community services”.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether1 Mon, 21 Mar 16 15:56:36 +0000
Taster Sessions For Recovery College Taster sessions are being held in the Forest of Dean for anyone interested in signing up for courses with the Severn and Wye Recovery College.

The college provides free courses for people recovering from mental illness. Anyone interested in finding out more can attend the sessions at the Belle Vue Centre, in Cinderford, on April 18 and 25 from 2 to 4.30pm.

The Severn and Wye Recovery College is provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust with other partners. The courses offered teach participants about mental health conditions, treatments, the best ingredients for recovery, and how to plan for the future.

They are aimed at anyone with experience of enduring mental illness, aged 16 and above. Students should either be a current 2gether service user or should have recently been discharged from 2gether services.

There are also places on courses for carers and professionals.

To book a place on the sessions ring 01452 894204 or visit www.swrecovery.org.uk for more information.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/taster-sessions-for-recovery-college http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/taster-sessions-for-recovery-college Wed, 16 Mar 16 13:19:19 +0000
Joining Up Your Information NHS clinical staff and social care professionals in Gloucestershire are teaming up to improve the way they share patient information.

Joining Up Your Information is a project led by family doctors, hospitals, community and mental health trusts and Gloucestershire County Council. It will make an agreed set of information from each organisation immediately available to health and care professionals from other local organisations using a secure, electronic system.

Historically, different NHS and social care organisations have developed a range of specialised electronic systems to store patient records. This means important information held in one part of the health and social care system might not be readily available to doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals in others.

The new system will only be accessed by authorised clinical staff and social care professionals through their existing record systems.

Project leaders say providing a strictly controlled set of view-only details from each system will mean:

  •  More appropriate and safer care
  •  Fewer delays while telephone or written requests are submitted
  •  Fewer tests being repeated or carried out unnecessarily
  •  Patients won’t need to answer the same questions many times
  •  Clinical staff devoting more time to patient care, rather than chasing information from different sources
  •  Fewer unplanned hospital admissions and shorter stays in hospital
  •  A more effective and secure way to share information in a controlled manner.

Dr Malcolm Gerald, a Gloucestershire GP and the clinical lead for information technology at the county’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation that funds NHS care locally, said: "Vital information should be made available to trained and qualified clinicians and social care professionals when and where it is needed – to support timely care.

"Often it will be in an NHS file or on an NHS computer system that isn’t available to the person delivering treatment.

"This could be information held at a GP practice that would be important for an out-of-hours GP, community nurse or hospital consultant to know.

"Joining Up Your Information will improve efficiency and the quality of care we provide."

The project team will shortly be sending a letter and information leaflet to every patient aged 16 and over registered with a Gloucestershire GP practice.

These will explain the benefits of better information sharing and the importance of more joined up care across the NHS and social care sectors. It will also outline how people who do not wish to take part can opt out.

Partners in the Joining Up Your Information shared health and social care information project are:

  •  Gloucestershire GPs and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
  •  Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust
  •      2gether NHS Foundation Trust
  •      South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (including the out of hours GP service)
  •      Gloucestershire County Council Social Care

The first phase of the system is expected to be live by autumn 2016.

For more information about the project visit www.mylocalsharedinfo.org 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/joining-up-your-information http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/joining-up-your-information Tue, 15 Mar 16 16:53:05 +0000
Art psychotherapy groups in Gloucestershire museums help with mental health issues 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been using Gloucestershire’s museums to provide a different environment for art psychotherapy sessions for people experiencing mental health issues.

The groups have been run by Art Psychotherapists from the trust’s Complex Psychological Interventions teams, and are an innovative approach to art psychotherapy for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.

One group, catering for 18-25-year-olds, has recently finished running at Gloucester City Museum, while another, for adults of all ages, has got underway at The Museum in the Park, Stroud. NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group helped fund the Gloucester group through their Cultural Commissioning programme.

Art Psychotherapist Ali Coles explained what happens during the sessions: “By holding these sessions in the community, we are increasing social inclusion. We work with the exhibits and objects within the museum, as well as art-making, using them as a stimulus for self-exploration, to enable people to reflect on their feelings and experiences.

“This is a growing area of interest for Art Psychotherapists, so we’re really pleased the groups have had such positive feedback from those attending.”

Overall, participants in the Gloucester City Museums group felt a significant decrease in the severity of problems they experienced and an increase in their self-esteem.

One group member said: “Holding the group in a museum was so much better and not so clinical. I could be a person, not a patient.”

Other feedback included: “The museum objects make you think more and surprise yourself.”

“The objects are like a springboard.”

“The group helped me to find new interests; I hated museums before and now I love them.”

For more information about art psychotherapy, please visit www.baat.org and to find out more about art therapy in museums and galleries, please visit www.atmag.org.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-psychotherapy-groups-in-gloucestershire-museums- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-psychotherapy-groups-in-gloucestershire-museums- Tue, 01 Mar 16 09:19:10 +0000
ROSCA winners announced The hard work and dedication of mental health and social care staff from all across 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised at an annual awards ceremony.

The ninth Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) took place at Hatherley Manor Hotel, near Gloucester, this evening (26 February).

About 140 staff, volunteers, service users and carers from across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire attended and awards were presented in 10 categories.

In addition, long service awards were presented to staff who have given either 20 or 30 years’ dedication to the NHS.

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our ROSCAs celebrate the dedication, compassion and commitment of those who work on behalf of the trust to provide mental health services across the two counties, striving to improve life for those in our communities.

“It is an honour to be able to recognise the devotion of these teams and individuals, and to celebrate the huge difference they have made to our service users’ lives.

“As well as congratulating the winners, we should also congratulate all those who were nominated; it is inspiring to read about their work and they all provide a service of the highest quality, for which they should receive our sincere thanks.”

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, 2gether, said: “This is the ninth year we have run the ROSCAs and it is always a privilege to have the opportunity to recognise, say thank you and celebrate publicly the caring and compassionate way in which our colleagues carry out their work in our local communities.

“Everyone nominated for a ROSCA represents the best of what 2gether is about and I thank each and every one of them.

“I am also delighted to be able to recognise colleagues receiving their long service awards this evening. Between them, they have given more than 1,500 years’ service to the NHS; a wealth of care, compassion and dedication which we thank them for.”

More than 210 nominations were made for this year’s awards. Nominations are made by staff, service users, carers and the general public.

The ROSCAs judging panel consisted of service users, trust governors, trade unions and sponsors.

Organisations and companies sponsoring the ROSCAs this year were Alpha Colour Printers, Midcounties Cooperative, Gloucestershire Young Carers, and West of England Academic Health Science Network. 

The list of winners is as follows:

Unsung Hero
The ‘4 Me About Me’ Group

Award for Innovation
Tina Kukstas - Lead Nurse, Dementia Care, Sherborne House, Cheltenham

Carer and Service User Involvement Award
Eleanor Heath and Greg Luetchford – Staff Nurse and Clinical Manager, Oak House, Hereford

Valuing Diversity
Kathy Holmes and Zain Patel - Engagement and Involvement Lead, Lexham Lodge, and Social Inclusion Development Worker, 18 Denmark Road, Gloucester

Best Supporting Colleague
Jenny Rogers – Deputy Ward Manager, Oak House, Hereford

Best Supporting Manager
Damian Gardner - Head of AMH Psychology, St Owen Street, Hereford

Service Users’ and Carers’ Choice
Lesley Hirons - Employment Specialist, Burleigh House, Gloucester

Non-Clinical Team of the Year
Catering and Domestic Team, Laurel House, Cheltenham

Clinical Team of the Year
Dean Ward, Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester

The CEO Award for Outstanding Contribution
Mary Keating, Dementia Education Community and Service Development Lead, Charlton Lane, Cheltenham.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rosca-winners-announced http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rosca-winners-announced Mon, 29 Feb 16 16:09:08 +0000
Play written by Gloucestershire nurse puts dementia under the spotlight A nurse from Gloucestershire has created and written a play about dementia which is being performed at a Tewkesbury theatre next month.

Mary Keating, Community and Service Development Lead, Dementia and Education Training Team, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, has dedicated much of her career to working with older people, particularly those with dementia.

She has created and written ‘Al’s Yellow Slipper’, an educational intergenerational community play, which will be performed by Tewkesbury School and the Tewkesbury Community Groups at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, on Saturday 12 March.

The play tells the story of Al, a 70-year-old gentleman who receive a diagnosis of dementia. Following this, it then explores how he adjusts and changes as he grapples with dementia, and how his relationships with family, friends and his community are severely tested. The play attempts an honest portrayal of explaining the darker side of dementia, while at the same time using gentle humour and conveying hope.

The children from Tewkesbury School have been encouraged to be innovative and creative with the script, under the supervision of Miss Nicola Rope and Mr James Anthlett, Head of Drama, where they have been able to produce a remarkable piece of work.

Mary said: “I wrote this play to demonstrate the Prime Minister’s top five challenges on dementia 2020. As well as raising awareness of dementia and tackling the discrimination against people within our communities who have dementia, the play can also be used as an educational resource.

“I wanted to share a message that dementia is not something experienced in isolation, but very much a community, county, and national experience.

“There are believed to be just under nine thousand people in Gloucestershire living with dementia or memory difficulties, with thousands of people who support them and that includes family members, friends, neighbours and the wider community. Many of these people do not know where to go to find out relevant information, to understand the impact of dementia on the person, or how to approach the person. The play tries to address some of these questions.”

The play has been sponsored by the Barnwood Trust, Severn Vale Housing, Gloucestershire CCG , and Gloucestershire County Council.

There will be two performances of ‘Al’s Yellow Slipper’: a matinee at 2.30pm and an evening show at 7pm. You can buy tickets here: http://www.rosestheatre.org/events/entry/als-yellow-slipper

Mary has worked for the mental  health services in Gloucester for more than 27 years, predominantly working with older people and, in particular, people with dementia. She has been relentless in her work to improve the quality of life for people with dementia. As well as her work for the trust, she has also published articles in the UK and abroad on dementia leadership, and has spoken at conferences on specialism and leadership in dementia.

She has been very interested in developing the community model, where people can gain a greater confidence in supporting other people to live their lives with dementia, and the production of ‘Al’s Yellow Slipper’ is part of a dementia-friendly community model which Tewkesbury is working to deliver.

Please note, the play is not suitable for children under 12 years’ old and, due to the nature of one or two scenes, may not be suitable for people who have been diagnosed with dementia.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/play-written-by-gloucestershire-nurse-puts-dementia-under-the-spotlight http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/play-written-by-gloucestershire-nurse-puts-dementia-under-the-spotlight Thu, 25 Feb 16 16:01:27 +0000
Record nominations received for annual health awards A record number of nominations have been received for 2gether’s latest Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs).

More than 200 nominations were received for the annual awards, which recognise the dedication of the staff and volunteers who work in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

A judging panel, consisting of service users, carers, public governors, trust management, sponsors and staff representatives, faced the difficult challenge of whittling the list down to a shortlist of just three nominations for each category.

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of  2gether NHS Foundation Trust, who chaired the panel, said: “As usual, the standard of nominations was extremely high and this led to considerable debate among the judging panel in order to create a shortlist.

“These awards really highlight the high standard of care and support provided by the dedicated individuals who work and volunteer with the trust.

“I thank all of the nominees for their continued dedication, and look forward to celebrating the achievements of all of those shortlisted, as well as the long service award recipients, at our celebratory event next month.”

The nominees will be honoured at an awards ceremony on Friday 26 February, alongside their colleagues who have achieved 20 or 30 years’ NHS service.

The 2015 ROSCAs are being sponsored by Alpha Colour Printers, West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN), Midcounties Co-operative and Gloucestershire Young Carers.

Deborah Evans, Managing Director of the West of England Academic Health Science Network, which is one of the award sponsors, said:  “We are pleased to sponsor the Recognising Outstanding Service Contribution and Achievement award. There are many inspiring examples of staff going the extra mile to support service users and make an outstanding commitment to the service.”

The shortlisted teams and individuals are as follows:

Unsung hero

  • The ‘4 Me About Me’ Group
  • Dan Beale – Expert by Lived Experience
  • Tracy Hodge and Ellie the PAT dog – Volunteer, Charlton Lane Centre, Cheltenham

Award for Innovation

  • Tina Kukstas - Lead Nurse, Dementia Care, Sherborne House, Cheltenham
  • Marva McIntosh-Rose and Molly Tomkins – Healthcare Assistants, Charlton Lane Centre, Cheltenham
  • Anna Phillips – Senior Nurse Practitioner, The Knoll, Ross on Wye

Carer and Service User Involvement Award

  • Eleanor Heath and Greg Luetchford – Staff Nurse and Clinical Manager, Oak House, Hereford
  • Mental Health Intermediate Care Team Administration Team
  • Andy Telford - CSM West Locality, Gloucestershire

Valuing Diversity

  • Dan Beale, Kathryn Charlesworth and Kate Nelmes - Expert by Lived Experience, Social Inclusion Development Worker, 18 Denmark Road, Communications Manager, Rikenel
  • Elaine Davies and Tanya Stacey - Clinical Team Leader, Belmont, Hereford, and  Social Inclusion Development Worker, Monkmoor Court
  • Kathy Holmes and Zain Patel - Engagement and Involvement Lead, Lexham Lodge, and Social Inclusion Development Worker, 18 Denmark Road, Gloucester

Best Supporting Colleague

  • Tania Allen – Administration and Facilities Manager, Wotton Lawn, Gloucester
  • Paula Mann – Community Support Worker, Fieldview, Gloucester
  • Jenny Rogers – Deputy Ward Manager, Oak House, Hereford

Best Supporting Manager

  • Damian Gardner - Head of AMH Psychology, St Owen Street, Hereford
  • Dr Paul Winterbottom – Medical Director, Rikenel, Gloucester
  • Colin Wright – Deputy Manager, Hollybrook, Stroud

Service Users’ and Carers’ Choice

  • Lisa Bubb - Activities Co-ordinator, Laurel House, Cheltenham
  • Lesley Hirons - Employment Specialist, Burleigh House, Gloucester
  • Alix Hudman - Recovery Occupational Therapist, Park House, Stroud

Non Clinical Team of the Year

  • Catering and Domestic Team, Laurel House, Cheltenham
  • Health Records/Mental Health Act Administration Team
  • IT Department, Rikenel, Gloucester

Clinical Team of the Year

  • Assertive Outreach Team, Leckhampton Lodge, Cheltenham
  • Care Home Support Team, Countywide
  • Dean Ward, Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester

The CEO Award for Outstanding Contribution

Mary Keating, Dementia Education Community and Service Development Lead, Charlton Lane, Cheltenham.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-nominations-received-for-annual-health-awards http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/record-nominations-received-for-annual-health-awards Wed, 10 Feb 16 13:24:30 +0000
Children's Mental Health Lessons at SkillZONE A new mental health awareness scenario has been added to the courses on offer at SkillZONE, Gloucestershire’s safety education centre.

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, so 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and SkillZONE are pleased to be able to launch this module for young people across Gloucestershire, to raise awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing.

SkillZONE, in Tuffley Lane, Gloucester, is a state-of-the-art life-size village, which provides a fully interactive learning environment to teach people of all ages how to recognise dangerous situations and stay safe.

Kathryn Charlesworth, a social inclusion development worker with 2gether, has been involved in putting the new scenario together. She explained: “We’d been involved in incorporating mental health awareness into a similar project in Hereford and wanted to make it Trust-wide by including it at SkillZONE.

“We created a scenario based around the five ways of well-being, making the ideas accessible to children.”

Donna Potts, SkillZONE Manager, Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “I am delighted that SkillZONE is able to build on the prevention education it offers children and young people by including this emotional wellbeing scenario and I am sure it will be a huge success with our visitors.”

The scenario, which is optional for schools visiting SkillZONE, looks at each of the five ways of well-being and uses an activity to raise awareness of them.

They are:

  • Connect
  • Give
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning
  • Be active

Teachers can then continue the activities back at their schools, thanks to a special resources box created by Kathryn and her team.

Kathryn explained why it is important that children learn about mental health: “We want to teach children how to stay happy and help them build mental resilience, while giving them the skills to look after themselves.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/childrens-mental-health-lessons-at-skillzone http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/childrens-mental-health-lessons-at-skillzone Mon, 08 Feb 16 14:25:15 +0000
Recovery Units Accredited as Excellent Two Recovery Inpatient Units in Cheltenham have been recognised for the high standards of care they provide.

The Laurel House and Honeybourne Recovery Inpatient Units are run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and are used by adults with a serious mental illness, predominantly psychosis.

They were assessed in August by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and were officially accredited under the Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) scheme, with a rating of ‘excellent’ – the best available.

Helen Elliott, matron for both units, said she was extremely pleased with the results of the assessment. She said: “This accreditation reflects the commitment and dedication of the teams at both units.

“As well as reflecting the hard work of our staff, this is also positive news for our service users, as it ensures they will continue to receive a high standard of care when using our units.”

The units, which are both situated in Swindon Road, aim to work with service users to help them establish the best possible quality of life and enable them to live as independently as their individual abilities allow.

The application for AIMS accreditation includes service users and family carers checking progress against a number of care and organisational standards. Accreditation is only granted following a visit from Royal College of Psychiatrist assessors, who check current practice within the Unit.

AIMS was set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to identify and acknowledge services with high standards of organisation and care, and with a view to helping other healthcare providers to achieve these standards.

To read more about the Royal College of Psychiatrists, visit www.rcpsych.ac.uk

To find out more about Laurel House and Honeybourne, visit http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-inpatients-units

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-units-accredited-as-excellent http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-units-accredited-as-excellent Tue, 02 Feb 16 10:45:43 +0000
Herefordshire Lets Talk Courses A range of free courses to support people who are dealing with anxiety, stress and depression are being offered throughout Herefordshire.

Let’s Talk is an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service and is part of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. The courses provide education on topics related to stress, anxiety and depression, and cover practical techniques and tips to help people learn to manage their mood.

The courses run for four to eight weeks, are run by friendly and professional staff, and are open to anyone who wishes to use them. Some courses are only available for people registered with a Herefordshire GP.

To book a course, please click here or phone 0800 073 2200.

The following courses are listed below, with their start dates:

  • Managing Hot Flushes:  Hereford, Friday 5 February, 9.30-11.30am.
  • Stress and Anxiety For Older Adults (over 65s): Hereford, Tuesday 23 February, 2.30-4pm.
  • Managing Your Stress and Anxiety: Hereford, Tuesday 23 February, 6-8pm.
  • Managing Your Stress and Anxiety: Ross-on-Wye, Thursday 25 February, 2.30-4.30pm.
  • Boost Your Mood: Leominster, Monday 22 February, 2.30-4.30pm.
  • Lift Your Low Self-Esteem: Hereford, Friday 26 February, 2.30-4.30pm.
  • Let’s Talk Sleep: Hereford, Friday 19 February, 10-11.30am.
  • Emotional Wellbeing for New Parents: Hereford, Monday 22 February, 12.30-2.30pm.
  • Boost Your Mood: Hereford, Thursday 10 March, 9.30-11.30am.
  • Emotional Wellbeing: Hereford, Wednesday 16 March, 10-11.30am
  • Understanding Grief: Hereford, Wednesday 9 March, 2.30-3.30pm.

For more information, please visit the Let’s Talk website by clicking here. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-lets-talk-courses http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-lets-talk-courses Mon, 01 Feb 16 10:32:09 +0000
Its Time to Talk Mental Health

2gether NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to speak openly about mental health.

The Trust is supporting national Time to Talk Day on Thursday 4 February, which aims to encourage people all over the country to take five minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

The conversations can take place anywhere and with anyone, such as with friends, family, work colleagues, fellow students, and in workplaces, schools, colleges, in the community and even online.

Time To Talk Day is organised by national anti-stigma campaign Time to Change. 2gether is holding a number of events in the two counties to provide support, information and encouragement for those who want to start a conversation.

Dominika Lipska-Rosecka, Social Inclusion Team Manager with 2gether, explained why the trust is supporting Time To Talk. She said: “Many people feel that mental health is still a taboo subject. We want to encourage people to talk about their condition and to feel that they can seek help when they need to.

“We have arranged a number of events for Time To Talk Day to try to encourage people to have these important conversations and to think about their mental health.

“One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health condition each year so we need to speak as openly about mental health as we do about every other aspect of our health and wellbeing.

“Although Time To Talk Day is a simple concept, we believe it could be very effective in breaking down the stigma that exists around mental health. We would encourage everyone to use the day to take five minutes to discuss mental health and well-being with anyone they wish.”

Events will be taking place across the UK to mark the day and the trust is supporting several in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. They are:

  • Gloucester Get 2gether – an event focusing on young people’s mental health, taking place at Gloucestershire College from 5-7.30pm on 4 February. Anyone wishing to attend will need to register by contacting 2gnft.comms@nhs.net
  • The Trust will have stands at:
    • King’s Walk, Gloucester, from 10am-2pm, Wednesday 3 February
    • Herefordshire and Ludlow College library, from 10am-2pm, Thursday 4 February
    • Cheltenham Borough Council Community Engagement team is holding Time to Talk sessions, supported by the Trust, at two of their Cheltenham Our Place hubs. They are:
      • St Paul’s group, St Paul’s Community Hub Internet Café, St Paul’s Walk, from 8.30-11am, Thursday 4 February
  • We’ll also be assisting with stands set up by Stroud District Council and Gloucestershire County Council for their employees.
  • We’ll be facilitating a workshop for Cheltenham Borough Council employees on tackling stigma, as well as supporting them in holding a tea and talk event for their staff.

To find out more about Time to Talk Day and get involved, click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-talk-mental-health1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-talk-mental-health1 Thu, 28 Jan 16 14:19:39 +0000
Trust Rated Good by CQC The Care Quality Commission has today published its report detailing the findings of the Comprehensive Inspection of our services, which took place in late October last year.

We have been rated as 'good' overall.

The report is made up of 10 specific service reports and an overall summary report. The table below details the rating that the CQC has given each of these 10 service areas across each of the five domains.

  Safe Effective Caring Responsive Well-led Overall
Acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) Outstanding Good Good Good Outstanding Outstanding
Long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults Requires improvement Good Good Good Good Good
Forensic inpatient/secure wards Good Good Good Good Good Good
Child and adolescent mental health wards Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Wards for older people with mental health problems Requires improvement Good Good Good Good Good
Wards for people with a learning disability or autism Requires improvement Requires improvement Good Requires improvement Requires improvement Requires improvement
Community based mental health services for adults of working age Requires improvement Good Good Good Good Good
Mental health crisis services and health based places of safety Good Good Outstanding Outstanding Good Outstanding
Specialist community mental health services for children and young people Good Good Good Good Good Good
Community based mental health services for older people Good Requires improvement Good Good Requires improvement Requires improvement
Community mental health services for people with a learning disability or autism Good Good Good Good Requires improvement Good
Overall Requires improvement Good Good Good Good Good

 

As you can see, whilst we have been rated as 'good' overall, we have two service areas that have been rated as 'outstanding' and two service areas which have been rated as 'requires improvement'.

Our Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: "The Care Quality Commission has provided us with a fresh perspective on our services, and we welcome publication of this report.

"We are pleased to note the many examples of good practice and comments on the quality of care we are providing. We are able to deliver this level of service due to our talented, skilled, committed and caring staff as well as the collaboration and support of our commissioners and partners.

"We have learnt a lot through the inspection process and have either already put in place or are in the process of putting in place the improvements the inspectors have recommended.

"While the report provides a great deal of assurance, we will continue to look for ways in which we can further improve our services.

"Early access to treatment is extremely important in successfully alleviating the distress caused by mental illness. We hope this report provides reassurance to anyone in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire who needs our treatment for themselves or their loved ones and encourages them to seek support if required. One in four people will experience a mental health problem at any given time, and it’s important to speak up and seek help when needed."

To read the report in full, click here.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-rated-good-by-cqc http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-rated-good-by-cqc Thu, 28 Jan 16 10:05:30 +0000
Get 2gether to Talk Young Peoples Mental Health It’s Time to Talk about young people’s mental health at a ‘get 2gether' in Gloucester. 

The event is being organised by the Governors of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and takes place on national Time to Talk Day, which is Thursday, 4 February.

Gloucestershire College, in Llanthony Road, Gloucester, will be hosting the event, which runs from 5pm to 7.30pm.

Visitors will be able to find out more about the services provided locally by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and its partner agencies, and information about how to access them.

As well as being able to ask questions about the Trust’s work, there will be an opportunity to make suggestions about how the Trust can support the mental health and well-being of young people in the local area. People can also become members of the Trust at the event.

Gillian Hayes, one of 2gether’s Public Governors for Gloucester, said: "This event provides an opportunity for people to find out more about how we work with young people in our local area to support their mental health needs and their well-being.

"It is a great opportunity to find out more about the work of the Trust, and about the services we provide, alongside the other agencies we work with.

"The aim of Time to Talk Day is to get as many people as possible talking about mental health and break the silence that often surrounds this issue."

Gillian’s fellow Governor, Paul Toleman, said: "We want to raise awareness of young people’s mental health and well-being, so we urge people to attend our event and take the time to talk about this important issue."

Sue Steed, Vice Principal at Gloucestershire College, said:  "The College is proud to support raising awareness of mental health issues which affect so many young people in today’s society."

For more information about the event, or to register to attend, please contact Debbie Robbens on 01452 894007 or email 2gnft.comms@nhs.net 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-to-talk-young-peoples-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-to-talk-young-peoples-mental-health Thu, 21 Jan 16 09:23:05 +0000
Dementia Network Sets Radio Advert Challenge Secondary school children in Gloucestershire are being challenged to create a radio advert to be played during Dementia Awareness Week.

The challenge has been set by the Gloucestershire Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Network for Dementia, a multi-agency organisation which works to improve access to memory assessment and community dementia services for people from BME communities.

The pupils are being asked to design a radio advert, lasting up to 40 seconds, targeting people in Gloucestershire, particularly those who are worried about their memory or someone else’s memory.

The winning advert will be played on Gloucester FM, on 96.6 FM, during Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 15-21 May.

Kathy Holmes, the Engagement and Involvement Lead for Managing Memory 2gether, part of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, has been involved in setting the challenge. She said: "There are about 800,000 people in the UK with dementia and understanding of dementia can vary depending on the cultural context. This can lead to a delay in early assessment and access to potential support and treatment options.

"By setting this challenge, we hope to raise awareness of dementia across Gloucestershire and alert people to the signs of this illness, as well as telling them where they can get help.

"We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing what the students create."

The closing date for entries to the competition is Thursday 17 March and it is open to pupils from all Gloucestershire secondary schools.

The essential elements the advert needs to cover are:

  •  quickly describe how dementia can affect people
  •  help people recognise that dementia is an illness
  •  highlight the importance of getting help early
  •  where to get help: your GP or Managing Memory 2gether on 0800 694 8800
  •  no longer than 40 seconds in duration.

Entries should be submitted to Kathy Holmes on kathy.holmes2@nhs.net or Rachel Peak on Rachel.peak@nhs.net

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-network-sets-radio-advert-challenge http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-network-sets-radio-advert-challenge Mon, 18 Jan 16 15:36:51 +0000
Council of Governor Meeting - 19 January 2gether NHS Foundation Trust's Council of Governors is holding a formal meeting on Tuesday 19 January and everyone is welcome to attend.

The meeting is held in public and is chaired by the Trust’s Chair, Ruth FitzJohn DL. 

Trust Governors have an important role in our Trust: they reflect the views of Trust members, appoint the Trust Chair, promote and support the Trust’s strategy, hold the Board’s Non-Executive Directors to account and help the Trust to decide its future direction. 

One of the key functions of the Council meeting is for Governors to receive and respond to information presented by the Trust’s Executives, Non-Executives and other colleagues to help provide assurance about the Trust's performance.

The meeting will take place:

Date: Tuesday 19 January 2016 at 10:30 – 12:30

Venue: The Business Continuity Room, Trust HQ, Rikenel. 

Papers for the meeting can be requested by contacting Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165.

For more information about our Council of Governors, please click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governor-meeting---tuesday-19-january- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governor-meeting---tuesday-19-january- Wed, 06 Jan 16 12:45:14 +0000
Safeguard Your Mental Health this Christmas Experts are encouraging everyone to safeguard their mental health and wellbeing this Christmas.

The festive season can be particularly busy, so 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is offering some useful tips and advice to help combat the stresses and strains the season might bring. 

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, of the Trust’s Let’s Talk service, said: “For those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is often thought of as being a time for enjoyment and getting together with family and friends.

“It’s sometimes easy to forget that it can also be a very demanding time. It can be stressful as it involves a lot of expectation, expense and organisation. 

“Some people find it lonely and potentially a sad time if they are far away from people they miss or if their loved ones are no longer alive.

“We want people to be able to enjoy their Christmas and spend the time relaxing and resting, and we hope our advice may make that a bit more possible. There is, however, also support available if you are struggling with your mental health.”

Tips and advice from Let’s Talk include:

  • Be realistic about what can be achieved and afforded. Don’t aim for perfection and be disappointed.
  • Share the work out. Don’t take on every responsibility, such as shopping, cooking and coordinating engagements just because you always do. Ask someone else to help you out – people are often grateful to be asked.
  • Plan in advance. List making is an age old tactic, but it really works, and don’t leave everything until the last minute.
  • Make sure you get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Both are scientifically proven to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Don’t drink to excess. Alcohol can make you act in a way you might regret, and it can also have a depressive affect.
  • Try not to spend too much money. Gifts are not the most important part of Christmas and you may be storing up problems for the future if you get yourself into debt.
  • Help other people. Helping and giving to others will benefit the recipient of the help as well as yourself.
  • Take a break. If the family is getting too much, take a break, a spot of meditation or a walk in fresh air will help. Try to not let tensions mount up. 
  • Be sure to check up on family and friends – particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Loneliness can be a particular issue over Christmas, so try and make sure no one spends the whole time without visitors or company.
  • Get enough sleep. A good sleep pattern can help you maintain good mental health and make you feel more alert and able to cope better with stress.
  • Try to spend some time relaxing. Remember to rest, spend some time just ‘being’ and take a break from ‘doing’. 

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed leading up to, or after the Xmas break, you can contact our Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200 or visit the Let's Talk website here. If you have serious concerns about your mental health, speak to your GP who can help and/or make an appropriate referral to services in your area.  

The Samaritans anticipate an increase in calls around Christmas each year. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via 116 123. Do not hesitate to call them if you need support. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-health-this-christmas http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-health-this-christmas Thu, 17 Dec 15 14:04:35 +0000
People with learning disabilities urged to get their flu vaccination People with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are being encouraged to get their flu vaccination if they’ve been contacted by their GP.

It is estimated there are 1.2 million people in England that have a learning disability many of whom also have long term conditions such as respiratory problems.  This makes them at risk of complications should they contract flu.

The vaccination is free to anyone that needs it and is available at local GP surgeries and at some pharmacists.

Children with learning disabilities can have the flu vaccination through a nasal spray.

Dr. Paul Winterbottom is a Consultant Psychiatrist (Learning Disabilities) and Medical Director at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “Flu can be a very unpleasant illness.  It causes fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and extreme tiredness.  These symptoms can often last for several days and for some people, may require hospital treatment.

“People with learning disabilities can have health issues which make them more vulnerable to flu.

“If you have been contacted by your GP to get the flu jab, please visit the surgery and protect yourself against the virus as soon as possible. If you care for someone with learning disabilities, please remind them to get the free flu jab”.

For more information about the flu vaccination, along with information about where you can get the vaccination please http://www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx

For more information about staying well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/people-with-learning-disabilities-urged-to-get-their-flu-vaccination http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/people-with-learning-disabilities-urged-to-get-their-flu-vaccination Fri, 04 Dec 15 10:36:53 +0000
Volunteers Thanked for Contribution to Trust

The volunteers who give up their own free time to help the service users and carers of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised and thanked for everything that they do. 

A third annual tea party was held in their honour at Kingsholm Stadium, in Gloucester.

The event included the presentation of certificates to many volunteers, as well as the Trust’s experts by experience – people who use their own personal experience of mental illness or learning disability to act as advisors.

Trust Chair Ruth FitzJohn, speaking at the event, said: "This is without doubt my favourite event of the year.

"You are making an enormous contribution not only to our Trust and our service users and carers, but also the entire communities of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

"You give your time, your care and your energy to help us make life better, and we are forever grateful for everything that you do."

More than 50 volunteers are registered with 2gether, and they work to enhance and improve the services the Trust provides.

Their work includes:

 Helping to tend the gardens at our inpatient units

 Visiting inpatient units with Pat (Pets as Therapy) dogs

 Driving service users to and from appointments

 Meeting and greeting people who attend courses provided by Let’s Talk

 Assisting therapists

 Helping at meal times

There are more than 150 experts by experience registered with the Trust. They also help in a variety of ways, including sitting on interview panels when staff are being recruited, advising on trust policies, helping to provide staff training, and participating in focus groups to provide feedback on important issues the Trust is working on, including its long term strategies.

To express an interest in volunteering with the Trust, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 01452 894200.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-for-contribution-to-trust http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-for-contribution-to-trust Mon, 30 Nov 15 11:14:54 +0000
Film Highlights Recovery College Success

 A short film has been produced highlighting the success of an innovative college set up to educate people on how to help their recovery and stay well following mental illness. 

Since its inception the Severn & Wye Recovery College, run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and partners, has helped more than 200 people to improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

The film about it was commissioned by the Health Foundation – the organisation which initially funded a grant to enable the Recovery College to be set up in 2013. 

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration with 2gether, said: “The film that the Health Foundation commissioned, and which was produced by Lightbox Entertainment, is both moving and informative.

“It focuses on Heather, one of our original graduates, and the way in which the college has had a significantly positive impact on her life as well as over 200 other graduates.

“We’re incredibly pleased and proud that our college is receiving national recognition. It is acknowledgement of the considerable steps that each and every Recovery College student has taken in their recovery journey. The film is also testimony to the huge amount of time and energy devoted to the college by a very dedicated team of staff, volunteers and partner organisations. 

“The Health Foundation provided us with the resources to set the college up and we remain extremely grateful to them for their support and vision.”

The Severn & Wye Recovery College provides free courses across Gloucestershire at a variety of venues, and is open to anyone who has recently been treated or is being treated by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust for a mental health condition. The college is also open to carers and family members who wish to learn more about mental illness and how to support an individual with their recovery.

Courses include:

•    Pathways to Recovery – an introductory course about what supports recovery, taking charge and building on your own strengths
•    Next Steps – the follow up course, enabling students to build upon Pathways to Recovery and receive coaching
•    Mindfulness for Recovery – learning the techniques to feel more connected to your surroundings and focus positively on recovering
•    Step up for Confidence – drama techniques to develop and project self confidence
•    Mental Health First Aid Lite – how to support people with mental health conditions, gaining a wider understanding of mental health and looking after your own mental health

The college has a range of partners, including NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Adult Education in Gloucestershire, Artshape, Family Lives and People and Places. 

A ‘Discovery College’ also runs alongside the main Recovery College, and offers courses to young people aged from 16 to 25. 

Taster days for forthcoming courses are being held in Hester’s Way, Cheltenham on December 7 and 14. To book ring 01452 894 204 or email recoverycollege@glos.nhs.uk. 

To view the Health Foundation film click here.

For more about the Severn & Wye Recovery College, click here

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/film-highlights-recovery-college-success http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/film-highlights-recovery-college-success Wed, 25 Nov 15 11:57:11 +0000
Council of Governors Our Council of Governors is made up of public, staff, and appointed Governors and have two primary roles:

• to represent the interests of the Trust's stakeholders in the governance of the organisation; and
• to communicate the key messages of the Trust to the electorate and appointing bodies

 

The next meeting will take place:

Date: Thursday 12 November 2015 at 3.00 - 5.00pm

Venue: The Business Continuity Room, Trust HQ, Rikenel. 

 

The agenda for this meeting can be downloaded here

For more information about our Council of Governors, please click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governors---12-nov-2015 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governors---12-nov-2015 Wed, 11 Nov 15 16:36:41 +0000
Talent For Care

Patrick Senior, Staff Side Chair and Shaun Clee, Chief Executive have signed the Talent for Care and Widening Participation Partnership Pledge at this month’s JNCC meeting.

The pledge forms part of Health Education England’s nationally agreed framework to develop the healthcare support workforce.  It is a strategic plan to initiate change that will help create a support workforce that is strong, capable and proud - able to do their best with technology, adapt to change and able deliver some of the best healthcare in the world.

Signing the pledge is 2gether’s commitment to build on current initiatives that we already have in place  to help develop our support staff and further improve essential skills.  It is also an opportunity to offer support staff the chance to gain new competencies so that they become highly skilled, flexible and able to meet our future healthcare challenges.

The pledge is divided into three themes – ‘get in’, which will give more people the opportunity to start their career in a support role; ‘get on’, which supports people to be the best they can be at their job; and ‘go further’, which provides opportunities for colleagues to progress their career as they wish. 

Carol Sparks our Director of Organisational Development said: “Right across our Trust, support staff bring enthusiasm and dedication and offer quality care to our service users, their carers and family. Working with our staff side representatives, the pledge emphasises our continued commitment to provide opportunities for support colleagues to learn on the job, develop their skills and advance their careers”.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/talent-for-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/talent-for-care Thu, 29 Oct 15 16:49:14 +0000
Parish Council Joins Tackle Stigma Campaign

Rodborough Parish Council has become the latest organisation to join a Gloucestershire-wide campaign to tackle stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health conditions.

The council held a mental health awareness event at its most recent meeting, where councillors were given a presentation by members of the ‘Gloucestershire Tackles Stigma’ group, which is a partnership of health and community organisations.

The event was part of an ongoing programme of sessions with businesses and organisations across Gloucestershire, aimed at explaining the prevalence of mental health problems and how help and support is provided.

Phil Blomberg, Chair of Rodborough Parish Council, said: "We received the presentation from the ‘Gloucestershire Tackles Stigma’ group with great interest.

"We were shocked to hear how common mental health conditions are in Britain. At the same time we learnt how effective it can be to take simple measures to tackle stigma and discrimination wherever it is encountered.

"Rodborough Parish Council, as with any parish or town council, is in a unique position in local government as it is constantly in local contact with the community as well as potentially being able to help, advise or refer on a great deal of matters, signposting to specialist help where needed.

"Rodborough Parish Council is happy to join the campaign, and looks forward to working with the group in the future, in tackling mental health stigma and discrimination."

Kathryn Charlesworth, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, met the council alongside Dan Beale-Cox, who is co-chair of the countywide Tackling Stigma group.

Kathryn said: "We were delighted to be invited to Rodborough Parish Council and to speak to them about mental health.

"One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so mental health conditions are very common yet many people are still nervous to speak openly about it. The parish council has demonstrated its commitment to tackling the stigma around mental illness and we’re really glad that they can spread this message further into their community."

To read more about the Tackling Stigma campaign and find out which other organisations are involved, click here.

If you are experiencing a mental health issue, or you have concerns about someone who is, please speak to your GP. You can also ring the local NHS Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk for help with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Another useful source of mental health information and advice is www.time-to-change.org.uk

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/parish-council-joins-tackle-stigma-campaign http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/parish-council-joins-tackle-stigma-campaign Tue, 27 Oct 15 13:43:18 +0000
Share your views with the CQC The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent health and adult social care regulator in England. Their job is to check whether hospitals, care homes, community services, GPs, dentists and other local services, meet the national standards.  They do this by inspecting services and publishing their findings.

During an inspection, the CQC will consider the quality and safety of the care and look at whether the service is:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Caring
  • Responsive to people’s needs
  • Well-led

As part of their national programme, the CQC are inspecting 2gether NHS Foundation Trust starting from 26 October 2015.  You can share your views by meeting the inspectors:

Date: Monday 26 October

Time: Between 7pm and 8.30pm

Place: Hesters Way, Community Resource Centre, Cassin Drive, Cheltenham, GL51 7SU

and.....

Date: Tuesday 27 October

Time: Between 7pm and 8.30pm

Place: Friendship Cafe. Chequers Bridge Centre, Painswick Road. Gloucester, GL4 6PR

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-with-the-cqc http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-with-the-cqc Mon, 19 Oct 15 17:58:08 +0000
Organisations Join to Fight Flu

Local health and care staff are the first to step up and have their flu jabs in order to stay well this winter and protect their patients and loved ones from the virus.  

They have also joined forces this year to urge at risk groups and frontline health and care colleagues to take up the free flu vaccination and stay well this winter.

Each winter hundreds of thousands of people across the country see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of influenza (flu), which could be prevented by having the flu vaccine once a year.

This year’s Herefordshire flu vaccination campaign has been launched jointly by Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT), Public Health, Herefordshire Council, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, and West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), as part of the national seasonal flu vaccination campaign.

The national flu vaccination campaign launched across the UK last week – targeting people of all ages including people with a long-term health condition, pregnant women, and parents of children aged 2 to 4 and over 65s, encouraging uptake of the flu vaccine among these most at-risk groups. 
Around 1000 front line staff from HCCG, WVT, Public Health, Herefordshire Council, 2gether and WMAS, so far have had or have booked their flu vaccination this year to help to protect patients and service users.

Dr Andy Watts, GP and clinical lead for the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), said: “As a GP I’m recommending that all of my patients in at risk groups are vaccinated against flu and for everyone to ensure they keep themselves healthy throughout the Winter flu season.  Flu is not the same as the common cold, it is much more serious and can have serious consequences, especially for those patients with additional health problems.

“For anyone in the at risks groups, for example pregnant women, over 65’s, carers, people who have a health condition or weak immune system, it is important that they take action by contacting their GP early in the flu season for the flu vaccination or the nasal spray for children aged two to four years, which is provided free of charge. 

“I would urge all health and care frontline workers across Herefordshire, including hospital, ambulance, social care, and mental health service staff, to make sure they are vaccinated to protect themselves and reduce the risk of passing on the illness to their patients and their families”.
For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery taking up to a week. However, people in at risk groups are at particular risk from the more serious effects of flu.

Dr Arif Mahmood, Consultant in Public Health for Herefordshire, said: “Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill and being admitted to hospital. The nasal spray is a quick, easy and painless way to help prevent pre-school age children catching flu and the vaccine also helps to reduce the spread of flu to those who are more vulnerable.

“The flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu.  It is perfectly safe to get a flu jab.  The flu vaccine and nasal spray are tailored to give protection against the circulating flu viruses, so it is important to remember to have the vaccination every year.”   

Jon Barnes, Chief Operating Officer at Wye Valley NHT Trust added: “We are delighted that this early in the campaign many of our staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, and community staff, have had their flu vaccine.  Our vaccinators are offering the flu jab to staff as they arrive at work, and at drop in clinics in our hospitals, community sites, and on the wards.  

“It is our responsibility to protect our patients as healthcare providers.  It is therefore vital that every member of our staff gets vaccinated and supports this year’s local flu vaccination campaign.  If we reduce the chances of staff contracting flu, we can really drive down the possibility of passing it on to our patients”. 

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you: 

  • are 65 years of age or over (or will be 65 on March 31 2016)  
  • are pregnant  
  • have certain medical conditions  
  • are very overweight - anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility  
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact, or a social care worker 
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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/organisations-join-to-fight-flu http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/organisations-join-to-fight-flu Thu, 15 Oct 15 12:44:58 +0000
NHS Thanksgiving Service Members of the public who would like to show their gratitude to NHS staff who have cared for a loved one are being invited to a special thanksgiving service at Gloucester Cathedral.

NHS organisations across Gloucestershire have linked up to stage the event at Gloucester Cathedral on Wednesday 21st October at 5.30pm.

The service, to be dedicated to all NHS staff (both clinical and non-clinical) past or present, is free and open to the public. Members of all faiths are also welcome.

Readings will be made by staff on behalf of NHS organisations in the county and a poem, written by Clinical Psychologist Andrew Champion, will also be read out as part of the service.

Reverend Mark Read, Lead Chaplain at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The NHS does remarkable things and contributes enormously to the health and wellbeing of the people of this county. This service is an opportunity to recognise those contributions from hardworking staff.”

Professor Clair Chilvers, Chair of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The pace of life today means that we often don’t get the opportunity to stop, reflect and say thank you to those who’ve supported our loved ones in such a caring way in their time of need. This service is an opportunity for you to join us in a united way to show your support.”

Dr Andy Seymour, Deputy Clinical Chair of Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The NHS touches the lives of everyone at some point. What shapes this experience is the staff that care for and look after our loved ones.”

Ingrid Barker, Chair of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: “This is an opportunity to show your appreciation for the hard work, commitment and professionalism of our NHS colleagues whether it be in general practice, at home or in a hospital.”

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust and Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, said: “We seldom get the opportunity to show our appreciation for NHS staff in such a collective way. If you want to say ‘thank you’ then do come and join us for this special service.” 

Anyone wishing to attend is advised to be at Gloucester Cathedral for 5.15pm for 5.30pm start.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-thanksgiving-service http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-thanksgiving-service Mon, 12 Oct 15 09:46:47 +0000
http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-thanksgiving-service http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-thanksgiving-service Mon, 12 Oct 15 09:46:47 +0000 Fanzone Films Tackle Mental Health Stigma  

People visiting and soaking up the atmosphere in Gloucester’s Rugby World Cup Fanzone have been viewing films raising awareness about  mental health issues.

The series of films, produced by national anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, have been shown on the Fanzone’s big screen during breaks from the tournament’s main action.

The initiative is all part of the county’s successful ‘Gloucestershire Tackles Stigma’ campaign – run by a partnership of local health and community organisations – and part of the lead up to World Mental Health Day on Saturday October 10.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like many people across Gloucestershire, we’re really excited about the Rugby World Cup and the games being played in the county. We felt we could use this fantastic event to engage with our local community and visitors and show that Gloucestershire is mindful about mental health.

“Every year 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem. In the world of rugby this means that each team is likely to contain at least 3 players who are currently experiencing or will experience a mental illness in 2015.

“Time to Change is a fantastic campaign run by the national charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is aimed at breaking down the barriers and tackling the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. We are really grateful the city council has supported us to show the Time to Change films within the Fanzone.”

The Glos Tackle Stigma campaign is promoted by a partnership of organisations, under the umbrella of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) ‘No Health Without Mental Health’ agenda.

Since late 2014 a series of ‘tea and talk’ events have been held with local organisations and employers, including Gloucestershire Constabulary, UCAS, GE Aviation, and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, in order to promote healthy conversations about mental wellbeing in the workplace.

The films initiative – which also involves Time to Change films being shown at the rural cinema in the Corinium Cinema, Cirencester - is the latest part of the campaign.

 Dr Andy Seymour, Deputy Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: 
“Mental health tends to be something that people are reluctant to talk about, but the reality is that mental health issues can affect anyone, from sports professionals to spectators.

We want to help people in Gloucestershire to stay well, both physically and mentally and hope that raising awareness amidst the excitement of the Rugby World Cup will make people think about their own mental health, as well as that of their friends and families.

Cllr Kathy Williams, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for long term care, said; ““With high profile ex-internationals such as Jason Robinson, Alan Quinlan and Duncan Bell all speaking out over their own battles with mental health, it shows that even our sporting heroes can struggle sometimes.
 
“We want to remove the stigma around mental health, to encourage people to share their stories and raise awareness of where they can go for help. Let’s kick the stigma around mental health into touch.”

World Mental Health Day is an annual event coordinated by the World Health Organisation and marked on October 10. The theme of World Mental Health Day this year is ‘Dignity’.

Other events being held to mark the occasion include a stand in the Market Square, Cirencester, from 9am until 2pm on Friday October 9, a stand in the ASDA supermarket, Gloucester, on the afternoon of Friday October 9.

There will also be a stand at Stroud Farmers Market on Saturday October 10, as well as a talk on tackling stigma at the Disabled Community Forum in Hester’s Way, Cheltenham, on Wednesday October 7.

To find out more about Time to Change and view the films being shown click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/fanzone-films-tackle-mental-health-stigma http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/fanzone-films-tackle-mental-health-stigma Tue, 06 Oct 15 18:10:28 +0000
Trust AGM The Annual General Meeting of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is being held on Monday September 21.

The event is open to everyone, and will take place at Hereford’s Kindle Centre, in Belmont Road, from 5 until 8pm.

Chief Executive Shaun Clee said:  “Our AGM acts as an opportunity to review challenges and achievements over the past year, and to look ahead to what we will be focussing on throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016.

“It’s a prime opportunity to come along and meet us, ask any questions you might have about our services and tell us what you want us to concentrate on in the future.

“We’re going through a time of huge change within the NHS and mental and social healthcare in particular, so now is a perfect time to get more involved in what we do.”

The meeting will feature presentations as well as an opportunity to visit information stands and ask questions.

A financial review of 2014/15 will form part of the proceedings. Copies of the Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts 2014/15 will also be available.

If you would like to attend or would like to receive further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or anna.hilditch@nhs.net

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm12 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm12 Fri, 04 Sep 15 11:36:20 +0000
Hereford get 2gether 2015  

Meet your local mental healthcare managers

An opportunity to meet the managers who run local mental and social healthcare services in Herefordshire is being arranged by Governors of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether).

The free event will take place on 13 October at The Green Dragon Hotel, Hereford, HR4 9BG.

It is being held to mark World Mental Health Day - a global celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

2gether’s mental health team and local charities will be on hand to offer information and suggestions on how to maintain and improve emotional wellbeing, as well as giving advice on accessing appropriate local services.

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm, with the event running between 6pm and 8pm.

Dawn Lewis, 2gether’s Public Governor for Herefordshire said: “I wanted to mark World Mental Health Day by holding a very important event where people can hear from, meet and ask questions to the managers who run their local NHS mental healthcare services.”

Metal health is one of society’s last taboos even though one in four people will experience some form of mental illness during their lives – whether that’s depression, anxiety, stress, memory loss or a more complex condition.

Dawn continued: “There’s a lot of good work being achieved to tackle mental health stigma but we can all do more. I hope that this event will offer another opportunity for people to learn more about local services. I encourage everyone to come along, ask questions and get the information they may need for themselves, a family member or friend.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/stroud-get-2gether-2015- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/stroud-get-2gether-2015- Fri, 21 Aug 15 17:55:35 +0000
http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/stroud-get-2gether-2015- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/stroud-get-2gether-2015- Fri, 21 Aug 15 17:55:35 +0000 New Trust Medical Director

Dr Chris Fear has been appointed as the new Medical Director of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust’s current Medical Director Dr Paul Winterbottom is intending to return to full time clinical practice in March 2016. Dr Fear will formally start in the position later this year.

Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: "Paul has been an exceptional Medical Director and when he told us of his plans to return to full time clinical practice we knew we would have a difficult task ahead to appoint his replacement.

"We know we have a very worthy successor in Chris, and I congratulate him on his appointment to the role. Chris has substantial experience and we look forward to the additional leadership he will now bring to the Trust, for the benefit our service users and carers."

Dr Fear is currently 2gether's Clinical Director in Herefordshire, Associate Medical Director and lead for psychosis and has for the Trust since 1996. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Council of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Chair of South West Division.

Following his appointment Dr Fear said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been selected as the Trust’s new Medical Director. Paul will be a hard act to follow, but I relish the prospect of building upon his work and using my own experience to further enhance the services we provide across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in the coming years."

Current Medical Director Dr Paul Winterbottom said: "I would like to congratulate Chris on his appointment. We have worked very closely together over many years, and my experience tells me that he will be a safe pair of hands to take up the reins as Trust Medical Director. I wish him well in the role."

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-trust-medical-director http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-trust-medical-director Thu, 13 Aug 15 16:21:53 +0000
Art Exhibition in Hereford An art exhibition is being held to showcase the work of service users supported by Drug and Alcohol Services Herefordshire (DASH).

The exhibition is being held at the Community Hub, in Gaol Street, on Friday September 11 from 2pm.

All of the work being displayed at the event has been produced by service users on the Exploring Our Creativity course run by volunteer Gary Nightingale.

Gary said: "The exhibition will showcase the value that volunteers bring to the NHS, as well as demonstrating the benefits for service users of engaging in artistic and creative activity. 

"Service users' work will be on display and, at this opening event, there will also be a presentation about Exploring Our Creativity, telling the story of how the course began and how it developed over four six-week runs. 

"I designed and ran the course, as an ex-service user and as an NHS volunteer. This event is also a way of saying thank you and acknowledging all the support I have been given, by people at the Community Hub, by DASH and by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust Social Inclusion Team."

If you would like to attend, please ring 01432 357825 or email exploringourcreativity@gmail.com 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-exhibition-in-hereford http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-exhibition-in-hereford Thu, 13 Aug 15 09:41:30 +0000
Garden Fete at Wotton Lawn A garden fete is being held for service users, carers and families at a Gloucester hospital.

The event, at Wotton Lawn Hospital, is being held on Saturday September 5 from 3 until 6pm.

Activities will include a tombola, skittles and music, and there will also be cakes, ice creams, a barbecue and other entertainment and games. There will also be a performance from the newly formed Trust choir.

Wotton Lawn Matron James Wright said: "We have held an annual garden party or fete for several years now, and they have always been a great success.

"We’re looking forward to welcoming back old friends, as well as the carers and families of our current patients.

"It’s a great opportunity to get everyone together and spend a nice afternoon catching up, sharing stories and generally relaxing.

"If the sun shines it will be lovely, but we’re prepared to hold the event indoors if it rains so please don’t be put off coming along if the weather forecast is not very good."

If you would like to attend the free event or for more information, please ring Wotton Lawn on 01452 894000.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-fete-at-wotton-lawn1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-fete-at-wotton-lawn1 Wed, 12 Aug 15 13:05:04 +0000
Herefordshire learning disability services on the move Health and social care services for people with learning disabilities in Herefordshire are moving to new premises on 17 August.

Both teams are moving from their existing premises in Churchill House, Hereford to offices at Thorn Buildings, Rotherwas.

Services will continue to be provided from the new location which will be easier for people to access and includes free parking facilities.

Health services provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust can be contacted on 01432 383400.

Social care services, including assessments, support plans and information on local services can be contacted on 01432 260550.

You can write to both services at:

Learning Disability Services
Thorn Office Centre
Rotherwas
Hereford
HR2 6JT

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-learning-disability-services-on-the-move http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-learning-disability-services-on-the-move Wed, 12 Aug 15 09:57:25 +0000
Trust in Pilot Project to Tackle Discrimination We’re working with Time to Change on a national pilot project to tackle stigma and discrimination faced by those with mental health problems.

The project, also involving Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), and people with experience of mental health problems, follows evidence that mental health care service users nationally continue to face stigma from healthcare professionals.

Our Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: "At 2gether we have been committed to tackling mental health stigma for some time. The Time to Change initiative offers us further opportunity to reach our aspiration of providing the best service experience for people who use mental health services. As such, we have pledged to lead a series of forums this year, working with our teams to consider the ways we currently impact – either positively or negatively - upon the stigma felt by people who use mental health services.

"The sessions will be attended by staff at all levels of our organisation, and from a wide range of teams and services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. We will deliver the work alongside people with lived experience of our service, who will be invited to openly share their own experiences of interacting with 2gether staff. Part of the work will be to consider ways in which practice can be enhanced to reduce mental health stigma. To do this, all participants will be invited to share their personal pledge to tackle mental stigma through and in their health care professional practice."

Working with Trusts, Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, will focus on bringing together professionals and people who have used mental health services to facilitate an open dialogue about changes that could make a big difference to both people’s experience of mental health services and the experiences of staff.  The sessions will highlight positive examples of where mental health staff have challenged stigma and discrimination with the aim of empowering others to do the same.

Evaluation at the beginning and end of the pilot will measure improvements in staff attitudes and behaviour.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: "Data since 2008 on attitudes and discrimination have shown us that there have been significant improvements in public attitudes and people using mental health services have reported reduced levels of discrimination from their family, friends, neighbours, dating and social life.

"What has remained almost static was the level of discrimination reported in mental health services and other parts of the NHS. We’ve been researching this area, and are now launching two pilots very much in equal partnership with two Trusts and people who have used their services. We know it is important to create a non-judgemental space for open dialogue, where positive examples of staff tackling stigma can be shared as well as an acknowledgement of the many pressures staff face. We also want to see if staff feel more able to talk about their own mental health. Our aim is to bring benefit to people using services as well as staff, and tackle stigma collaboratively with strong leadership to support change. We are delighted to be working with staff at NTW and 2gether on these pilots."

In addition to the pilot projects, Time to Change will run a targeted communications campaign to reach a wider group of mental health professionals in partnership with NHS England.

To read more about Time to Change, click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-in-pilot-project-to-tackle-discrimination http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-in-pilot-project-to-tackle-discrimination Tue, 11 Aug 15 10:16:35 +0000
Herefordshire Festival of Sport - volunteers needed Be a force for change - we’re looking for volunteers!
 
On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015 the Time to Change Village at the Herefordshire Festival of Sport will be a ‘pop-up’ space where people will learn about mental health in a fun and engaging way.

Organisers are looking for volunteers who can give a few hours of their time in the Time to Change Village at King George V Playing Field, and talk to members of the public about mental health. We will provide training in advance of the day and travel expenses to attend your training session and the event*.

Are you:

  • a person with lived experience of a mental health condition
  • a carer, friend or family of someone with lived experience
  • a mental health worker
  • or just interested in being a force for change

Time to Change volunteers will challenge stereotypes of mental illness by talking to the public about the reality of having a mental health problem. 

For more information or to sign up, please contact: Adrian Wilcox on 07814 759698 or email adrian.wilcox@herefordshire-mind.org.uk 

Want to know more about Herefordshire Festival of Sport? Visit www.herefordshirefestivalofsport.co.uk

 *up to £15 for each

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-festival-of-sport---volunteers-needed http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-festival-of-sport---volunteers-needed Mon, 10 Aug 15 10:39:22 +0000
Recovery College Offers New Courses

A college set up to help people recover from mental illness will be running new courses later this year.

The Severn and Wye Recovery College was established in 2013 by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and other partner organisations.

Free courses will be held in Stroud, Gloucester and Cheltenham from September onwards, and taster days are being held during August to enable prospective students to find out more.

"The Recovery College is now well established and we have many examples of students who say our courses have had a significant positive impact upon their lives," said Jo Denney, project lead from 2gether.

"Our courses offer a relatively new approach to recovering from mental illness. We teach our students the skills to manage their own condition and stay well, as well as gain the confidence, life skills and knowledge to live their lives to the full.

"Some of our students have used it as a springboard onto other things – some are now in employment or have signed up for other educational courses.

"Our tutors are people who have lived with mental illness themselves, and they are able to share their own experiences and have a common bond with the students.

"We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to offer more courses this autumn and looking forward to enrolling students at our taster days where a full prospectus will be available."

Severn and Wye Recovery College courses are aimed at anyone with experience of enduring mental illness, aged 16 and over, who is registered with a GP in Gloucestershire and receiving services from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. People who have recently left our services within the last six months can also enrol themselves. Places are also available for carers and professionals working to support people with mental illness.

Taster days are being held as follows:

  •  Monday August 10 – 9.30am until 12.30pm – Stroud College
  •  Monday August 17 – 9.30am until 12.30pm – Stroud College
  •  Monday December 7 – 9.30am until 12.30pm – Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project, Cheltenham
  •  Monday December 14 – 9.30am until 12.30pm – Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project, Cheltenham

To attend, please ring Jackie Baker on 01452 894204 or email recoverycollege@glos.nhs.uk

Further details are available by visiting the College website by clicking here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-college-offers-new-courses http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-college-offers-new-courses Fri, 24 Jul 15 10:35:55 +0000
Top Marks Again for Greyfriars Greyfriars Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), in Gloucester, has once again been accredited as ‘excellent’.

The unit, in Horton Road, has been awarded the grading by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU).

It is the third consecutive time that the unit, run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the top grading under the Accreditation of Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) scheme.

Greyfriars Ward Manager Steve Ireland said: "Our continued accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and NAPICU demonstrates that our unit remains one of the best in the UK.

"We have regularly been visited by other NHS Trusts and services across Europe, because we are seen to be providing a model of care and services that other Trusts aspire to.

"The ongoing recognition for our high standards of care is very welcome. It not only gives reassurance to us and our service users and carers, it also confirms that all of the hard work our staff put into running the unit is recognised and appreciated."

Greyfriars PICU was opened in 2010 in the grounds of Wotton Lawn Hospital. The centre provides care and treatment for people whose safe management and treatment is not possible on an open acute ward. It has 10 individual bedrooms with en-suite facilities.

The application for AIMS accreditation includes service users and family carers checking progress against a number of care and organisational standards. Accreditation is only granted following a visit from Royal College of Psychiatrist assessors, who check current practice within the Unit.

AIMS was set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to identify and acknowledge services with high standards of organisation and care, and with a view to helping other healthcare providers to achieve these standards.

To read more about the Royal College of Psychiatrists, click here.

To read more about Greyfriars, click here.

Two other 2gether services have also recently received accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. These are the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) clinic at Wotton Lawn Hospital and the ECT clinic at Stonebow Unit, Hereford.

Both services were also accredited as being ‘excellent’ by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-marks-again-for-greyfriars http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-marks-again-for-greyfriars Tue, 21 Jul 15 11:21:54 +0000
New Programme to Support Men Bereaved by Suicide

A new programme is being set up to support men who have been bereaved by suicide.

The ‘Engaging Men’ programme is being provided by the Gloucester branch of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

Branch member Steve Carter, who lost his son to suicide in 2011, has devised, researched and developed the programme.

He said: "Our local SOBS meetings are traditionally attended by more women than men and, through my research, I found this was typical amongst the 48 SOBS groups run nationally.

"It seemed to me that men were reluctant to talk about their feelings in the typical group setting, but more like to open up in activities with other men in a similar situation to themselves.

"Men bereaved by suicide are themselves at heightened risk of taking their own lives and we hope, through this programme, to provide a lifeline for men and an opportunity for them to seek the support they require."

The Engaging Men programme has been joint funded by SOBS and a Red Nose Day community cash grant from the Gloucestershire Community Foundation. Participants will take part in activities which may include sport, music, and hands on skills such as gardening and photography.

It was launched during ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ – a training conference jointly organised by SOBS and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, and held in Churchdown.

The conference addressed the issues around men and mental health, and in particular the high numbers of suicides among men as opposed to women.

The most recently available suicide data for Gloucestershire (for 2009 to 2012) shows that 80 per cent of people who ended their own lives in the county were men.

Of those who died by suicide, about two-thirds had no contact with mental health services in the 12 months preceding their death.

For information on Engaging Men, email sobsengagingmen@outlook.com. The Gloucester branch of SOBS can be contacted on 01452 371 945.

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offer a confidential listening service for anyone. They can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-programme-to-support-men-bereaved-by-suicide http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-programme-to-support-men-bereaved-by-suicide Tue, 30 Jun 15 13:35:37 +0000
Experts Talk Learning Disabilities and Criminal Justice

Experts have gathered to discuss ways to improve the criminal justice services provided to people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions in Gloucestershire.

A conference, held at Police Headquarters, in Waterwells, Quedgeley, was organised by the county’s Learning Disabilities and Criminal Justice (LDCJ) Group.

It was attended by Lord Bradley, whose landmark report in 2009 called for big improvements in the criminal justice system nationally.

The Gloucestershire LDCJ group was set up following his report and Lord Bradley was invited to hear how his recommendations have been enacted, and what further improvements are being made.

"I was delighted to be invited and have been immensely impressed with the partnership work being undertaken in Gloucestershire to support people with learning disabilities who may find themselves in contact with the criminal justice system," Lord Bradley said.

"It is invaluable work and I am sure it will go from strength to strength."

Those who attended and spoke at the conference were drawn from a variety of agencies including 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Constabulary, the Independence Trust, Guideposts UK, Siarad Da, the Resource Group, Gloucestershire Youth Support Team and Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Community Rehabilitation Company.

LDCJ group Chairman Jonathan Thomas, of 2gether, said the day had been a great success.

"This is our third annual conference and to have Lord Bradley in attendance, when the group owes its existence to his report, was a great honour," Jonathan said.

"We continue to carry out a huge amount of work locally to improve services for people with learning disabilities – whether they are victims or perpetrators of crime or affected by crime and justice in other ways."

For more information on the Gloucestershire Learning Disability and Criminal Justice Group visit www.2gether.nhs.uk/ldcj

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/experts-talk-learning-disabilities-and-criminal-justice http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/experts-talk-learning-disabilities-and-criminal-justice Fri, 26 Jun 15 14:37:07 +0000
2gether Careers Event this Thursday in Hereford Our careers event is taking place this Thursday (18 June) at the Kindle Centre in Hereford (HR2 7JE) from 10am until 1pm.

We’re looking to recruit talented and motivated individuals to work in all different areas of the service and would like to invite you to join us for our careers event in Hereford.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) provides high quality, specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and the surrounding region. As a Trust we are dedicated to delivering help and support to people experiencing mental ill–health as well as providing education to their families and carers.

We’re welcoming all health professionals from those who have yet to qualify, to those who are looking for the next step in their career and those who are looking to retrain in their chosen field.

We have vacancies in all areas of the Trust, including:
•Registered Mental Health Nurses
•Occupational Therapists
•Team Managers
•Mental Health Professionals
•Community Support Workers
•Healthcare Assistants
•Physiotherapists
•Psychologists
 
You can view our current vacancies here.

If you’d like to find out more about us before the event please visit our Work for 2gether page. If you’ve got any questions, please contact Laura McCarthy on 01452 894655.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-careers-event-this-thursday-in-hereford http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-careers-event-this-thursday-in-hereford Mon, 15 Jun 15 16:22:26 +0000
Men Urged to Talk Mental Health Men need to speak more openly about their mental health and seek help – that’s the message from Gloucestershire health experts for Men’s Health Week (June 15 to 21).

Far fewer men than women seek help and advice from Let’s Talk – the psychological therapy service provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Yet men are four times more likely than women to end their own lives and many of those who die by suicide have never sought help or been referred to mental health services.

“The number of men who die by suicide both locally and nationally is a huge cause for concern,” said Dr Jon Haynes, Consultant Psychiatrist with 2gether.

“It’s recognised nationally that men are more at risk of suicide because they may be more likely to try and self-medicate and, for example, drink heavily, than seek help from professional and voluntary services.

“Unfortunately, male stereotypes do still exist and often men feel that to admit to having mental health issues is admitting to a weakness, but we and other organisations locally and nationally are working very hard to change this.”

The most recently available suicide data for Gloucestershire (for 2009 to 2012) shows that 80 per cent of people who ended their own lives in the county were men.

Of those who died by suicide, about two-thirds had no contact with mental health services in the 12 months preceding their death.

The latest figures for Let’s Talk, 2gether’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service (IAPT) show that during 2014/15, only 38 per cent of referrals were men*.

Cllr Andrew Gravells, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for Public Health, said: “I am determined we will do all we can to get the message across, especially to men, that support and information is there for anyone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“We’re working hard with our partners to make sure people know where to turn for support, because there are safe and confidential ways to talk about how they feel with people who understand and know how to help.

“My colleagues and I will continue to explore every avenue of communication, to ensure that we get this message and information out to as many people as possible.”

A conference being held in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, on Friday June 26 will be used to formally launch a new initiative aimed at supporting men who have lost loved ones to suicide.

The conference, entitled ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry: Men and Mental Health’, is being jointly organised and hosted by the Gloucester branch of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

The new ‘Engaging Men’ project has been devised, researched and developed by Steve Carter, who is a member of Gloucester SOBS, and who lost his own son to suicide in 2011.

Steve said: “I became aware that our local SOBS meetings were being attended by more females than men and that men are more reluctant to attend the traditional format of meeting, in which users sit in a circle and talk about their experiences and emotions.

“I undertook a small research project into all forty-eight SOBS groups nationally and discovered that every one which responded reported the same higher attendance rate by women.

“A little further research indicated that males are typically reluctant to talk about their feelings face-to-face, but that they are more likely to open up in situations, or activities which are 'shoulder-to-shoulder.'

“The isolation and loneliness of the typical 'cave man' mentality, as well as a degree of male social stereotyping, which expects males to be 'strong' for others, may be contributory reasons that males bereaved by suicide are also themselves at heightened risk of taking their own lives.

“It was out of this that I began to see the pressing need for additional provision, or activity to draw males out of their 'caves' and I began to formulate the 'SOBS Engaging Men' programme.”

‘Big Boys Don’t Cry: Men and Mental Health’ is the seventh annual training day conference to be organised by 2gether and SOBS. For more information on SOBS please ring 01452 371 945.

To contact 2gether’s free Let’s Talk service, ring 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offer a confidential listening service for anyone. They can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/men-urged-to-talk-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/men-urged-to-talk-mental-health Mon, 15 Jun 15 13:57:51 +0000
Herefordshire School Children Get Crucial Children from across Herefordshire will be given crucial information about staying safe and happy in a two-week long event starting on Monday (June 15).

The ‘Crucial Crew’ is held each year to educate primary school children on issues such as road, water and fire safety, first aid and emotional wellbeing.

This year more than 1,500 children from 63 schools are attending. One of the main organisers, PC Chris Lea, of West Mercia Police, said it would be an enjoyable but important learning experience for the youngsters.

"The Crucial Crew has been taking place annually for many years now, and each year it gets better and better," PC Lea said.

"The children who come along have a great day out with fun workshops and activities, but most importantly they learn about how to stay safe, healthy and happy.

"We’re delighted to have so many children attending this year, and hope the lessons they learn will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

Agencies involved in Crucial Crew include Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, Network Rail, the National Farmers Union, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Herefordshire Council and Western Power. 

The event, which is being held at Leominster Police Station, starts on Monday June 15 and runs until Friday June 26.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-school-children-get-crucial http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-school-children-get-crucial Fri, 12 Jun 15 10:21:02 +0000
Learning Disabilities Week in Gloucestershire A week-long series of events will be taking place across Gloucestershire to mark national Learning Disability Week 2015.

The annual event is organised nationally by the charity Mencap.

Locally there will be Employability workshops, as well as many opportunities to find out about the support and activities available to people with learning disabilities in the county.

The events, organised under the umbrella of the Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities Board, start on Monday (June 15) and the Board’s Joint Chair Jan Marriott said there was much to look forward to.

Jan said: "We are really excited about this week and many organisations and support groups will open their doors to provide opportunities for people with a learning disability in Gloucestershire."

Simon Shorrick, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust's Health Facilitation Team, is coordinating the event with the Board. 

He said: "We really hope people will take the opportunity to get involved in the week. It’s a great opportunity to get together and celebrate everything people with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire do, and what support organisations have to offer.

"There’s a lot happening so I’d encourage everyone who has a learning disability, as well as their friends, families, support workers and carers, to get involved."

Events taking place during the week include:

  • Monday June 15 (11am until 1pm): Gloucestershire Voices Open House. The Manor House, 162 Barnwood Rd, Gloucester. Learn more about the user led self-advocacy organisation.
  •  Monday June 15 (9.30am until 11am; 1 until 3pm): Open day at Jamats Activity Centre for Adults with Special Needs, in London Road, Gloucester. Find out about exercise, drama, life skills, jewellery making, bingo, and lots more.
  •  Monday June 15 (10am until 12noon; 1 until 3pm): Truly Scrumptious Café at Orchard Trust Learning Centre and Smallholding site, in Lydbrook, in the Forest of Dean. Visit the Café and Art Exhibition and find out more about outdoor activities like growing vegetables and looking after animals.
  •  Tuesday June 16 (1.30 until 4pm): 2gether NHS Trust Open House, Weavers Croft, Field Road, Stroud. Find out more about learning disability support services and local agencies.
  • Wednesday June 17 (10am until 3pm): Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Shop, in Westgate Street, Gloucester. Take part in creative workshops and find out about arts, crafts, music and discos for only £3.
  • Wednesday June 17 (10am until 4pm): Genix Healthcare, in Station Road, Gloucester, will be offering oral care advice for both patients and carers.
  • Wednesday June 17 (9.30am until 1.30pm): Cheltenham Leisure Centre, Tommy Taylors Lane. GE Aviation and Gloucestershire County Council are holding an awareness event on activities like learning about interviews, CVs and application writing as well as trying out sports games like basketball.

There will also be drop in sessions in Tewkesbury, Stroud, Coleford, Gloucester, Cirencester and Cheltenham for people to find out about services available in those areas. Full details are available online here. 

To find out more about Learning Disabilities, and the myths surrounding them, click here.

To learn more about Learning Disability Week nationally, click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities-week-in-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities-week-in-gloucestershire Wed, 10 Jun 15 11:36:17 +0000
Trust Supports Carers Week Events will be held throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to mark national Carers Week.

Carers Week, which runs from June 8 to 14, is organised annually to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust will be marking the week with a series of activities aimed at highlighting the support we provide to carers and finding out what more support they require.

Dominika Lipska-Rosecka, Social Inclusion Manager for 2gether said: "There are thousands of carers who support people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and other conditions we treat.

"Carers, by nature, tend to put those they are caring for before themselves. Their selflessness often means they don’t seek support for themselves. We want to remind carers that they are important and we are committed to supporting them as well."

2gether has recently joined the national Triangle of Care scheme, which is run by the Carers Trust and sets out six key standards to be followed by mental health trusts.

Events 2gether is either organising or involved in to mark Carers Week include:

Hereford

An information stand in the Stonebow Unit, at the County Hospital, from 12noon until 5pm on Wednesday June 10 and 6 to 8pm on Thursday June 11.

An information stand in Sainsbury’s, Barton Yard, from 10am until 3pm on Thursday June 11.

Gloucester

An information stand in Wotton Lawn Hospital from 9.30am until 12 noon on Friday June 12.

Cheltenham

An information stand in Charlton Lane Hospital, from 12.30 until 3pm on Friday June 12.

Stroud

An information stand in Stroud High Street from 12noon until 3pm on Tuesday June 9.

Coleford

An information stand in the Main Place, Coleford, from 11am until 12.30pm on Thursday June 11.

2gether’s Let’s Talk service is also providing a compassionate mindfulness session for carers, which is being held in Cheltenham Borough Council offices on June 11.

We are also working with Cheltenham Borough Homes on providing ‘tea and tell’ sessions at Wallace House and Lynworth Court on June 8, 9 and 11.

In Gloucester, we are also participating in a carers event at the Friendship Café in Barton on Wednesday June 10.

If you are the carer of a service user being treated by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and you need information or advice, please ring the Social Inclusion Team on 01452 894200.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-carers-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-carers-week Mon, 08 Jun 15 10:26:38 +0000
2gether Signs Armed Forces Corporate Covenant 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has publically pledged its support to our armed forces communities.

The Corporate Covenant, which is voluntary commitment by businesses and charitable organisations to support the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Community, was signed at the Trust’s public Board meeting in Hereford on May 28.

The Trust is the first Mental Health NHS trust in the country to sign the Covenant and make a commitment to its two core principles:

  • no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

Representatives from local organisations associated with the armed forces and Herefordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant - The Countess of Darnley - joined the meeting to witness the signing and hear more from members of the armed forces community.

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, said: “It is a privilege to sign the Covenant on behalf of the Trust. It signifies a firm commitment to our armed forces community and signifies the next stage in our continuing journey to ensure inclusive and fair access to services”.

Getting the right kind of help quickly for a mental health problem is directly linked to conditions becoming less complex in the future. However, evidence suggests that veterans may take longer to access services and face multiple challenges when returning to civilian life.  This can include an understanding of the services available and how to access appropriate healthcare.

Shaun continued: “By signing the Covenant, our organisation supports the national drive towards local action.  It is our pledge to make reasonable adjustments for everyone who needs our support”.

2gether provides direct access help for all people, including members of the armed forces community, through its Let’s Talk service. Support is available for a range of common problems including stress, anxiety and depression. For more information, visit 2gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter or telephone 0800 073 2200.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-signs-armed-forces-corporate-covenant http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-signs-armed-forces-corporate-covenant Mon, 01 Jun 15 15:27:04 +0000
Film Marks Nurses Day 2gether mental health nurse Lisa Crooks has featured in a film put together by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to mark International Nurses Day.

Nurses Day is held annually on May 12 – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday – to recognise the contribution nurses make to society.

The RCN film features nurses from across the UK speaking about why they are proud to be a nurse.

“The film features between 30 and 40 nurses from across the breadth of the nursing family and it was a great privilege to take part and speak about something I am very passionate about,” Lisa explained.

“Nursing is a very fulfilling career and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I would recommend getting some work and life experience before you begin training as a nurse.

“I started out as a Health Care Assistant in Radiology before I moved to mental health, but once you qualify there are lots of different specialist areas you can branch into.”

Lisa qualified as a nurse in 1999 but prior to that worked as a Health Care Assistant at Charlton Lane Hospital and a Community Support Worker at the Brownhill Centre, both in Cheltenham.

She trained as a nurse through the University of the West of England and began her nursing career working on Kingsholm Ward, at Wotton Lawn Hospital, in Gloucester.

Lisa now works as a Senior Eating Disorders Nurse at the Brownhill Centre, in Cheltenham.

To view the RCN film, click here.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/film-marks-nurses-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/film-marks-nurses-day Tue, 12 May 15 14:35:15 +0000
Be Mindful About Mental Health Activities will be held across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The occasion – which runs from May 11 to 17 – is organised annually by the Mental Health Foundation. The theme of this year’s week is Mindfulness.

Working with a range of partners 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the week and coordinating events to raise awareness of mental wellbeing, promote advice and highlight locally available support. 

Dominika Lipska-Rosecka, Social Inclusion Manager for 2gether, said: "We work all year round to treat and support people with mental health conditions.

"Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity for us to reach even more people by highlighting how common mental health issues are, the steps we can take to improve our own mental wellbeing and the support that is available.

"One in four of us will be experiencing a mental health problem at any given time, with the most common issues we experience including depression, stress and anxiety.

"There is, however, no need to struggle on alone. There is a lot we can all do to improve our mental health and there is help available for anyone who needs it.

"We hope to take this message far and wide during Mental Health Awareness Week and we’d love to see a great turn out at all of our events."

Events 2gether is organising for Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 include:

Gloucestershire

  •  Working with Cotswold District Council and five primary schools in Cirencester, children will be asked to decorate balloons  with their thoughts and feelings to generate conversations about mental health and wellbeing.
  •  A mindfulness session is being held at Charlton Lane Hospital, in Cheltenham, and Pets as Therapy sessions will take place at Charlton Lane and within Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester.
  •  An information stand will be in the Corinium Museum, Cirencester, from 9am until 3pm on Monday May 11.
  •  A mindfulness taster session will be held at Cotswold District Council offices on Tuesday May 12.
  •  2gether staff will man an awareness stand at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus, in Gloucester, from 1.30pm until 4pm on Tuesday May 12.
  •  A mindfulness taster session will be held in Cirencester’s Churn Centre from 1.30pm on Wednesday May 13.
  •  A ‘healthy lifestyles’ fun and games session for young people, run by 2gether and Action for Children, will take place in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, on Wednesday May 13.
  •  A stand will also be in place at the Main Place, in Coleford, from 1 to 4pm on Thursday May 14.
  •  Cirencester Leisure Centre will host an information stand from 9am until 3pm on Thursday May 14.
  •  Working with staff at a sheltered housing scheme in Gloucester, a dementia and mental health awareness session will be delivered on May 14.
  •  A stand, choir and information bus will be in Cirencester Market Place from 9am until 3pm on Friday May 15. There will also be a healthy food demonstration from the Wiggly Worm.
  •  Mental Health First Aid training will be provided to staff at Gloucester City Homes on Friday May 15.
  •  A 2gether stand will be among the attractions at the ‘Paws on Patrol’ event in Gloucester Park on Saturday May 16.

Herefordshire

  •  Working with Herefordshire Council, events will take place at their Plough Lane headquarters throughout the week. These include stands, a yoga session and a health walk.
  •  Staff from 2gether will man an awareness stand at Waitrose, Hereford, from 10am until 3pm on Tuesday May 12.
  •  A 2gether stand will be at Halo Leisure Pool, Hereford, from 9am until 4pm on Thursday May 14.
  •  A stand will also be in place at Halo, in Leominster, from 9am until 4pm, on Friday May 15.
  •  Mental Health First Aid training will be provided to admin staff working for 2gether on Monday May 11.

Throughout the week 2gether will also be working with NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and others to promote good mental health in the workplace with local employers.

A number of ‘tea and talk’ sessions will be held with organisations including Marks and Spencer and Tesco Extra in Cirencester, Cirencester Town Council and Home Group, in Cheltenham.

The national theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 is Mindfulness. More information on Mindfulness can be found on the Mental Health Foundation website here.

Mindfulness sessions are also run by 2gether's Let's Talk service. To find out more about Let's Talk and what courses are available, ring 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-mindful-about-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-mindful-about-mental-health Fri, 01 May 15 10:09:14 +0000
New Director of Quality Appointed Marie Crofts has been appointed as Director of Quality with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Marie is a mental health nurse with over 30 years’ experience. She has worked in adult and childrens’ services across provider organisations as well as within specialised commissioning.

For the majority of her working life she has lived and worked in the West Midlands, working in regional posts developing evidence based practice as well as service improvement work within the National Institute of Mental Health in England.

Latterly she has worked in Service Director roles managing large scale Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. More recently she has been Deputy Director of Nursing and Operations within a Community Trust in Liverpool.

Marie said: "I am delighted and privileged to have been appointed as Director of Quality for 2gether.

"I am committed to improving services through engagement with service users and their families, as well as actively engaging with all staff. I have a passion for involving families in services as well as an interest in parental mental health and child welfare and look forward to continuing these interests and making a difference within 2gether."

2gether’s Chief Executive, Shaun Clee, said: "Marie is an excellent addition to our board and we are delighted to welcome her to the Trust.

"We look forward to hearing her new ideas and working with her to enhance the services we provide across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in the coming weeks, months and years."

Former Director of Quality, Trish Jay, has decided to return to full time clinical practice.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-quality-appointed http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-quality-appointed Mon, 27 Apr 15 10:35:10 +0000
Big Health Check Day 2015 The seventh annual Big Health Check Day will take place in Gloucester next month.

The event, being held at Wall’s Social Club, in Barnwood, on Wednesday May 13 is aimed at helping people with learning disabilities to stay healthy and active.

Those attending will be able to take part in a wide range of activities, and Simon Shorrick, the event’s co-ordinator, said it was set to be another action packed day.

“We’re really excited about our seventh Big Health Check Day,” said Simon, who works for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

“It’s always a great occasion and a brilliant opportunity to bring people with learning disabilities and their carers together find out more about local services, share their views, and, most of all, enjoy themselves.

“Participants will be able to find out more about local services and resources from the 60 stalls and get involved in a number of fun and informative sessions. They will also be able to try sports and exercise activities like adapted bikes and trikes, archery, athletics, boccia, football, cricket and wheelchair dancing.”

During the day the Dramatic Change Theatre Company from Gloucestershire Voices will be performing a short play on ‘Keeping Healthy and Active’, which will be light hearted, fun and thought provoking.

“We’re also looking forward to having the new ambulance mobile response unit in attendance for people to have a look around and talk to the paramedics,” Simon added.

“Other attractions will be a big red London bus, kindly being supplied by Alpha Colour Printers, the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Stagecoach and the new Mobiloo unit providing accessible toilet facilities with electric hoist and changing table”.

Big Health Check Day is funded and supported by Gloucestershire County Council, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Active Gloucestershire, Gloucester City Homes, Gloucestershire Voices and the Barnwood Trust under the umbrella of Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board.

Jan Marriott, Co-Chairperson of the Learning Disability Partnership Board, said: “I am pleased to see health and social care staff come together to create such a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about how we can improve services to people with a learning disability.”

The event, which runs from 9.30am until 4pm, is open to anyone with a learning disability, as well as their families, carers and support workers.

Big Health Check Day is part of the implementation of the all-age, all disability Building Better Lives Strategy.

For further information about the day, please contact Simon Shorrick, in the Health Facilitation team at 2gether, on 0800 019 3346 or email simon.shorrick@glos.nhs.uk

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/big-health-check-day-2015 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/big-health-check-day-2015 Fri, 17 Apr 15 10:20:32 +0000
Trust Joins Triangle of Care A new commitment has been shown to working with and supporting carers, through 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s membership of the  national Triangle of Care scheme.

The scheme, which is run by the Carers Trust, sets out six key standards to be followed by mental health trusts.

Over the next 12 months we will be self-assessing our services to ensure we are meeting or exceeding those standards, and providing the best possible service to the carers we work with.

Trust Chair Ruth FitzJohn said: “We already work very hard to support carers as they play such an important role, not only with our service users but across our communities in general.

“Our partnership working with Carers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire Carers Support and Gloucestershire Young Carers means we are very much involved in enhancing what we do for carers.

“However, membership of the Triangle of Care gives us the opportunity to review the arrangements we have in place, and to look at where improvement might be needed.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been accepted on to the scheme.”

The Carers Trust launched the Triangle of Care in 2010, to help guide the support given to the 1.5 million people who care for someone with mental ill health in the UK.

The six key standards within the Triangle of Care state that:

1) Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.

2) Staff are ‘carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.

3) Policy and practice protocols re: confidentiality and sharing information, are in place.

4) Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.

5) A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway.

6) A range of carer support services is available.

In addition to the above, there also needs to be regular assessing and auditing to ensure these six key standards of carer engagement exist and remain in place.

To read more about the scheme, click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-joins-triangle-of-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-joins-triangle-of-care Thu, 16 Apr 15 09:25:17 +0000
Reception Facelift Thanks to League of Friends

The reception area at our Weaver’s Croft site, in Stroud, has been refurbished, thanks to funding from Stroud Hospitals League of Friends. 
 
The waiting area has been brightened up, new seats have been put in place and the reception desk itself has been replaced with a brand new one. 
 
Jonathan Thomas, 2gether’s Community Services Manager for Stroud Locality, said the work meant that visitors to the site would now receive a much warmer welcome. 
 
“We are very grateful to the League of Friends for funding our new reception area,” Jonathan explained.
 
“Our former reception area was serviceable, but this work has made it far brighter and a more welcoming place for service users, carers and staff alike. 
 
“This is the latest in a long line of projects funded by the League of Friends at Weaver’s Croft, and we already have plans to carry out more work, with their support, to further improve the building.”
 
Weaver’s Croft, in Field Road, Stroud, is home to a variety of 2gether’s teams, including services for people with Learning Disabilities and older adults with dementia. 
 
Dr Roy Lamb, President of Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, said: “As a former medical director of Severn NHS Trust I have half a century of experience working with mental health services.
 
“I am so pleased to have seen the developments in mental health services over the years, and very pleased we have been able to play a part in this.”
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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reception-facelift-thanks-to-league-of-friends http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reception-facelift-thanks-to-league-of-friends Wed, 25 Mar 15 16:47:57 +0000
Nutrition and Hydration Week

The importance of healthy eating and good hydration will be promoted during a week-long series of events being organised by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. 
 
Annual international Nutrition and Hydration week takes place from March 16 to 22, to focus attention on the importance of eating and drinking the right things for good health and wellbeing. 
 
Carly Atkinson, who is a Specialist Dietitian and 2gether’s Nutritional Lead, said it was a great way to highlight the importance of these issues to service users, carer and staff. 
 
“What we eat and drink has a huge bearing upon our physical and mental wellbeing,” Carly explained. 
 
“This is why we ensure that the food we provide in our inpatient settings is high quality and nutritious, and we make sure that our service users are regularly given fluids to maintain their hydration levels.
 
“We also make sure that our staff working in the community speak to service users and carers about nutrition. It’s so important to maintain a healthy diet to support a healthy lifestyle.” 
 
Events taking place within 2gether to mark the week include: 
 
  • A ‘Come Dine with Me’ competition throughout the week at Oak House, in Hereford – with a prize for the person who comes up with the most nutritious and delicious menu
  • ‘Taster sessions’ for people to sample the new catering menu at the Stonebow Unit, in Hereford
  • A ‘bake off challenge’, also at Stonebow, along with a nutrition and hydration quiz 
  • Healthy smoothie making activities will take place in various Trust wards 
  • At Wotton Lawn Hospital, in Gloucester, the focus will be on cutting back on sugary drinks
  • At Charlton Lane Hospital, in Cheltenham, we will be raising awareness of malnutrition and dysphagia, with tasting sessions for altered texture diets and nutrition supplements, along with fruit tasting sessions on the wards
  • The Friday fluid challenge will be taking place, encouraging individuals to record the amount of fluids they are consuming and comparing that against recommended guidlines
 
Michael Banks, who is the Trust Facilities Manager for Hotel Services and National Council Representative for the Hospital Caterers Association(HCA), said: “This is the 4th annual Nutrition and Hydration Week and with each year it has gathered more momentum and interest from different sectors of the organisation.  
 
“This year will be bigger and better with more events and more teams taking part.  Last year over 2000 care events took place across the world in 17 countries and over 75% of NHS hospitals took part.  The aim of the week – a joint initiative led by the HCA, NHS England and the National Association of Care Caterers (NACC) - is to highlight to patients, visitors and staff how they can improve their quality of life by thinking about what they eat and drink and making a few small changes to their lifestyles.  
 
“The week is supported by many organisations including the British Association for Paranetel and Enteral Nutrition, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Dietetic Association. 
 
“The national highlights of the week will be Suppertime Tuesday on the 17th and Worldwide Afternoon Tea day on Wednesday 18th which has a Canadian theme in support of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management and the challenge is to get the tea party to as many countries as in the World Cup …32!
 
“We are also using the week to promote not only our catering services and the special dietary needs of our patients but also the many other important services within our Trust – dietetic support, weight management, speech and language services (dysphagia) and occupational therapy services to mention a few because nutritional care is everyone’s business and we all have a role to play in bringing about a reduction in malnutrition-related illnesses.”
 
Nutrition and Hydration Week was created by two leading professional associations  - the Hospital Caterers Association and National Association of Care Catering. 
 
The mission of the week is to create a global movement to reinforce and focus energy, activity, and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of quality care, experience, and safety improvement in health and social care settings. 
 
For more information about the week click here. 
 
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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nutrition-and-hydration-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nutrition-and-hydration-week Thu, 12 Mar 15 11:55:15 +0000
Let's Talk on World Book Day 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) and Herefordshire County Libraries are backing a national initiative aimed at helping people to understand common mental health problems – and are working together to make sure that the self-help books are easily accessible to all.

The Books on Prescription scheme includes a number of books which provide guidance for people with stress, anxiety and depression.

Launched on World Book Day (5 March, 2015), the recommended self help books will now be highlighted on posters across the county and more easily identified by a sticker on the relevant books’ front cover. The stickers include details on how to contact Let’s Talk, the county’s local NHS talking therapy service, for people who may need additional support.

Elaine Davies, Clinical Lead for 2gether’s Let’s Talk service, said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Herefordshire’s Library Service. In addition to the free courses and help we offer, providing easy access to recommended books can help to provide additional guidance and support to help manage low mood and anxiety.

The reading list is recommended by Herefordshire’s local NHS including therapists working within 2gether’s Let’s Talk Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service, as well as family GPs and other health professionals including psychologists and psychiatrists. All of Herefordshire’s public libraries stock the books.

Anne-Marie Dossett, Librarian at Hereford library said: “The Books on Prescription scheme has been going for some years and we get many positive comments about how informative and helpful the books can be.  We have also expanded the collection to include books about dementia at Hereford Ross and Leominster libraries”. 

Elaine continued: “One in four people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health condition over the course of a year. Our aim to provide people with the help they need quickly. That is why this is such an important partnership for our county.”

Books are available at all public libraries in Herefordshire.

More details about the Books on prescription scheme can be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/bop

Let’s Talk can be contacted by telephone on 0800 073 2200 or by visiting the course booking website at www.2gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/library-initiative-launched-on-world-book-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/library-initiative-launched-on-world-book-day Thu, 05 Mar 15 13:06:16 +0000
ROSCA winners 2014 The immense contributions of mental and social healthcare staff across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire have been recognised at an annual awards ceremony.

The eighth annual Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) took place at Hatherley Manor, near Gloucester, last night (February 28).

Approximately 130 staff, volunteers, service users and carers attended the event, and awards were presented in 10 categories.

In addition, long service awards were presented to staff who have given either 20 or 30 years of dedication to the NHS.

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our ROSCAs celebrate the dedication, compassion and commitment shown by teams and individuals who strive every day to improve the lives of people within our communities.

“It is an honour to be able to recognise their devotion, and to celebrate so many examples of how our staff, volunteers, carers and service users have made a huge difference to people’s lives.

We congratulate not only the winners, but also everyone who was nominated for a ROSCA. They all provide services of the highest quality, and richly deserve our thanks for everything they do.”

2gether’s Chief Executive, Shaun Clee, said: “This is the eighth year that we have run the ROSCAs and every year I become more and more proud to work alongside colleagues who are compassionate, caring and work hard to provide a positive experience for people.

“Everyone nominated for a ROSCA demonstrates the very best of what 2gether is about, and I thank each and every one.

“I am also immensely pleased to be able to recognise colleagues who this evening received their long service awards. Together they have given over 1,200 years of service to our NHS.”

More than 170 nominations were made for this year’s ROSCAs. Nominations are made by staff, service users, carers and the general public.

The ROSCAs judging panel consisted of representatives of Healthwatch, Service Users, Trust Governors, Trades Unions and the ROSCAs sponsors.

Organisations and companies sponsoring the ROSCAs this year were Alpha Colour Printers, Midcounties Cooperative, Unison, Gloucestershire Young Carers, West of England Academic Health Science Network, and Renishaw plc.   

The list of winners is as follows:

Service Users and Carers Choice Award

Lisa Bubb – Activities Co-ordinator, Laurel House, Cheltenham

Carer and Service User Involvement Award

Jane Vickers, Community Mental Health Nurse, Cirencester Memorial Centre

Award for Innovation

Colin Baker - Ward Manager, Chestnut Ward, Charlton Lane Hospital, Cheltenham

Best Supporting Colleague Award

Melissa Law – Personal Assistant, St Owens Street, Hereford

Valuing Diversity Award

The E-Mentoring Group

Clinical Team of the Year Award

Herefordshire Crisis and Home Treatment Team

Non-Clinical Team of the Year Award

Charlton Lane Hospital Housekeeping Team, Cheltenham

Best Supporting Manager Award

Laura Pensom – Deputy Manager, Greyfriars Ward, Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester

Unsung Hero Award

Dan Beale Cocks

The CEO Award for Outstanding Contribution

Tony Warnes, Team Manager at Weaver’s Croft, Stroud
 

You can view photos of this year's winners by clicking here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rosca-winners-20141 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rosca-winners-20141 Sat, 28 Feb 15 09:58:15 +0000
Jane Melton Welcomed to Trust Board Professor Jane Melton has been appointed as Director of Engagement and Integration

with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. 

Jane was previously Clinical Director for Social Inclusion for the Trust and is a registered Occupational Therapist.

For the majority of her career she has worked with people who have learning disabilities and people experiencing mental illness. Her exceptional contribution to practice was acknowledged through a Fellowship of the College of Occupational Therapists in 2012.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue my NHS public service in this exciting role," Jane said.

"Engaging with and listening to people who use our services and colleagues who deliver care is critical to best practice, integration and inclusion.

"I look forward to further developing our partnership working to enhance the work that we do for and with people in our local communities."

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether, said: "Jane’s appointment further enhances our clinical voice on the Board and demonstrates our continued commitment to placing service users and carers ability to influence central to everything that we do.

"Likewise, her appointment will enable us to further develop the links we have with partner organisations, ensuring we are fully integrated within the communities we serve."

Alongside her dedication to practice, Jane has achieved doctoral level qualifications and published collaborative, research and practice development activity. Her academic connections are maintained through her honorary professorial role with Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/jane-melton-welcomed-to-trust-board http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/jane-melton-welcomed-to-trust-board Mon, 09 Feb 15 10:50:55 +0000
Health Heroes Shortlisted for Awards More than 170 nominations have been received for 2gether’s latest Recognising Outstanding Contribution and Service Awards (ROSCAs).

The ROSCAs are held annually to pay tribute to the dedication of the staff and volunteers who work in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

A judging panel, chaired by Trust Chair Ruth FitzJohn, had the difficult task of shortlisting the nominees down to three in each ROSCAs category.

The finalists will all attend an awards ceremony on February 27, where they will be joined by staff who have given 20 or 30 years’ service to the Trust and who will be collecting their Long Service awards.

Ruth FitzJohn said: "Once again, the standard of nominations received was extremely high and the subject of considerable debate among the judges.

"The fact that the standard was so high is testimony to the fact that we have so many dedicated individuals and teams who work tirelessly to support our service users and carers.

"I thank all of the nominees for their continued dedication, and look forward to celebrating the achievements of all of those shortlisted, as well as the long service award recipients, at our celebratory event next month."

The ROSCAs judging panel consisted of representatives of Healthwatch, service users, Trust Governors, Trades Unions and the ROSCAs sponsors.

Organisations and companies sponsoring the ROSCAs this year are Alpha Colour Printers, Midcounties Cooperative, Gloucestershire Young Carers, West of England Academic Health Science Network, and Renishaw.

Dave Oldfield, Operations Director at Alpha Colour Printers, said: "We are extremely proud to be involved in the ROSCAs and it has been an honour to be part of the judging panel, which was a very humbling process.

"There were so many people nominated for so many wonderful acts of care and kindness right through to great achievements that all went far beyond expectations of their roles and have made a real difference to the level of care being received.

"We would like to congratulate the winners and nominees as they are all worthy of recognition."

The shortlisted individuals and teams for the ROSCAs are as follows:

Service Users and Carers Choice Award

• Tracey Boden – Senior Young Onset Dementia/Community Mental Health Nurse based at Weavers Croft, Stroud

• Jan Bagnall – Senior Therapist, Stanway Centre, Cheltenham

• Lisa Bubb – Activities Co-ordinator, Laurel House, Cheltenham

Carer and Service User Involvement Award

• Jane Vickers, Community Mental Health Nurse, Cirencester Memorial Centre

• Tracie Morgan – Health Care Assistant, Willow Ward, Charlton Lane, Cheltenham

• Maria Edwards – Receptionist/ Administrator, Acorn House, Gloucester

Award for Innovation

• Elaine Tingle – West Locality Support Manager

• Sally Powell and Luisa Fernandez-Ford – Children and Young People’s Service

• Colin Baker - Ward Manager, Chestnut Ward, Charlton Lane

Best Supporting Colleague Award

• Elaine Hampson – Secretary, Colliers Court, Cinderford

• Katie Clark – Administration Officer, Collingwood House, Gloucester

• Melissa Law – Personal Assistant, St Owens Street, Hereford

Valuing Diversity Award

• The E-Mentoring Group

• Keith Springthorpe – Community Mental Health Nurse, Sherbourne House, Cheltenham

• Spirituality Group

Clinical Team of the Year Award

• Herefordshire Crisis and Home Treatment Team

• Gloucestershire Criminal Justice Liaison Team

• Oak House Team, Hereford

Non-Clinical Team of the Year Award

• Hotel Services, Hollybrook, Stroud

• Countywide Administration and Facilities Management Team

• Charlton Lane Hospital Housekeeping Team

Best Supporting Manager Award

• James Wright – Matron, Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester

• Laura Pensom – Deputy Manager, Greyfriars Ward, Wotton Lawn, Gloucester

• Ruth Thomas – Assistant HR Director: Training

Unsung Hero Award

• June Hennell

• Dan Beale-Cocks

• Terry Whitehead

The ROSCAs awards evening will be held on Friday February 27 at Hatherley Manor hotel, near Gloucester.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/health-heroes-shortlisted-for-awards http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/health-heroes-shortlisted-for-awards Tue, 03 Feb 15 11:59:09 +0000
Working with Young Carers Young people supporting a family member with mental ill health will be helped by a new service being launched by the charity Gloucestershire Young Carers in partnership with the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether).

40% of young carers in the county between the ages of 8 and 24 are supporting someone with mental illness and according to national research. These children could be more vulnerable than their peers to their emotional health and wellbeing being affected by their experiences.

Now a new service, led by Gloucestershire Young Carers’ specialist worker Kate Moss and supported by 2gether, aims to work with young carers and their whole family to put in place coping strategies and a plan for support into the future.

The process will bring several agencies together with referrals for families coming from various sources including the NHS. Kate will then support the family, working through specialist resources to encourage the family to discuss the issues they are dealing with, understand the illness of the family member and work together to put in place a support plan.

Kate says: “As a charity, we provide a range of support services for the young carers from counselling based sessions to respite groups where they can take a break from their caring roles. However, we identified that there is a need to support the whole family if the impact of mental ill health on the young person is to be reduced. Every family is facing a different challenge, their illnesses will be varied and unique and so it is essential that we work with them to find the right coping strategies for their situation.”

Kate has already linked up with families and expects to reach out to up to 20 during the coming months. As she progresses her work with the families she will establish a ‘handover’ to other appropriate agencies for more long-term support.

She says: “In many cases my colleagues from 2gether will work alongside me or we may identify that there are other agencies that can offer appropriate support into the future.”

The aim of the project is to ensure that a focused service is put in place and that the young carer is at the very heart of this service.

Prof Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration at 2gether welcomed the initiative.  She said: “Families that are affected by mental health problems may need specialist support from a range of different agencies.  We are extremely fortunate in Gloucestershire to have a multi-agency approach that considers and cares for the needs of the whole family”. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-with-young-carers http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-with-young-carers Mon, 02 Feb 15 15:38:28 +0000
Time to Talk Mental Health A national event being held to encourage people to speak openly about mental health issues is being supported by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

‘Time to Talk Day’ will take place on Thursday February 5, with the aim of encouraging people up and down the country to take five minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

The conversations can take place anywhere and with anyone, such as with friends, family, work colleagues, fellow students, and in workplaces, schools, colleges, in the community and even online.

Dominika Lipska-Rosecka, Social Inclusion Team Manager with 2gether, said: "Time to Talk Day is a very simple concept, but it could prove to be very effective in breaking down the stigma around mental health.

"Mental health is still a taboo subject for many, and we know that it’s often the isolation and stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents people from discussing their condition with others and seeking help.

"One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health condition each year so we need to speak as openly about mental health as we do about every other aspect of our health and wellbeing.

"Something that affects so many of us shouldn’t be swept under the carpet, so we’d encourage everyone to use Time to Talk Day to take five minutes to discuss mental health and wellbeing anywhere and with anyone you wish."

Time to Talk Day is being organised by national anti-stigma campaign Time to Change.

Events are taking place across the UK to mark the occasion, and 2gether is supporting two specific events in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

These are:

A stand being run by Herefordshire Mind in Hightown, Hereford, from 10am until 3.30pm

A stand being run by 2gether and the Independence Trust at Stroud College, in Stroud, between 9am and 3.30pm

To find out more about Time to Talk Day and get involved, click here.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-talk-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/time-to-talk-mental-health Tue, 27 Jan 15 10:55:16 +0000
Statement Following the Sentencing of Ryan Matthews Ryan Matthews, who admitted murdering Sharon Wall, a Healthcare Assistant, on 2gether NHS Foundation Trust's (2gether) Montpellier Unit in Gloucester, today appeared in Bristol Crown Court.

The judgement handed down was a whole life order, which means Mr Matthews will spend the rest of his life in prison.  

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether, said: “Sharon was a highly compassionate, well-respected and dedicated colleague.

“Everyone who knew her speaks about her warmth, caring nature and good sense of humour and colleagues across the trust feel her loss every day. 

“We continue to provide support to Sharon’s family, friends, colleagues and service users; and we send our deepest sympathies to them during what continues to be a very difficult time.

“We would also like to thank our staff for providing additional support to our service users and each other since this tragic and isolated incident occurred”.

Shaun continued: “Our internal investigation has concluded that this attack could not have been predicted or prevented. 

“We have worked closely with Gloucestershire Police during their investigation and we are committed to our ongoing work with our commissioners, NHS England’s external investigation team and the Health and Safety Executive who, as is standard practice, investigate deaths in the workplace.

“The safety of our staff and service users is our highest priority and our aim is to make sure that we are doing everything possible to provide the safest therapeutic environment for our inpatients, visitors and our staff that we can.

“Our first priority following Sharon’s death was to make sure we understood how the tragic incident occurred and what changes need to be made to our policies and procedures. We launched a serious incident review within hours of the event occurring and an internal investigation followed shortly after.

“During the investigation, we have focussed a great deal on how the weapon used in this crime was on the Montpellier Unit.  Neither we, nor the police, know how Mr Matthews gained access to a knife and unfortunately we may never find that out. Robust control and monitoring of sharps within the low secure unit exist and all the unit’s sharps are properly accounted for.  What we do know for certain is that the knife used in this attack did not belong to our unit.  

“As it appears that the knife was brought into the hospital, one of the changes we are implementing since Sharon’s death is an enhanced search procedure for visitors and inpatients. We recognise that this may cause inconvenience and anxiety for visitors and patients and we would ask people to work with us in further enhancing the safety of who receive treatment, work or visit the unit”.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/statement-following-the-sentencing-of-ryan-matthews http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/statement-following-the-sentencing-of-ryan-matthews Fri, 09 Jan 15 16:41:46 +0000
Make Emotional Wellbeing Your 2015 Resolution Make boosting your mental health and wellbeing your number one resolution for 2015 – that’s the message from experts at psychological therapy service Let’s Talk.

At this time of year, our thoughts often turn to what we want to do differently over the next 12 months. Many people pledge to lose weight, others hope to give up smoking or get more exercise.

Our mental wellbeing should also be a high priority, because if you don’t feel emotionally well, you won’t feel happy and fulfilled in your personal, professional or social lives.

Let’s Talk is a completely free service from the NHS that can help, and Community Services Manager Rosemary Neale said now was the perfect time to think about taking the first steps towards making a change.

"With a New Year just beginning, we have the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start," Rosemary explained.

"Conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress affect 1 in 4 of us, but there is absolutely no reason to suffer in silence and allow these things to prevent us enjoying our lives to the full.

"We provide advice over the telephone, but also one to one support in person as well as courses run in groups.

"With the wide range of services we offer, there’s no need to struggle on alone. Taking the first step is the hardest part, but now is the ideal time to do it."

Let’s Talk is an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service (IAPT). Provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, all of its services are completely free.

The courses provided by Let’s Talk include:

Stress and Anxiety

Low Mood

Emotional Wellbeing

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Sleep

Low Self Esteem

Anger

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

Panic

Courses are run all over Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, including in Ross, Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Hereford, Leominster, Cirencester, and Moreton-in-Marsh.

The service can be contacted on 0800 073 2200, and courses can be booked either over the telephone or online at www.2gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-emotional-wellbeing-your-2015-resolution- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/make-emotional-wellbeing-your-2015-resolution- Tue, 30 Dec 14 11:58:24 +0000
Managing Memory Hosts Tea Party An afternoon tea party has been held in Cheltenham for people with dementia and those supporting them. 

Organised by Managing Memory 2gether, the event was for those who have attended their education and information sessions which provide support, guidance and advice to those with memory problems and their carers.
 
The party was held on the site of Charlton Lane Hospital and Kathy Holmes, one of the organisers, said it had been a great success.

“Lots of people came along and it was really nice to see them all so relaxed and enjoying themselves,” Kathy, who is Engagement and Involvement lead for Managing Memory, said.

“As well as the refreshments, we also heard from Roger Hare of Carers Gloucestershire, who spoke about the carer peer support groups in the area.

“Nicola Jacobson took us through a ‘Dance and Dementia’ session, and Penny Powell and Jane Fraser-Hook, representing the Alzheimer’s Society, led a ‘Singing for the Brain’ session, which included Christmas favourites.

“We’re really grateful to Roger, Nicola, Penny and Jane for giving up their time to join us, and we were really pleased with how the event went.”

Staff from Managing Memory funded the event themselves, through a weekly donation they made into a dieting club they set up.

Sheila Taylor attended the event with her mother and aunt. She said: “Thank you for the warm welcome extended to us. It was fun and heartwarming to meet such a supportive, caring group.”

Managing Memory 2gether is a service provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust for people worried about memory, people with dementia and the carers of people with dementia.

It provides a memory assessment service, as well as information and education sessions and a community dementia nurse service.

If you have concerns about your memory, or that of someone you care for, and you live in Gloucestershire, ring Managing Memory on 0800 694 8800.

If you live in Herefordshire and you would like to seek advise on memory issues, please ring the local Dementia Service on 0800 234 6343.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/managing-memory-hosts-tea-party http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/managing-memory-hosts-tea-party Mon, 08 Dec 14 11:38:51 +0000
Volunteers Thanked at Trust Tea Party

 

The many people who give up their own time to help the service users of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust have been formally thanked for everything they do. 

The volunteers and experts by experience – people who have experienced mental illness or have a learning disability and use that experience to advise the Trust – were invited to a tea party held in their honour at Kingsholm Stadium, in Gloucester.

Speaking at the gathering, 2gether’s Chair Ruth FitzJohn, said: "Our volunteers and experts by experience are beyond a shadow of a doubt the most important group I will meet this year.

"You give your time, knowledge, experience and energy to help build the communities we live in here in Gloucestershire and in Herefordshire.

"Today I am having tea in the company of heroes and giants."

More than 95 volunteers are registered with 2gether, and they work to enhance and improve the services the Trust provides.

Their work includes:

Helping to tend the gardens at our inpatient units

Visiting inpatient units with Pat (Pets as Therapy) dogs

Driving service users to and from appointments

Meeting and greeting people who attend courses provided by Let’s Talk

Assisting therapists

Helping at meal times

There are more than 150 experts by experience registered with the Trust. They also help in a variety of ways, including sitting on interview panels when staff are being recruited, advising on trust policies, helping to provide staff training, and participating in focus groups to provide feedback on important issues the Trust is working on, including its long term strategies.

To express an interest in volunteering with the Trust, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 01452 894200.

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-at-tea-party http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-at-tea-party Tue, 02 Dec 14 11:52:10 +0000
Be Alcohol Aware A national awareness week held every November to raise awareness of the issues around alcohol is being supported by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. 

Alcohol Awareness Week 2014 starts today (Nov 17) and this year the theme being promoted by organisers Alcohol Concern is ‘Facing our alcohol problem: Taking back our health and high streets.’

Dr Karen Williams, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist with 2gether, said it was important to use the occasion to openly discuss the impact alcohol has on individuals and communities.

She said: "Alcohol has a huge impact on society, and we can all do something, particularly this week, to think carefully about how much alcohol we are consuming and the impact that might have on our health and the people around us.

"It’s also a chance to talk to others about their alcohol consumption and encourage some small steps they could take to improve their health and wellbeing.

"If people stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol, then drinking is not too much of a problem.

"However, excessive alcohol consumption can have long term health impacts, including heart disease and psychological illnesses like depression and anxiety. It can also impact upon your everyday life and affect your friends and family.

"I’d urge everyone to use Alcohol Awareness Week to talk about drinking and seek help and advice if they need it."

To calculate the units of alcohol in your favourite drink, visit NHS Choices or click here.

Alcohol Concern is also urging people to sign up for ‘Dry January’, which is aimed at encouraging people to give up alcohol for the month.

Dr Williams said Dry January could be a good way for people to assess how much better abstinence could make them feel.

She said: "By giving up alcohol for the month of January you should see an impact on your health, waistline, skin and bank balance. This might encourage you, if not to give up alcohol entirely, to cut down on what you are drinking."

Dry January is not a medical detox programme, and should not be undertaken by people with alcohol dependency issues, who should instead seek medical advice, approach alcohol support services or your family GP for advice.

For information on Dry January visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.

If you are concerned about your levels of alcohol consumption, then your first step should always be to speak to your GP.

If you live in Herefordshire, you can also contact 2gether’s Drugs and Alcohol Service Herefordshire, on 01432 263636 for advice or visit www.2gether.nhs.uk/dash

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-alcohol-aware http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/be-alcohol-aware Mon, 17 Nov 14 11:34:13 +0000
Gloucestershire Employers Tackle Stigma at Work Over 50 employers from across Gloucestershire are getting together next week at a workshop in Cheltenham to talk about the benefits of tackling mental health stigma in the workplace.

The workshop, which takes place on 10 November, will give employers an opportunity to reflect on their personal views of mental health and stigma and to pick up information and tips about how they can create a healthy workplace and reduce the risks of stress, anxiety or more severe mental ill health.

It is open to all Gloucestershire businesses and organisations and the keynote speaker, Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, England’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, will share useful insights and advice.

A number of businesses across Gloucestershire have already expressed their commitment to help their workforces become open and honest about mental health issues.

Over the past few weeks, organisations such as Gloucester Rugby, GE Aviation, Gloucester Fire and Rescue Service and Norville Group signed a pledge to ‘Tackle Stigma’ and ‘Talk Mental Health’ to support the message of World Mental Health Day in October.

Businesses have also talked to senior figures from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and a 2gether service user about mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression over a cup of tea.

Professor Jane Melton, Clinical Director for Social Inclusion with 2gether, said: "We are really grateful to all the local businesses that have welcomed us over the past few weeks. Their commitment, interest and enthusiasm to find out more about how to encourage good emotional wellbeing is commendable.

"We want to encourage other businesses in Gloucestershire to follow their example, so that we get the whole county tackling stigma and talking mental health."

Dr Helen Miller, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We can help our employees to stay well, both physically and mentally with the right knowledge and skills. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder that you care, or an understanding ear.

"Maintaining good mental health is really important, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing world and pace of life.


"Looking after staff and working towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health makes organisations happier and healthier. It also makes good business sense for organisations as staff who feel better cared for and supported will ultimately feel able to contribute more with a positive impact on productivity."

Mental health problems are common - but nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result, which can be even worse than the symptoms themselves.

Time to Change is England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. Find out more at www.time-to-change.org.uk.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-employers-tackle-stigma-at-work http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-employers-tackle-stigma-at-work Thu, 06 Nov 14 14:08:08 +0000
League of Friends Donates Equipment to Weavers Croft

Medical devices to help people with dementia have been donated to 2gether by Stroud Hospitals League of Friends.

Amplifiers to help people who are hard of hearing, and light boxes to help with mood disorders, were handed over to the Trust by the League at Weaver’s Croft, in Field Road, where the equipment will be in use.

Dr Martin Ansell, 2gether’s Clinical Director for Older People’s Mental Health Services, requested the equipment.

He said: "We are extremely grateful to the League of Friends for their continued support, and this equipment will be put to very good use with the people we work with.

"The amplifiers will help when we are carrying out assessments with people who are hard of hearing, or who perhaps don’t have a hearing aid or have mislaid it.

"The light boxes have a dual purpose. They can be used to alleviate depression where it may be linked to conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder. They are also increasingly used to help alleviate behavioural issues and sleep disorders in dementia patients, and we are looking forward to being able to assess the impact of this treatment with the people we work with."

Dr Roy Lamb, who is President of Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, said: "The League of Friends are always pleased to enhance all the medical services and treatments at Stroud’s hospitals.

"It is with great pleasure that we are able to make a contribution to assist the treatment of patients at the Mental Health Services, Weavers Croft with the light therapy boxes and communicator amplifiers."

The League of Friends has provided other support to Weaver’s Croft in recent months, including donations of pictures to decorate the clinical areas. The League has also funded improvements to the reception area, and work will begin on those improvements in November.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/league-of-friends-donates-equipment-to-weavers-croft http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/league-of-friends-donates-equipment-to-weavers-croft Fri, 24 Oct 14 17:05:14 +0000
Businesses Urged to Tackle Stigma and Talk Mental Health Businesses across Gloucestershire are being urged to ‘Tackle Stigma’ and ‘Talk Mental Health’ in the run up to World Mental Health Day.

Depression, anxiety and stress caused 15 million days of work loss in the UK in 2013*, and many staff feel too embarrassed to speak up and seek help.

To help combat this, senior figures from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and a 2gether service user are visiting businesses and organisations to talk mental health over a cup of tea. 

The campaign got underway today (Oct 6) with a visit to Star Bistro, and on Friday (Oct 10) – World Mental Health Day itself - Gloucester Rugby players and staff will also help tackle stigma by lending their support to the campaign.                

Professor Jane Melton, Clinical Director for Social Inclusion with 2gether, said: "We are really grateful to all of the businesses who will be welcoming us throughout this campaign.

"They all take the wellbeing of their staff very seriously, which is why they are keen to find out more about how to encourage good emotional wellbeing and ensure their workforce is open and honest about mental health.

"We hope other businesses will want to follow their example, so that we get the whole of Gloucestershire tackling stigma and talking mental health.

"One in four people will experience a mental health issue in any given year, but there is still discrimination towards those with mental ill health.

"We want to break through the myths and talk openly and honestly, so that people feel supported and encouraged to seek the help they need, which will also help businesses maintain a happy and productive workforce."

Dr Helen Miller, Clinical Chair at Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We can help our employees to stay well, both physically and mentally with the right knowledge and skills.

"Maintaining good mental health is really important, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing world and pace of life. Looking after staff and working towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health makes organisations happier and healthier. It also makes good business sense for organisations as staff who feel better cared for and supported will ultimately feel able to contribute more with a positive impact on productivity."

The businesses and organisations being visited through the campaign are:

Star Bistro, a partnership project between The Wiggly Worm Charity and the National Star College, at Ullenwood, near Cheltenham

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Norville Group, in Gloucester

Sainsbury’s at Gloucester Quays

GE Aviation, in Cheltenham

Gloucestershire Care Service NHS Trust

Gloucester Rugby

People and Places

UCAS

Cheltenham Borough Council

HR Champions

Carter Construction

Gloucestershire County Council

The organisations getting behind the campaign all have their own reasons for supporting it.

Rob Rees, of Star Bistro – the first organisation to be visited during the week - said: "Any one of us at any time – that’s the reality of when you or I could suffer with something that makes life harder to cope with. We ignore mental health issues at our peril. I would encourage more employers to be more flexible and understanding when difference occurs amongst their staff."

Gloucester Rugby’s Chief Executive Stephen Vaughan said:  "We work in an industry where, obviously, the physical wellbeing of our players is the thing that captures most of the media headlines. However, it is a line of work where any of our employees, both on and off the field, can find themselves suffering from anxiety, stress or other related issues. As an organisation we take this very seriously and commit to providing support for anyone who needs it. Therefore, we’re delighted to lend our support to the NHS Foundation Trust’s campaign."

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Dave Smith said: "As one of the largest employers in the county providing emergency care for residents across Gloucestershire, we are fully behind any programme that helps to de-stigmatise mental health issues.

"It is important to us that our patients receive the best possible care and support when receiving treatment with us. Equally, we understand that our employees may need support and we work hard to raise awareness about the support available for our staff in our hospitals such as our Identifying Mental Health training for managers and our full resilience training.

"Knowing that you can get help and knowing how to access support is really key and we are proud to support this campaign and to talk about such an important issue."

Simon Lloyd, Store Manager at Sainsbury’s, Gloucester Quays, said: "As one in four people are suffering from this problem it’s great for us to help in raising awareness about this with the number of customers we have in the shop every week and 300 colleagues working for us in the store."

John Lane, Operations Director at Norville Group Ltd, said: "Our opinion is that mental health is no different to physical heath in the way that it should be viewed by an employer, and simply part of general wellbeing.

"Although we need our employees to come to work, they need to be healthy in order to do so, and we respect all personal issues that affect any individual and would like to work with them to find a solution to whatever the issue might be. Any increase in understanding and appreciation has to be a good thing for everyone."

The campaign will culminate with a conference in Cheltenham on Monday November 10.

That event will be open to all Gloucestershire businesses and organisations and the keynote speaker on the day will be Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, England’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

For more information click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/businesses-urged-to-tackle-stigma-and-talk-mental-health http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/businesses-urged-to-tackle-stigma-and-talk-mental-health Mon, 06 Oct 14 16:23:45 +0000
Young People Get ARTiculate at Crewe Event A group of eight young people from Gloucestershire have attended an event aimed at helping them to learn new skills, improve their communication skills and build self-esteem and resilience.

The young people are all supported by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust's Children and Young People Service. 

They attended ARTiculation – a residential arts event in Crewe – run by Action for Children, a leading children’s charity which runs over 650 services to improve the lives of young people.

Action for Children family support practitioner Nikki Mayer and two volunteers accompanied the group to the event.

Nikki said: "ARTiculation offers young people an opportunity to learn new creative skills, improve their communications skills, meet new friends, forget about their problems at home and enjoy themselves. It also broadens their horizons by introducing them to people from different backgrounds and different parts of the UK, and helps to overcome social anxieties and build confidence.

"The young people also took part in a creative consultation where they were asked about what things are important to them and what they want to see from services and policymakers alike.

"The event was a great success and the young people all enjoyed the weekend, overcoming some big personal challenges to engage in the activities. Friendships were formed, barriers overcome and a lot of fun was had!"

16-year-old Frankie was one of the young people who went.

She said: "ARTiculation was incredible! I loved the dance and the relaxed atmosphere of the weekend. It was such a positive experience for me!"

Action for Children works with in collaboration with 2gether to support children and their families and help them find solutions to improve their emotional health and wellbeing. The young people are supported with a variety of emotional and behavioural difficulties through intensive pro-active engagement and social groups as well as through a participation project where they are empowered to help drive and shape services.

      

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-people-get-articulate-at-crewe-event http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-people-get-articulate-at-crewe-event Tue, 30 Sep 14 10:30:50 +0000
Charlton Lane Carers Garden Party Charlton Lane hospital in Cheltenham is holding a garden party for families and carers of older people living with dementia or other mental health conditions.

The event is being held on Thursday, September 25 from 3 until 5pm.

Activities will include a tombola, throw the sponge, basket hoops, face painting, treasure maps and a range of other games and music.
 
Afternoon tea and other refreshments will be served.
 
Gemma Coltraro, Mulberry Ward Manager, said: “We are holding the garden party to help celebrate the often unrecognised role that carers provide someone with mental ill-health. Caring is such an important role and can often have significant impact on both the life of a carer and the person in their care.  

“This will be a time for carers and the person in their care to join others in a relaxed, entertaining environment.”
 
A Carer is anyone who gives unpaid support to look after someone who is unable to look after themselves, with a disability, frailty or illness. Without their support, the person they care for could not manage.
   
Carers can be any age, culture, background or gender. It is estimated that 1 in 8 adults care for someone.  This means that there are around 63,000 carers in Gloucestershire alone. 
 
Gemma continued: “Everyone is really looking forward to the event. There will be musical entertainment, afternoon tea, games, activities and gifts for all carers. We look forward to seeing people we already know and making new friends.”

If you would like to attend the free event or for more information, please ring Charlton Lane on 01242 634149.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/charlton-lane-carers-garden-party http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/charlton-lane-carers-garden-party Tue, 23 Sep 14 10:43:38 +0000
Get 2gether for World Mental Health Day in Hereford  A ‘get 2gether' is being held in Hereford to mark World Mental Health Day.  

2gether NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental and social health care across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, is organising the event with Trust Public Governors on Friday October 10.

The gathering, at the Kindle Centre, in Belmont Road, will take place from 6 until 8pm and everyone – Trust members, non members, service users, carers and families - is welcome. 

It will provide an opportunity to learn more about the services provided to people in Herefordshire, both by 2gether and partner agencies, as well as have a say in how the Trust works.

Dawn Lewis, one of 2gether’s three Governors for Herefordshire, said: "This event is an opportunity to show support for people with mental illness, and find out more about what 2gether does to help those individuals, as well as their carers and families.

"It is being held on World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated all over the world in order to raise awareness about mental health conditions and highlight the huge amount of work going on locally, nationally and internationally to ensure people receive the treatment, advice and support they require.

"We want to see lots of people at the event, so please do join us to talk about these important issues and get involved. You are invited to bring along your friends too - we need to hear your voice and will listen to what you have to say - this, we the Herefordshire Governors, promise you."

 The event will feature presentations from 2gether, as well as partner agencies. There will also be an opportunity to visit stands, ask questions of our Board and Governors, provide feedback and have a say in helping to shape local services.

Dawn is one of three 2gether Governors in Herefordshire. The other Governors for the county are Diane Topham and Adrian Wilcox.

For further information or to register to attend please contact Debbie Robbens on 01452 894007 or debbie.robbens@glos.nhs.uk

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-for-world-mental-health-day-in-hereford http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-for-world-mental-health-day-in-hereford Wed, 17 Sep 14 15:27:12 +0000
Garden Fete at Wotton Lawn A Gloucester hospital is holding a garden fete for previous and current patients as well as their families and carers.

The event, at Wotton Lawn Hospital, is being held on Saturday September 20 from 3 until 5pm.

Activities will include a tombola and music, and there will also be cakes, ice creams, a barbecue and other entertainment and games.

James Lewis-Watkins, Engagement, Activity, and Physical Health.Team Leader at the hospital, said: "We have held a garden party at Wotton Lawn for several years now, and they have always been a great success.

"We’re looking forward to welcoming back old friends, as well as the carers and families of our current patients.

"It’s a great opportunity to get everyone together and spend a nice afternoon catching up, sharing stories and generally relaxing.

"If the sun shines it will be lovely, but we’re prepared to hold the event indoors if it rains so please don’t be put off coming along if the weather forecast is not very good."

If you would like to attend the free event or for more information, please ring Wotton Lawn on 01452 894000.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-fete-at-wotton-lawn http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-fete-at-wotton-lawn Fri, 12 Sep 14 10:12:06 +0000
New Director of Finance Appointed A new Director of Finance and Commerce has been appointed to 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Lee has worked within the NHS for more than 30 years and has previously held director level positions, in both an interim and substantive capacity, for a number of commissioning and provider organisations.

His most recent positions have included Director of Quality and Performance at NHS North Staffordshire, Chief Financial Officer at North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Director of Finance at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Director of Finance at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

A resident of Cardiff, the 54-year-old married father and grandfather has also worked for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Prior to being formally appointed, Mr Lee had previously been interim Director of Finance and Commerce for 2gether.

"I am delighted to have been appointed as Director of Finance and Commerce for 2gether," he said.

"Having worked for a short period here as an interim director, I have been able to see how dynamic the organisation is. I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues to drive the organisation forward and deliver the best possible services for our service users, while working within our financial resources."

Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: "Our recruitment and selection process for this position was extensive and we are extremely pleased with our appointment.

"Andrew is an experienced Executive Director of Finance, having held several high profile permanent and interim positions.  He has experience in mental health, in community services and in commissioning.

"Andrew has been working with us as our interim Director of Finance and Commerce for the last four months and so will be hitting the ground running. I am very pleased to formally welcome Andrew to our board."

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-finance-appointed http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-finance-appointed Wed, 10 Sep 14 14:38:41 +0000
Invitation to Trust AGM An open invitation is being extended to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.  

The event will take place between 5 and 7.30pm on Monday September 15, at Oxstalls Tennis Centre, Plock Court, Longford, in Gloucester.

Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: "Our AGM is an opportunity to review and reflect upon everything we have experienced and achieved in the past year, as well as discuss our plans and the challenges we will face in the future.

"It’s important to us that people come along to find out about what we do, give us feedback on what we have done well or not so well and make ideas and suggestions.

"Mental and social healthcare are crucial topics, and they are becoming ever more significant, so I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved and help us shape our services to come along."

The meeting will feature presentations as well as an opportunity to visit information stands and ask questions.

 

A financial review of 2013/14 will form part of the proceedings. Copies of the Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14 will also be available.

If you would like to attend or would like to receive further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or email anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk. 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm1 Tue, 19 Aug 14 11:10:57 +0000
Statement from Chief Executive Shaun Clee Following the tragic events in Gloucester yesterday Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are all deeply shocked by the tragic incident that occurred on one of our inpatient wards yesterday morning.

"The extremely sad event, which resulted in the death of a highly compassionate and dedicated colleague, has had a profound impact on everyone working in our trust.

"Sharon Wall was a well-respected healthcare assistant and everyone who knew her speaks about her warmth, caring nature and good sense of humour. She will be deeply missed by colleagues and the service users she supported.

"We are still in the early stages of the investigation and continue to assist Gloucestershire Police in their work. Above all, our thoughts remain with Sharon's friends and family and, along with Gloucestershire Police we ask that the family are given privacy and time to grieve during this difficult period.

"On behalf of colleagues across our trust, I extend our most sincere and deepest sympathies."

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/statement-from-chief-executive-shaun-clee http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/statement-from-chief-executive-shaun-clee Thu, 10 Jul 14 19:25:44 +0000
Roland Dix receives RCN Fellowship Award
A Gloucestershire mental health nursing consultant has been awarded the highest Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Fellowship award.

Roland Dix, who works at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Wotton Lawn Hospital, received the honour at the Royal College’s annual congress held at the Liverpool ACC arena on 15 June.

Speaking at the national RCN congress awards ceremony, RCN Chief Executive Dr Peter Carter said: “The RCN Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship are the highest awards the Royal College of Nursing can bestow. They are given to those who have made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care – whether through clinical innovation, leadership, research or practice development.”

Roland has created a number of health care innovations that have significantly contributed to the psychiatric intensive care and low secure movement in this country. He has led on the design and commissioning of a new nurse-driven psychiatric intensive care which developed a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence. Despite his high profile, he remains actively involved in clinical work and is highly valued by the patients he works with and the staff he leads.

Roland began his career in 1984 as a health care assistant at Horton Road Hospital Gloucester. He was appointed editor-in-chief of the international Journal of Psychiatric Intensive care for Cambridge University Press in 2005. Over the last 20 years he has held a number of posts within Gloucestershire mental health services and the last 10 years as the Consultant and clinical lead for Gloucestershire’s Greyfriars Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). 

The new Greyfriars PICU building opened in 2010. The service has gained both a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence. Over the years, it has received visitors from several European countries as well as the from US, Australia and Asia.

Commenting on his award Roland said “I am extremely pleased that services in Gloucestershire have been recognized in this way. I was very surprised and pleased to receive the honour which is down to the commitment and hard work of a large number of people I have been privileged to work with over the years.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/roland-dix-receives-rcn-fellowship-award http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/roland-dix-receives-rcn-fellowship-award Tue, 24 Jun 14 10:54:20 +0000
Justice for All

A conference held in Gloucester was aimed at raising awareness of the issues faced by people with learning disabilities who are going through the criminal justice system.

The event, entitled ‘Justice for All’, attracted more than 130 people to Police Headquarters at Waterwells, Quedgeley, on Monday (June 23).

The Mental Capacity Act, Autism and communication difficulties were all discussed, and attendees also heard from an ex-offender about his experience of going through custody, the courts and a prison term.

Jonathan Thomas, from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Chairs the Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities and Criminal Justice Group, which organised the event.

He said: "Our group was formed in 2009, following the Bradley Report, to raise awareness of the very real difficulties people with any form of learning disability or difficulty can face when they become part of the criminal justice system.

"From being arrested and taken into police custody, right through to serving a prison term, if you cannot understand what is being asked of you, follow instruction or communicate with officials or fellow prisoners, you are at risk of being at a significant disadvantage.

"We know that approximately 30 per cent of people in the criminal justice system have some form of learning difficulty and our group has been working for five years now to make sure their needs are considered here in Gloucestershire.

"We had a wide range of organisations represented at this event, including police officers, court staff, magistrates, custody officers and probation staff, so we’re really pleased the agencies here are taking the issue seriously."

Speakers at the conference included Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who gave the opening remarks.

The Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities and Criminal Justice Group is comprised of organisations including 2gether, Gloucestershire Police, Tascor, Independence Trust, the Probation Service, Mencap and Guideposts.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/justice-for-all http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/justice-for-all Tue, 24 Jun 14 09:46:15 +0000
New Non Executive Director for 2gether

A new Non Executive Director has been appointed to the board of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Maggie Deacon, from Stow on the Wold, spent the majority of her career in the public services, including working in local Government, the NHS and higher and further education.

Maggie said: "I have a deep commitment to public services, particularly in support of those who are disadvantaged in some way.

"I am delighted to have been appointed as a Non Executive Director for 2gether, and very much looking forward to my new role".

Maggie has worked in partnership across the public, private and voluntary sectors to enable regeneration, to provide joined up services and to develop new accommodation and infrastructure.

A Chartered Public Finance Accountant by profession, she has a degree in Economics and Statistics and a post graduate diploma in business research with a focus on change management.

She has also established wholly owned subsidiary companies to enable organisations to achieve their objectives and minimise risk.

She has two daughters and seven grandchildren.

Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether, said she was very pleased to welcome Maggie to the Board.

She said: "Maggie is a very welcome addition to the Board. She brings a rich breadth of experience and expertise to our organisation.

"I am very much looking forward to working alongside Maggie in the important role we play in making life better for people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire."

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-director-for-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-director-for-2gether Fri, 20 Jun 14 10:03:41 +0000
Herefordshire Schoolchildren Get Crucial Children from across Herefordshire are learning crucial information about staying safe and happy in a two-week long event being held at Hereford United Football Club.

The ‘Crucial Crew’ event is held annually to educate primary school children on issues such as road, water and fire safety, first aid and emotional wellbeing.

This year more than 1,600 children from 68 schools are attending, and PC Paul Sparrow, of West Merica Police, said they would all have a great time while learning vital life lessons.

PC Sparrow, who is one of the main organisers of the event, said: "The Crucial Crew has been taking place every year for a considerable time now, and each year it gets better and better.

"The children who come along have a great day out with lots of fun workshops and activities, and most importantly they learn about how to stay safe, healthy and happy.

"We’re delighted to have so many children attending this year, and hope the lessons they learn will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

Agencies involved in Crucial Crew include Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, the British Red Cross, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Herefordshire Council, and Western Power.

The event started on Monday June 16 and runs until Friday June 27.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-schoolchildren-get-crucial- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-schoolchildren-get-crucial- Tue, 17 Jun 14 15:25:55 +0000
Learning Disability Week 2014 A week-long series of events will be taking place across Gloucestershire to mark Learning Disability Week 2014.

The annual event is organised nationally by the charity Mencap. Locally there will be an Employment Showcase, as well as many opportunities to find out about the support and activities available to people with learning disabilities in the county.

The events, organised under the umbrella of the Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities Board, start on Monday (June 16).

Jan Marriott and Zara Humphrey are co-chairs of the Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board and said: "Learning Disability Awareness Week is a great way of getting everyone together to find out more about help and services available for people with learning disabilities, while having fun at the same time.

"It is brilliant to see so many organisations working together to put on a week-long series of events to raise awareness of the support on offer in Gloucestershire right throughout the year.

"We would encourage everyone to get involved. Find out what’s on and come along to some of the planned events to pick up some information."

Simon Shorrick, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Health Facilitation Team, is coordinating the event with the Board.

He said: "We really hope people will take the opportunity to get involved in the week. It’s a great opportunity to get together and celebrate everything people with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire do, and what we support organisations have to offer.

"There’s a lot happening so I’d encourage everyone who has a learning disability, as well as their friends, families, support workers and carers, to get involved."

Events taking place during the week include:

      An open day at Jamats Activity Centre for Adults with Special Needs, in London Road, Gloucester. From 10am until 3pm on Monday June 16. Find out about exercise, drama, life skills, jewellery making, bingo, and lots more.

      An event at Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Shop, in Westgate Street, Gloucester. From 10am until 3pm on Tuesday June 17. Take part in creative workshops and find out about arts, crafts, music and discos.

      A drop in event at Let’s Talk, at the Stanway Centre, Swindon Road, Cheltenham. From 11am until 3pm on Tuesday June 17. Talk to one of our advisers about emotional wellbeing, stress, anxiety and depression.

      Open house at Gloucestershire Voices, Lansdown, Stroud. From 12 noon until 2pm on Tuesday June 17. Learn more about local health and social resources, advice, support and drama group.

      All seven community hospitals and Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals will have displays in their reception areas. Sessions will also be held at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General for people to look at hospital equipment and talk to nurses about medical matters on Tuesday June 16.

      An open day at Grapevine Care Farm, The Tynings, Walmore Hill, Minsterworth. From 10am until 4pm on Wednesday June 18 you can find out about the farm’s land and animal work, as well as arts and crafts.

      An Employment Showcase from 1.30 until 4pm on Thursday June 19 at Walls Social Club, Barnwood, Gloucester. Staff from Building Better Lives will be among the stallholders and Gloucestershire Voices will be showing a short film from 2.30pm.

      A drop in session at Carers Gloucestershire (10.30am until 1.30pm) on Thursday June 19. Carers can find out about the support they can access and seek advice.

      The Butterfly Garden in Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham, will also be holding open house coffee mornings every day from Monday June 16 to Friday June 22 between 10am and 12 noon.

  • On Friday June 20th  10am - 12pm the Orchard Trust will have their Truly Scrumptious cafe open and an art exhibition from 10am until 12 noon. You can also find out about their outdoor activities including growing vegetables and looking after their animals. Orchard Trust Learning Centre and Smallholding site can be found in Upper Stowfield, Lydbrook.

There will also be drop in sessions in Tewkesbury, Stroud, Coleford, Gloucester and Cheltenham for people to find out about services available in those areas. Full details are available online.

To see full details of the week’s events, please click here.

'This is My Life' is our campaign to celebrate the lives of people with learning disabilities. Click here to read the stories of four Gloucestershire people with learning disabilities. ]]>
http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disability-week-20141 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/learning-disability-week-20141 Tue, 10 Jun 14 10:43:15 +0000
Opportunities for Apprentices Apprenticeships in Business and Administration are being offered by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

The Level 2 apprentice places will be available from September, and an open evening is being held later this month for potential applicants to find out more.

The apprenticeships will last for 12 months, with the opportunity to apply for any posts which become available within the Trust or potentially progress onto further apprenticeship qualifications.

Ruth Thomas, Head of Training for the Trust, said the apprenticeships could be a very good opportunity for anyone wanting to start a career in administration within the NHS.

She said: "Apprenticeships are a great way of starting a career, and earning a salary while gaining work experience and a nationally recognised qualification.

"The apprenticeship is a combination of theory and practice with much of the learning being assessed in the workplace.

"As an NHS Foundation Trust we offer a range of career opportunities across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, so for the right people these roles could prove a very attractive option.

"We look forward to seeing people at our open event, when we can provide more details about what the roles may entail and where they may be based."

The open event takes place on Monday June 23 between 3 and 6pm. It is being held at Collingwood House Training and Education Centre, in Horton Road, Gloucester.

For further details please click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/opportunities-for-apprentices http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/opportunities-for-apprentices Fri, 06 Jun 14 15:09:48 +0000
Notice of Election - Council of Governors - 2014 The Governor Nomination process is now closed! 

Click here to view the Statement of Candidates 

Look out for the election material which will be sent out to all eligible Members at the start of July.  Make your vote count!

Governors play an important role in our Trust as members of the Trust’s Council of Governors. They reflect the views of the Trust’s members, promote and support the Trust’s strategy, hold the Board’s Non-Executive Directors to account, and help the Trust to decide its future direction.

Being a Governor means that you will hear first hand about new developments in the Trust and will have the opportunity to ask questions on behalf of your constituents on the key issues affecting you.  This is your opportunity to get involved and to make your voice count.

To read the Notice of Election, please click here.

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election---council-of-governors---20141 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election---council-of-governors---20141 Tue, 03 Jun 14 12:05:56 +0000
Get 2gether in Gloucester A ‘get 2gether’ is taking place in Gloucester to give people an opportunity to find out more about 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and its work.

2gether, which provides mental and social health care across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, is organising the event with Trust Public Governors on the evening of Tuesday June 10.

The event will take place at Blackfriars Priory, off Ladybellegate Street, in Gloucester City Centre, from 6 until 8pm.

It is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the services provided to people in Gloucester and beyond, as well as become members of the Trust if they want to.

Gillian Hayes, 2gether’s Public Governor for Gloucester, said: “This event is a chance for people to hear more about what 2gether does to support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities and other conditions, such as dementia.

“It is being held during Men’s Health Week, which this year is focussing on work, stress and unemployment. We will be hearing from a guest speaker about his experiences of living with mental illness, as well as discussing why men may be more reluctant to seek help with mental health conditions, including stress and anxiety.

“It is a great opportunity to come along, have a say in what we do and find out what support we and the other agencies who will be attending are able to provide.”

The event will also feature a presentation from Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee, and there will be opportunities to speak with representatives from local services, visit stands, ask questions of our Board and Governors, provide feedback and have a say in helping to shape local services.

For further information or to register to attend please contact Debbie Robbens on 01452 894007 or debbie.robbens@glos.nhs.uk

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-gloucester Fri, 23 May 14 10:24:42 +0000
2gether NHS Foundation Trust supports Cheltenham Challenge 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is supporting this year’s Cheltenham Challenge event which will take place on Sunday 22 June in Cheltenham

The event is organised by CCP and JTT Events and will start at Cheltenham Racecourse. 

The Challenge is a multi-terrain event consisting of 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Ultimate routes which are open to both walkers and runners. Following parts of the Cheltenham Circular Footpath, Cotswold Way and Winchcombe Way, the event attracts a wide range of participants including experienced distance runners, families, community groups, school cross country runners, corporate teams, walkers and charity fundraisers. Participants can find out more information or register for their chosen distance by visiting the Cheltenham Challenge website at http://www.thechallenge.org.uk/

In 2014, the event is raising awareness of mental health issues and CCP has teamed up with 2gether Trust to promote the benefits of outdoor activity, exercise and Eco-Therapy as a means of helping people to cope with mental health problems. It may come as a surprise to learn that one-in-four people suffer from a mental health issue, and whilst the NHS is there to provide support and treatment, participation in an event such as the Cheltenham Challenge can provide real benefits which complement any clinical support.

CCP Chief Executive Cordell Ray said, “The Cheltenham Challenge is a unique event which offers range of challenges suited to any ability or aspiration. Whether this involves walking the very scenic half marathon route, or competing for a personal best time in the 10k, there really is something for everyone. For anyone who simply wants to spend some time outdoors enjoying the sunshine, the spectacular views and giving moral support to participants, we also offer a range of volunteering opportunities. By volunteering as a course marshal, you can take part in the event even without walking or running.”

The Cheltenham Challenge is also a popular fundraising event for both local and national charities, having raised over half a million pounds so far. Charity fundraisers are welcome to use the event as a means of raising money for any charity of their choice, whether a mental health cause or otherwise, with all of the sponsorship they raise going to their nominated charity.

Shaun Clee, 2gether’s Chief Executive said, “There is clear evidence that looking after your physical health can also improve your emotional wellbeing. That is why we are supporting the Cheltenham Challenge and encouraging everyone who can, to think about what moderate level of activity they can introduce into their own daily routine.

“We wish the best of luck to all participants and whatever their goal for the day, have fun and enjoy yourself.”

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-supports-cheltenham-challenge http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-supports-cheltenham-challenge Thu, 15 May 14 14:12:15 +0000
Nurse Encourages Others to Follow His Footsteps  

A nurse of more than 30 years is encouraging others to join the profession. 

Speaking to mark International Nurses Day (May 12), John Chilton, Nurse Consultant with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said nursing was still a proud profession and one that younger people should consider joining if they possess the right attributes.

John, 49, who is based at Wotton Lawn Hospital, in Gloucester, said: "Nursing is not for everybody, but if you have a mixture of what we call the 6Cs – compassion, commitment, courage, competence, communication and care – then nursing is the ideal profession.

"We face a lot of challenges, but if you have a natural empathy for people and want to make a difference to people’s lives, then it’s a great career."

John started training in 1983 in Hampshire and, apart from two years in general nursing, and three years out while completing a Psychology degree, he has been a mental health nurse for his whole career.

Working initially in Hampshire and Oxfordshire, he moved to Gloucestershire 12 years ago and is now a Nurse Consultant. The role sees him divide his time in four ways – 50 per cent of his time is spent with patients in the community or inpatient wards, with the remainder spent on research, teaching and service development.

John, who has also completed a Master ’s degree, and is currently completing his PhD, works alongside the University of Gloucestershire and University of the West of England in his research role. His speciality is Dual Diagnosis – where service users have been diagnosed with a mental illness and a co-existing substance abuse problem.

John initially went into nursing and took a keen interest in mental health as he had a friend who was mentally unwell. Seeing his friend going through such a difficult time meant John felt he wanted to try and help others in a similar position, and he says many mental health nurses get into the profession for those very reasons.

"There is a shortage, nationally, of mental health nurses at the moment, "John explained.

"But many of us have friends and family members who are mentally unwell, and if you want to support people and support them to aid their own recovery, mental health nursing is a great way to do it."

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nurse-encourages-others-to-follow-his-footsteps http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nurse-encourages-others-to-follow-his-footsteps Fri, 09 May 14 12:48:44 +0000
Emotional Wellbeing Support on Offer in Lydney A project set up to help improve the health and wellbeing of families in the Forest of Dean is now offering courses provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.  

The Lydney Cluster (TLC) project, which is based in Lydney Community Centre, is offering courses provided by the Trust’s Let’s Talk service – with topics including stress, anxiety and low mood all available.

Kate Newell, Project Manager for TLC, said the courses were proving popular and there were still spaces available if people wanted to enrol.

She said: "The TLC project was initially open only to parents and carers within the Lydney cluster of schools, but we are now expanding to welcome a wider range of people from across the Forest.

"We run a full timetable of courses, including computing, healthy eating, parenting, self -defence, literacy and numeracy and even Zumba, plus much more.

"We’re really pleased to work in partnership with 2gether to offer some of the ‘Let’s Talk’ courses to the community. These excellent and accessible courses are aimed at improving emotional wellbeing and helping people to overcome conditions such as stress, anxiety, and low mood. These courses also provide an excellent refresher and reminder to all of us to help us manage stress in our lives more effectively.

"They are proving popular, and we can accept bookings from people across the Forest who would like to access these courses locally."

Most of the courses provided under the TLC project, and all of those provided by Let’s Talk, are free of charge.

The project was set up in June 2013 with funding from the National Lottery, and also involves organisations such as GlosCol and Family Lives – a national family support charity.

Full details of the courses on offer through TLC as well as information on how to contact the project can be found through their website.

The Let’s Talk courses are delivered by Cognitive Behavioural Therapists and are educational. While they do take place in a group, there is no obligation to share personal information in front of others.

The Emotional Wellbeing course was initially run as a pilot from Lydney Community Centre and focuses on the broader aspects of what it is to improve emotional wellbeing, including through having a healthy diet, meaningful day to day activity and looking at our relationships with others. 

This course can be used as a foundation to access further support from Let’s Talk including specific courses that aim to lessen low mood, anxiety, anger and poor sleep. 

One to one support is also available through a guided self help programme. A brief telephone conversation with a Let’s Talk therapist will register you with the service and give the opportunity to discuss your preferences of how support can be offered. 

To find out more about Let’s Talk courses and the service, please visit http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/ or ring 0800 073 2200.

 

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/emotional-wellbeing-support-on-offer-in-lydney http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/emotional-wellbeing-support-on-offer-in-lydney Tue, 06 May 14 13:30:41 +0000
Get 2gether in Cheltenham A ‘get 2gether' is taking place in Cheltenham to provide an opportunity for people to find out more about 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and its work.

2gether, which provides mental and social health care across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, is organising the event with Trust Public Governors on the evening of Tuesday May 13.

The event will take place at St Luke’s Church Hall, in St Luke’s Place, from 6.30 until 8.30pm.

It is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the services provided to people in Cheltenham and beyond, as well as become members of the Trust.

Ros Taylor, 2gether’s Public Governor for Cheltenham, who is also Lead Governor for the Trust, said: "This event is an opportunity for members and non-members of the Trust to hear more about our work to support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities and other conditions, such as dementia.

"It is being held during Mental Health Awareness Week, so we will be hearing from a guest speaker from our Let’s Talk service who will be speaking about anxiety, which is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year.

"Let’s Talk provides a range of services to help people with anxiety and other mental health conditions, and it will be very interesting to hear about how debilitating anxiety can be, but also the support available to sufferers."

The event will also feature a presentation from Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee, and there will be opportunities to speak with representatives from local services, visit stands, ask questions of our Board and Governors, provide feedback and have a say in helping to shape local services.

For further information or to register to attend please contact Debbie Robbens on 01452 894007 or debbie.robbens@glos.nhs.uk

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-cheltenham http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-cheltenham Tue, 29 Apr 14 09:42:11 +0000
Big Health Check Day The sixth annual Big Health Check Open Day will take place in Gloucester next month.

The event – taking place on Wednesday May 14 at Wall’s Club, in Barnwood – is aimed at promoting healthy eating and healthy living for people with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire.

Those attending will be able to take part in a wide range of activities, and Simon Shorrick, Co-ordinator of the event, said it was set to be an action packed day.

"We’re really excited about our 6th Big Health Check day. It’s a great opportunity to bring people with learning disabilities and their carers together find out more about local services, share their views, and have some fun," said Simon, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

"Participants will be able to find out more about local services and resources from the 22 stall holders attending, and get involved in a number of fun and informative sessions on healthy eating and menus, as well as sport and exercise for health.

"The Misfits Theatre Company will be performing a short play on healthy eating, which will be light hearted, fun and thought provoking.

"We’re also looking forward to having the ambulance service in attendance with their ambulance, car and mobile treatment unit for people to have a look around and talk to the paramedics.

"Another attraction will be a big red London bus, kindly being supplied by Alpha Colour Printers, which people will be able to get on board to find out information about mental health."

The event, which runs from 9.30am until 4pm, is open to anyone with a learning disability, as well as their families and carers.

It is being organised by a range of agencies, including 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Gloucestershire Voices and Gloucestershire County Council, under the umbrella of the Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board.

Big Health Check Day is part of the implementation of the ‘The Big Plan’ – a joint strategic plan between NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council.

Dr Martin Gibbs, GP and Learning Disabilities Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "This is a great opportunity for people with a learning disability and their carers to meet others, find out about what’s available to help them and have a fun day.

"At the CCG, we are working with GPs across the county to improve the health outcomes of people with a learning disability and ensure that they receive equal access to services and care. This includes increasing the number of people with a learning disability who receive an annual health check and health action plan."

Jan Marriott and Zara Humphrey are co-chairs of the Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board and said: "The Big Health Check Day is a great way of encouraging people with learning disabilities and their carers to get together, have fun and find out how they can keep healthy.

"It is brilliant to see so many organisations teaming up to make this such a great event.

"We would encourage anyone with a learning disability and their carers to come along to try out all the different activities and pick up some information on staying healthy."

Cllr Kathy William, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for long term care, said: "This is going to be a great day full of fun activities and I’d like to encourage people to come along if they can. I think it’s really important for all of us, including those in our communities with learning disabilities, to learn more about how to lead a healthy lifestyle."

For further information about the day, please contact Simon Shorrick, Health Facilitation team at 2gether, on 0800 019 3346 or email simon.shorrick@glos.nhs.uk

 

 

 

 

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http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/sixth-big-health-check-day- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/sixth-big-health-check-day- Wed, 23 Apr 14 09:54:57 +0000
Recovery College Set to Provide More Courses

 

A college set up to help people recover from mental illness will be running new courses this summer.

The Severn and Wye Recovery College is a partnership between 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Adult Education in Gloucestershire, Artshape, Family Lives, Mind Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council.

It was set up in 2013 through a grant awarded by an independent charity called the Health Foundation, and is now able to run further courses this summer thanks to a grant from 2gether’s own Charitable Funds committee.

Courses will be held in Gloucester, Hereford, Tewkesbury and Stroud from May onwards, and taster days are being held from next week to enable prospective students to find out more.

"The Recovery College was a new initiative in our area last year and our first courses were a great success," said Jo Denney, project lead from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

"Our courses offer a different approach to recovering from mental illness. It’s about teaching people the skills to manage their own condition and stay well, as well as gain the confidence, life skills and knowledge to live their lives to the full.

"Some of our first students have used it as a springboard onto other things – some are now in employment or have signed up for other educational courses. Many of our first students said it helped them to transform their lives.

"Our tutors are people who have lived with mental illness themselves, and they are able to share their own experiences to demonstrate how overcoming mental illness is possible and how you can go on to live successful and fulfilling lives.

"We’re very grateful to have the opportunity to offer more courses this summer and looking forward to enrolling students at our taster days which are taking place from next week."

Severn and Wye Recovery College courses are aimed at anyone with experience of enduring mental illness, such as psychosis, aged 16 and over, who is registered with a GP in Gloucestershire or Herefordshire and receiving services from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Places are also available for carers and professionals working to support people with mental illness.

The courses being offered this summer include:

     
  • Recovery and Resilience – a course about mental illness, wellbeing and techniques to recover
  • Step Up! – a drama based course to help build confidence and communication skills
  • Mindfulness and relaxation for recovery workshops
  • Taster days are being held in Gloucester on April 15, Cheltenham on April 22, and in Hereford on April 28 and May 12.

    Full details are available through the college website, by clicking here, or by ringing 01452 894269.

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-college-set-to-provide-more-courses http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/recovery-college-set-to-provide-more-courses Thu, 10 Apr 14 10:40:32 +0000
    Memory Team Receives RPsych Accreditation A service for people with dementia and memory problems has received national accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    Managing Memory ²gether offers memory assessment, diagnosis and treatment as well an information and education service for people worried about memory, people with dementia and their carers.

    The team consists of specialist memory assessment nurses as well as consultant psychiatrists, occupational therapists, psychologists and speech and language therapists. 

    The accreditation was based on the Gloucester locality Managing Memory ²gether team which operates as part of a countywide service.

    Following a lengthy inspection process, the Gloucester service is now part of the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme, which has been set up to ensure high quality care is provided to people with dementia across the UK.

    Dr Cathey Dukes, Consultant Psychiatrist for Older People with ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the service, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have received this accreditation, which reflects the high standards of support and care Managing Memory ²gether aims to provide.

    "Dementia and related conditions are a growing issue both nationally, and within Gloucestershire, so it is very reassuring for us and our service users and carers to have confirmation that what we are doing in the county is worthy of recognition on a national stage.

    "The accreditation process was very thorough, involving both a self-review and a visit from the accreditation team. People with dementia, carers and local GPs were asked for their views on our service. Their contribution to the process was important in helping us gain accreditation and we thank them for their time in supporting us.

    "The accreditation lasts until January 2016. Over the next two years our challenge will be to continue to provide a good service with an increasing number of referrals. We have a dedicated multidisciplinary team and we will continue to concentrate on providing the very best support, treatment and care to everyone we work with."

    In addition to assessment and treatment services Managing Memory ²gether also operates a community dementia nursing service and a telephone advice line, as well as providing courses and information sessions about dementia and memory loss.

    To contact Managing Memory 2gether ring 0800 694 8800 or email managingmemory@glos.nhs.uk 

    More information can also be found via www.2gether.nhs.uk/managing-memory-2gether

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/memory-team-receives-rpsych-accreditation http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/memory-team-receives-rpsych-accreditation Thu, 27 Mar 14 12:07:22 +0000
    Technology Grant Awarded to 2gether

    A £50,000 grant from a fund set up to help nurses make better use of technology has been awarded to 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The funding – from NHS England's Nursing Technology Fund – will enable 2gether to trial mobile computer devices for staff to access and update the records of service users while out in the community.

    It will give staff access to on the spot information, and they will be able to update records there and then, rather than needing to return to an office and sit at a computer.

    "We’re delighted that our application for funding was successful, and are looking forward to starting this exciting project," Trust Deputy Director of Nursing John Trevains said.

    "The Nursing Technology Fund was established to make better use of technology to deliver safer, more effective and more efficient care.

    "We believe our project will achieve all those aims, by enabling our clinical staff to quickly and easily access accurate patient information while they are visiting people in their homes and elsewhere in the community.

    "The mobile devices will save the time it currently takes inputting handwritten notes into computers when staff return to their office, which will enable us to spend more time on clinical care.

    "We will begin our trial in September, and I look forward to seeing the outcome and the impact it has upon our staff and service users."

    Our bid for funding was linked to the implementation of the latest version of our clinical information system, RiO, which will go live from July 2014. This includes an application called ‘Store & Forward’ which will enable nurses to download information from RiO to be accessed on a mobile device away from their office base, including in the patient’s home.

    We are very mindful of the importance of maintaining the safety and confidentiality of patient records. Security features ensure that all access and auditing is as safe and secure as on our desktop computers.

     During the trial, we will consider which mobile devices are most effective and how staff can make the best use of this new technology. We will also assess whether the use of mobile devices helps staff in their clinical work in improving access to information, and if it helps them to make better use of their clinical time.

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/technology-grant-awarded-to-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/technology-grant-awarded-to-2gether Tue, 25 Mar 14 10:38:52 +0000
    Neighbourhood Watch Scheme at Stonebow

    A Neighbourhood Watch scheme has been set up at a Hereford mental health facility.

    The scheme has been established at Stonebow Unit, which is within the grounds of the County Hospital, in order to improve safety and security around the building.

    Bob Ilott, Security Advisor for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the facility, said it was a sensible way to help service users, carers, staff and visitors feel more comfortable at the site.

    He said: "Neighbourhood Watch schemes are a well established and recognised method of preventing crime and helping people to feel safe as they go about their business.

    "Crime around Stonebow is generally very low, but we take security very seriously and anything we can do to make sure our staff, service users, visitors and carers feel more secure is always encouraged.

    "We have a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator and are working with West Mercia Police to run the scheme, and may well set up other schemes within Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in the coming months."

    Initially the aim will be to record and report any suspicious activity around Stonebow, however the scheme will later involve safety talks to service users in particular on ways to avoid becoming a victim of crime and how to stay safe.

    Stonebow Unit provides approximately 40 inpatient beds as well as a day hospital for people with mental health problems, including dementia.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/neighbourhood-watch-scheme-at-stonebow http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/neighbourhood-watch-scheme-at-stonebow Thu, 06 Mar 14 09:28:00 +0000
    Dementia Information Sessions in Dursley

    Information sessions to help people with early stage dementia and people who care for someone with dementia will start in Dursley next month.

    The free sessions are being provided by Managing Memory 2gether, which is part of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.  

    Kathy Holmes, of the Managing Memory service, said: "These sessions will cover a wide range of topics to help anyone who cares for someone with dementia or anyone who has early stage dementia learn more about the condition.

    "Dementia can be a worrying prospect, both for carers and those with the condition, but we will help to explain the condition and what can be done to help people with dementia to live well and get the most out of life.

    "Not only are the sessions educational and supportive, they also provide an opportunity to meet with other people in a similar situation, which helps you to realise that you are not alone.

    "I would encourage anyone who has a loved one with dementia or who has early stage dementia themselves to come along."

    The sessions are being held on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am until 12.30pm at the Tyndale Centre, in Slade Road, starting from March 12.

    Sessions also run in other parts of the county, including Cheltenham, Bishops Cleeve, Coleford, Stroud, and Cirencester.

    To find further information or book a place please ring Managing Memory on 0800 694 8800.

    For further information you can also visit www.2gether.nhs.uk/managing-memory-2gether.

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-information-sessions-in-dursley http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-information-sessions-in-dursley Mon, 24 Feb 14 12:51:40 +0000
    Older Adults Offered Emotional Wellbeing Support New courses specifically designed to help older people with their emotional wellbeing are running in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds.

    The free courses are being provided by Let’s Talk – part of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust – and the service is also offering to visit care homes and retirement complexes to hold sessions.

    Jan Bagnall, of Let’s Talk, said: “We know that emotional wellbeing means different things to different people, and the challenges we all face can be different depending on what stage of life we are at.

    “For example, older adults may have different pressures and worries to people who are younger, and by running a purpose designed course we will be able to deal with the particular issues impacting on this age group.

    “Of course, older people are still more than welcome to attend our other courses, but if they want to join with people of a similar age then this is a great opportunity to do so.

    “We can also go into care homes or retirement complexes, or visit groups who regularly meet up, and provide specially designed courses. We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who would benefit from our support.”

    The Emotional Wellbeing for Older Adults course is designed to help provide the skills and strategies to help you feel better and maintain your overall emotional wellbeing in the company of people of a similar age. 

    There are five steps to the programme:

    • Looking at diet, sleep and activity
    • Challenging negative thinking
    • Getting meaning and pleasure back
    • Relationships and assertiveness
    • Managing problems and difficult days

    The course will provide you with useful and effective strategies and skills to help you look after yourself.  It will also provide you with the foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy should you wish to receive additional help from the Let's Talk service in the future.

    To find out when courses are running or enquire about hosting a course for a group you organise or a care home you manage, please ring Let’s Talk on 01242 634241.

    A stress and anxiety course specifically designed for older people will begin in Cheltenham on April 25. To book a place please ring 0800 073 2200.

    You can also find out more by visiting http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/older-adults-offered-emotional-wellbeing-support http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/older-adults-offered-emotional-wellbeing-support Mon, 24 Feb 14 10:51:02 +0000
    Get 2gether in Cirencester A FREE ‘get 2gether’ is taking place in Cirencester to update the public about the work of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    2gether, which provides mental and social health care across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, is organising the event with Trust Public Governors on the evening of Tuesday 25 February.

    Where: Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester

    When: Tuesday 25 February

    Time: 6 until 8pm.

    It is an opportunity for everyone interested in the Trust’s work to learn more about the services we provide to people in the Cotswolds and beyond. 

    Speakers

    Shaun Clee: Chief Executive

    Penny Junor: B-eat Patron and accomplished author

    Sam Clark-Stone: Eating Disorder Service

    Pat Ayres, one of 2gether’s Public Governors for the Cotswolds, said: “The event is being organised for members and non-members of the Trust to hear more about our work across the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire to support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities and other conditions, such as dementia.

    “It is being held during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so we can also help raise awareness of the impact an eating disorder can have and the treatment and support the Trust and charities such as B-eat provide.

    Accomplished biographer, journalist and broadcaster Penny Junor is speaking at the event in her role as Patron of B-eat Gloucestershire. 

    Penny said: “The NHS and B-eat work together closely in Gloucestershire to provide support for people with eating disorders.

    “During eating disorder awareness week, I’m really looking forward to joining this important NHS event and helping to raise further awareness of the local help available.”

    The event will feature presentations from the Trust Board as well as opportunities to speak with representatives from local services, ask questions of our Board and Governors provide feedback and have a say in helping to shape local services.

    Rod Whiteley, 2gether’s other Public Governor for the Cotswold area, said: “There will be a number of information stands at the event so it will be a good opportunity to meet up and talk with members of local care organisations and charities.”

    “Everyone is welcome and we look forward to meeting as many people as possible to rekindle old friendships and make new ones”.

    For further information or to register to attend please contact Debbie Robbens on 01452 894007 or 2gether.comms@glos.nhs.uk

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-cirencester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-cirencester Fri, 14 Feb 14 09:49:08 +0000
    Six Nations Clash for Lydia

    2gether staff member Lydia Thompson will play for England Women’s rugby side when they take on Scotland in the Six Nations this Sunday.

    Lydia, 21, is Social Inclusion Development Worker for the Trust’s South Locality – covering Stroud, Cirencester and the South Cotswolds.

    But she has a busy few weeks ahead of her, because after her trip to Aberdeen on the weekend she flies straight out to Atlanta and then Brazil to play in the Women’s IRB Sevens tournament.

    Lydia, who is a winger for Worcester Warriors, already has a number of international games, including previous six nations clashes, under her belt, but says she’s excited at the prospect of the game this weekend.

    She said: “I’m really pleased to have been selected and very excited to take part in the Scotland match.

    “We’ve got a mixed squad, with some more experienced players and some less experienced, so it will be great to see how we all play together.

    “It’s my second time playing in a Six Nations tournament and they are always great occasions. I’m really looking forward to playing on the weekend as well as the Sevens tournament after that.”

    In her day job Lydia helps to educate people about mental wellbeing, works with local employers, organisations and voluntary sector services to raise awareness of mental health and ensure access to opportunities for those who use 2gether services.  She also works alongside service users and carers to understand their needs and promotes the range of support and advice available to people with mental illness and their carers.
     
    She started her rugby playing career with Stourbridge when she was 13, and made her national debut against Spain in the 2012 European Cup. In that match she scored a hat-trick, with two of her three tries coming within the space of four minutes.

    Lydia has also been selected to join the England World Cup training camps taking place this year.

    Social Inclusion Team manager Rebecca Shute said: “We are all wishing Lydia well for her forthcoming England matches and are looking forward to hearing about her experiences when she returns. We are all really proud of Lydia’s sporting achievements.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/six-nations-clash-for-lydia http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/six-nations-clash-for-lydia Thu, 06 Feb 14 09:58:12 +0000
    New Lets Talk Courses for Herefordshire New courses to help with conditions such as stress, anxiety and low mood are being offered to people in Herefordshire.

    The free courses are being provided by Let’s Talk – a service provided by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    While people can be referred on to the courses by their GPs, they can also view information and sign up to attend courses online by visiting https://courses.talk2gether.nhs.uk or by calling 0800 073 2200

    Rachel Parham-Connolly, of Let’s Talk Herefordshire, said: “With the New Year just getting started, now is a good time to think about our emotional health and wellbeing”.

    “We offer courses to help with a variety of conditions and we’ve deliberately offered some courses during the day time and some in the evenings, to ensure people with work, caring and other commitments can attend.

    “The courses are both psychological and educational in their nature. While they are run on a group basis, anyone attending can make their own decision about how much they want to share with the group and how much they want to observe and make their own notes.”

    Each course lasts between five and eight weeks, with sessions generally lasting from one and a half to two hours.

    Rachel continued: “People who have attended our courses previously have gained a lot from them, and they really can have a lasting impact upon mental health and wellbeing.”

    The sessions are all being held at the Kindle Centre, in Belmont Road, Hereford. The list of courses is as follows:

    · Managing Your Stress and Anxiety
    · Emotional Wellbeing
    · Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    · Overcoming Panic
    · Lift your Low Self Esteem
    · Low Mood

    The courses are educational and not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090) .

    For further details, visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-lets-talk-courses-for-herefordshire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-lets-talk-courses-for-herefordshire Mon, 27 Jan 14 11:01:02 +0000
    Supporting Speak Out Safely

    This trust supports the Nursing Times Speak Out Safely campaign.

    This means we want every member of our staff to feel able to raise concerns about wrongdoing or poor practice when they see it and confident that their concerns will be addressed in a constructive way.

    We promise that where staff identify a genuine patient safety concern, we will support them, fully investigate and, if appropriate, act on their concern. We will also give them feedback about how we have responded to the issue they have raised, as soon as possible.

    Whether you are a permanent employee, an agency or temporary staff member, or a volunteer, please speak up when you feel something is wrong. We want you to be able to Speak Out Safely. Click here for more details on our pledge.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/speak-out-safely- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/speak-out-safely- Fri, 24 Jan 14 15:42:43 +0000
    Dementia Experts Visit Bristol Shopping Centre Local experts in conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease will be in Bristol this Thursday (January 9).

    Staff from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust will be manning a stand in the Galleries shopping centre, in Broadmead, throughout the day, alongside representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society.

    The event is an opportunity for 2gether, which is participating in the tender to provide the City’s dementia services, to meet local people and hear their views.

    Dr Martin Ansell, clinical director of older persons mental health services at 2gether, said: “Dementia is now a national concern and because we live in an aging society, it is expected that more people will develop memory problems.

    “In Gloucestershire our Managing Memory together service offers support and education to people worried about memory, people with dementia and carers of people with dementia. Through Managing Memory we provide services from the very outset, when people are beginning to think that they or someone they care for has a memory problem.

    “With an early diagnosis and the right treatment and support, many people we work with are able to lead active and fulfilled lives.

    “If there is a deterioration in their condition, we have a range of support and treatment options which can help, and we will be able to share our experiences and thoughts about dementia, Alzheimer’s and related issues on Thursday.

    “We’re looking forward to seeing people at the Galleries, sharing our experiences and most importantly, hearing people’s thoughts and views around the future of dementia services in Bristol.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-experts-visit-bristol-shopping-centre http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/dementia-experts-visit-bristol-shopping-centre Tue, 07 Jan 14 16:53:23 +0000
    Joining Up Your Care A major exercise has been launched by health and care partners in Gloucestershire to engage with staff, service users, carers and the public on how to tackle the challenges of the future.

    Called ‘Joining up your Care’, the initiative sets out major issues such as an ageing society, more people living with complex illness and long term conditions, increasing demand for services and limited money available.

    In their Engagement Booklet, health and care leaders outline ideas on:
    · prevention and self care
    · developing community services and support and;
    · joining up services.

    Using a set of open questions, Joining up your Care also invites staff, community partners, service users, carers and the public to give their views on what should be done to meet the challenges.

    Those taking part can feedback and view ‘Jack’s Story’ on line at: www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk which describes how joined up care could work based on a real life scenario. 

    A range of other character stories will be added to the web pages’ ‘community care and support map’ throughout the 8 week engagement period and the exercise will include community partner events, public drop in sessions and community visits from the Information Bus.

    Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Miller said: “The NHS and care services are at a major crossroads both in Gloucestershire and across the country. We want to go down a road which leads to a sustainable future where we can provide more joined up services wrapped around the patient and safe, high quality specialist services when needed.

    "To do this, we need to move forward with a truly shared vision of what good joined up care and support looks like.

    "We would like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved and help make a difference. In previous conversations, we have received some great ideas which have helped influence the choices we have taken. We look forward to receiving more helpful views and ideas.”

    Copies of the engagement booklet, ‘Joining up your Care’ are available from a wide variety of public places, including GP surgeries, pharmacists, council buildings, hospitals, libraries and on-line at www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk.

    Public drop in events, visits from the Information Bus and tweet chats will be promoted through the local media and on the website above.  

    Feedback will be used to help develop commissioning plans in the Spring. 

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/joining-up-your-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/joining-up-your-care Fri, 03 Jan 14 11:27:23 +0000
    Events for Bristol Communities A series of events are being held to allow a mental health trust participating in the tender process to provide services across Bristol to meet local people.

    The three events – on January 9 and 10 – are being organised by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether), which is bidding to provide mental health services for Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group.

    The events are for local voluntary organisations, service users, carers and anyone interested in mental health services, to find out more about 2gether. Visitors can stay for as long or as short a time as they wish to get the information they need and share ideas. Refreshments will be provided.

    2gether’s Chief Executive, Shaun Clee, said: “It is important that we continue our conversations within the City and build trusted relationships so, if successful in our bid, we can develop and deliver innovative community services based on shared expertise.

    “This is an exciting time for the people of Bristol. The events will be an opportunity to introduce ourselves and listen to thoughts, ideas and suggestions. We will also be sharing information about the benefits of being an NHS Foundation Trust and the community led initiatives we have worked on with our current local partners.”

    The events are being held as follows:

    • Thursday January 9 (11am until 2pm)
       Withywood Centre, Queens Road, Withywood, Bristol, BS13 8QA
    • Thursday January 9 (5.30 until 7.30pm)
      Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Bristol, BS5 0AX
    • Friday January 10 (11am until 2pm)
      Southmead Development Trust, The Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Southmead, BS10 5PY

    Shaun continued: “There is no need to confirm your attendance, everyone is welcome. We hope it will be a useful opportunity for people to find out about us and ask questions about the type of organisation we are.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/events-for-bristol-communities http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/events-for-bristol-communities Fri, 20 Dec 13 12:47:05 +0000
    The Long and Winding Road A short film has been produced to highlight the problems people with learning disabilities can face when attending healthcare appointments.

    ‘The Long and Winding Road’ was written and performed by the Dramatic Change Theatre Company, which is a Gloucestershire based inclusive group of disabled and non-disabled actors.

    The film tells the story of a young man with learning disabilities, and his journey to receive his first annual health check at his GP’s surgery.

    His fears about what the check involves and how he will get there are played out, demonstrating the reasonable adjustments and clear communication health professionals need to use for patients.

    The film was commissioned and produced by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Simon Shorrick, from 2gether’s Health Facilitation Team, said that appointments which many take for granted can seem very daunting for people with a learning disability.

    He said: “The Long and Winding Road demonstrates in a dramatic way how someone may feel about going for an appointment when they have no idea what it will involve, how they will get there or what they need to do when they arrive.

    “If you have a learning disability you may find it harder to understand information. Reasonable adjustments need to be made to make sure that people don’t feel nervous about going for an appointment which is your right, and is important to your ongoing health and wellbeing.”

    Blakeney GP and Learning Disability Champion within Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Martin Gibbs has supported the film’s production.

    He said: “I believe the film helps us to see our services, and indeed ourselves, through the  eyes of our patients with a learning disability.”

    The film is being shown to healthcare professionals across Gloucestershire, as a way of encouraging them to make reasonable adjustments to ensure people with learning disabilities have equal access to services.

    Adjustments which can be made for people with learning disabilities include:

    · Ensuring the patient is seen promptly and does not need to queue or wait
    · Providing information in ‘easy read’ format
    · Finding out the patient’s needs in advance and meeting those needs where possible

    To view the film, click here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/the-long-and-winding-road12 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/the-long-and-winding-road12 Wed, 18 Dec 13 12:21:26 +0000
    Safeguard Your Mental Wellbeing This Christmas Mental health experts are encouraging everyone to safeguard their mental health and wellbeing this Christmas.

    The festive season can be a particularly busy time, so 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is offering some useful tips and advice to help combat the stresses and strains the season brings.

    Consultant Clinical Psychologist Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, of the Trust’s Let’s Talk service, said: “For those of us who celebrate Christmas, this can be a particularly demanding time of year.
    We like to think of Christmas as being a time for enjoyment and getting together with family and friends, but it can be stressful, lonely and for others involves a lot of expectation, work, shopping, organisation and juggling of commitments.

    “We want people to be able to enjoy their Christmas and spend the time relaxing and resting, and we hope our advice may make that a bit more possible.

    “There is, however, also support available if you are struggling with your mental health at what is a particularly hard time for many.”
     
    Tips and advice from Let’s Talk include:

    · Be realistic about what can be achieved and afforded. Don’t aim for perfection and get disappointed.
    · Share the work out. Don’t take on every responsibility, such as shopping, cooking and coordinating engagements just because you always do. Ask someone else to help you out – people are often grateful to be asked.
    · Plan in advance. List making is an age old tactic, but it really works, and don’t leave everything until the last minute.
    · Make sure you get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Both are scientifically proven to improve mental health and wellbeing.
    · Don’t drink to excess. Alcohol can make you act in a way you might regret, and it can also have a depressive affect.
    · Try not to spend too much money. Gifts are not the most important part of Christmas and you may be storing up problems for the future if you get yourself into debt.
    · Help other people. Giving to others will benefit the recipient of the help as well as yourself.
    · Take a break. If the family is getting too much, take a walk in the fresh air. Try to not let tensions mount up.
    · Be sure to check up on family and friends – particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Loneliness can be a particular issue over Christmas, so try and make sure no one spends the whole time without visitors or company.
    · Get enough sleep. A good sleep pattern can help you maintain good mental health and make you feel more alert and able to cope better with stress.
    · Try to relax. Remember what is really important is spending time with the people you love and care about.

    If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed leading up to, or after the Xmas break, you can contact our Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

    The Samaritans anticipate an increase in calls around Christmas each year. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via 08457 90 90 90. Do not hesitate to call them if you need support.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-wellbeing-this-christmas http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/safeguard-your-mental-wellbeing-this-christmas Fri, 13 Dec 13 11:30:44 +0000
    Communities Urged to Become Winter Friends

    Mental health experts are calling upon people throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to become ‘Winter Friends’ in a bid to help combat loneliness.

    A national campaign has been launched by the NHS to encourage 100,000 to pledge to look in on elderly friends and relatives during the colder months.

    Dr Jane Melton, Clinical Director for Social Inclusion with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said it was a very worthwhile campaign that she hopes that people locally will support.

    She said: “Each winter many elderly people become seriously ill or sadly die as a result of the cold weather. Many more will become isolated and lonely. The aim of the Winter Friends campaign is to appeal to our sense of being neighbourly through small acts of kindness and showing interest to make life better for someone in our communities.

    “We at 2gether see evidence on a daily basis, through our work with service users, carers and volunteers, which shows that there is still a sense of community and generosity throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. But we know that as a community, we can do more.

    “I feel sure that people in our local communities will be willing to give up some time to help their friends and neighbours. It is not only the elderly who can become lonely at this time of year – there are other vulnerable people this message could apply to as well.

    “There is evidence to suggest that being generous and doing good deeds for people not only benefits the people that we pledge to look out for but it will also benefit our own mental wellbeing as well.

    “I would encourage everyone to join in and sign up as a Winter Friend this year”.

    Jane’s comments were echoed by Roger Clayton, Independent Chair of the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board.

    He said: “Winter can be a lonely time for some, increasing the risk of neglect or harm for the most vulnerable in our society.

    “Communities are our eyes and ears in helping to keep vulnerable adults safe, so I would urge people to sign up to this great initiative. If you are concerned about a vulnerable person this winter call Gloucestershire County Council’s Adult Helpdesk on 01452 426868.”

    Research suggests that loneliness can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health.

    Figures from the Mental Health Foundation indicate that four in 10 people in the UK have felt depressed due to loneliness. This can become more of an issue in colder weather, and also around Christmas time, when many people seem to be meeting with friends and family to celebrate the festivities.

    As well as depression, persistent loneliness can also cause stress, as well as poorer functioning of the immune and cardiovascular systems.

    There is also evidence that loneliness makes it harder to control habits and behaviour leading to health problems. Lonely middle-aged adults drink more alcohol, have unhealthier diets and take less exercise than the socially contented.

    In fact winter can be a very hard time of year all round – with less daylight, less opportunity to get outdoors and exercise and big demands upon time and money.

    The Winter Friends initiative, promoted by NHS Choices, is asking for 100,000 people to sign an electronic pledge that states: “I will take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well.”

    Those who sign the Winter Friends pledge will receive free cold weather alerts and email tips throughout the winter to help them do their bit.

    People who wish to sign the pledge and join the NHS Winter Friends campaign should go to www.nhs.uk/WinterFriends

    Tips 2gether is encouraging people to follow are:

    · Look out for your family, friends and neighbours and if they live alone try and pop by at least once a week. When visiting, check their home is warm enough and not draughty, that they have enough food in the house, that they have medication and have had a flu jab, and that they are able to get out if they want to.

    · Don’t just keep in touch over the internet, telephone or on social networking sites. Physical, face to face contact is very important.

    · If you are lonely, try and involve yourself in some social activities. Look to see what events are on at your local community centre, visit the theatre, join a group of like-minded individuals, or take up a new hobby. Taking the first step can be difficult, but the long term benefits can be enormous.

    · To help combat loneliness try to get outdoors. Even walking to the shops or walking around a park will bring you into contact with people and just saying ‘hello’ and getting a kind word back in return will boost your confidence. If it is icy or has been snowing, make sure you have suitable footwear and someone to assist you if required.

    If you are suffering from mental ill health you should speak to your GP. You can also contact Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200 if you are suffering with stress, anxiety or depression.

    The Samaritans are also available to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 08457 90 90 90.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/communities-urged-to-become-winter-friends http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/communities-urged-to-become-winter-friends Wed, 11 Dec 13 10:32:16 +0000
    New Director of Organisational Development and Human Resources

    Ms. Carol Sparks has been appointed Director of Organisational Development and Human Resources of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether). The appointment was confirmed following a formal interview process.

    Speaking about her new role, Carol said: “I am really looking forward to working with staff in my new role to ensure the Trust can continue to offer the best possible care and treatment to the people who use our services.”

    Carol has worked in the NHS since 1993. For the last 10 months, Carol has been 2gether’s acting Director of Organisational Development and prior to that, she was the Trust’s Deputy Director of Human Resources.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether said: “I am delighted that Carol is joining our Executive Team and Trust Board.”

    “At a time when the whole NHS is facing significant changes, Carol’s wealth of experience and effective management skills will help make sure that our staff and union representatives are involved, supported and engaged in how we continue to develop our organisation.”

    Carol continued: “I am confident that by working with my team and colleagues across the trust, we can continue to deliver our staff engagement programme and enhance the skills and abilities of staff. My aim is to help make sure that staff are informed, supported and developed so that they can confidently provide the highest possible care with compassion and understanding for the benefit of our service users and carers.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-organisational-development-and-human-resources http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-director-of-organisational-development-and-human-resources Tue, 10 Dec 13 14:31:26 +0000
    Staff Member Called up to World Cup Rugby Squad

    A 2gether staff member has been called up to the 27-woman training squad for the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France.

    Occupational Therapist Lydia Thompson, 21, is Social Inclusion Development Worker for the Trust’s South Locality – covering Stroud, Cirencester and the South Cotswolds.

    In her role she helps to educate people about mental wellbeing, works with local employers, organisations and voluntary sector services to raise awareness of mental health and ensure access to opportunities for those who use 2gether services.  She also works alongside service users and carers to understand their needs and promotes the range of support and advice available to people with mental illness and their carers.
     
    But outside of work she is a winger for Worcester Warriors and made her national debut for England against Spain in the 2012 European Cup. On her debut she scored a hat-trick, with two of her three tries coming within the space of four minutes.

    Lydia, who started playing rugby with Stourbridge when she was 13, has so far scored nine tries in nine games for her country. She will join the England training camps for one week each month from January 2014 onwards. 

    Of her call up to the World Cup training camp, Lydia said: “I am really excited and feel privileged to be part of such a hardworking and talented squad.

    “We all balance careers or education alongside our rugby and it takes real commitment to juggle work with the training and dedication required to play sport at such a high level.
     
    “I am also very enthusiastic about the social inclusion team as well as the many services within the 2gether Trust.

    “This is a great role and opportunity to work with a variety of individuals and take positive actions towards a socially inclusive community.

    “My achievements on the rugby pitch have made me very passionate about supporting others to have the opportunity to engage in meaningful life activities and fulfil their potential."

    Social Inclusion Team manager Rebecca Shute said: “We are all really proud of Lydia’s sporting achievements. The skills and talents she has learnt through her rugby career are a real asset to our team and her role engaging with our local communities. We wish her well with her England training in the New Year.”

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/staff-member-called-up-to-world-cup-rugby-squad http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/staff-member-called-up-to-world-cup-rugby-squad Tue, 10 Dec 13 09:44:06 +0000
    Newly Refurbished Inpatient Unit for Cheltenham A new inpatient recovery service for people with mental illness will open in March 2014.

    The service currently being provided at Laurel House, in Alexandra Road, Gloucester, will move to a site on Swindon Road, in Cheltenham.

    The Cheltenham building is currently being refurbished to provide a high quality environment with single sex accommodation and activity spaces, which will be much improved, compared to the current Gloucester service and will further support the aim of the service to help people live independently.

    Following consultation with service users and staff the new Cheltenham site will also be named Laurel House, in recognition of the high quality service currently provided by the team. 

    Trish Jay 2gether’s Director of Quality said: “This is a really exciting development for the people of Gloucestershire and demonstrates how we continue to invest in fit for purpose environments that enable us to meet current standards and the latest safety regulations.

    “Laurel House is an old Edwardian building and does not have the modern facilities we wish to provide for our service users and for our colleagues who provide their care and support.

    “The new building is situated on the same site as many of 2gether’s other buildings, including Honeybourne which also provides recovery inpatient care. This means that the Trust can work more closely together for the benefit of everyone concerned.”

    Trish continued: “We are making sure that service users currently cared for in Laurel House and their family members are kept informed of the process.

    “There will be no change to current staffing and all staff working at Laurel House will be offered a transfer to the new location. The work they have carried out at Laurel House has been exemplary, and we are sure the services provided at the new unit will be of an equally high standard, with the benefit of improved surroundings.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/newly-refurbished-inpatient-unit-for-cheltenham- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/newly-refurbished-inpatient-unit-for-cheltenham- Mon, 09 Dec 13 12:20:47 +0000
    Awards Pay Tribute to Champions of Mental and Social Healthcare

    Awards have been given to those whose outstanding commitment to mental and social healthcare has improved the lives of people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

    The seventh annual Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) took place at Puckrup Hall, near Tewkesbury, on Friday (December 6).

    The event, attended by approximately 120 staff, volunteers, service users and carers, saw awards presented in nine categories.

    In addition, long service awards were presented to staff who have given either 20 or 30 years of dedication to the NHS.

    Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This was my first ROSCAs event as Chair of 2gether and I felt privileged to be able to listen to, thank and applaud so many people who devote themselves to making life better for the people we serve.
     
    “We were able to thank not only our staff, but also the service users, carers and volunteers, who strive tirelessly to support, guide and advise our service users.
     
    “I congratulate not only the award winners, but also everyone who was nominated, as they all truly deserve our gratitude for everything they do and for the passion and compassion in the way they do it.”

    2gether’s Chief Executive, Shaun Clee, said: “The ROSCAs are a marvellous opportunity for us to recognise the outstanding contributions of our service users, volunteers and staff and thank them for all that they do.

    “Every award winner thoroughly deserves the recognition they have received, and every nominee also demonstrates the very best of what 2gether stands for and is about.

    “We were also able to celebrate colleagues who have given our communities either 20 or 30 years NHS service - over 1500 years of service in all!

    “The ROSCAs are now in their seventh year, and each year I am incredibly proud of our staff and dedicated volunteers and the work that they do.  Together we work extremely hard to ensure that the services we provide remain some of the best in the country.”

    Nominations for the ROSCAs are made by staff, service users, carers and the general public. The nominations are then judged by a panel, which includes staff side representatives, service users and carers, Gloucestershire Media (who sponsor the Unsung Hero category) and Trust Governors. 

    The list of winners is as follows:

    Unsung Hero – For Trust Volunteers

    Winner - Jimmy Mckee, from Gloucester

    Jimmy has been a community driver for about five years. His dedication is clear and he thrives on providing a safe and secure environment for his clients. The clients say that Jimmy is a very kind man and always makes sure they get to their destination safely by taking them to the door.

    Also nominated were Anthea Foden, from Cheltenham and Jacqueline Thomas, from Hereford.
    Anthea was nominated for supporting the Managing Memory 2gether team since January 2012. She is a very proactive volunteer. Her calm, friendly and warm approach, mixed with her commitment and personality has a meaningful and positive influence and helps service users, their carers and loved ones to feel at ease.

    Jacqueline has been a volunteer for over five years with Herefordshire Mental Health Services. Her skills with the personal touch have brought glowing endorsements from service users and others. “It is hard to say how many hours she puts in as she is involved in so much,” they told the panel, adding:  “She is a real treasure”.

    Carer and Service User Involvement – For recognising a genuine commitment to putting the needs of service users and the carers that we serve at the heart of what we do.

    Winner - Gemma Coltraro, from Wotton Lawn, Gloucester

    “Gemma has gone above and beyond the confines of her role to organise a socially inclusive event for the second year running, using her extensive experience and knowledge  to work in partnership  with service users and their carers”, said the nomination.

    A service user’s family member and carer said: “What a change it makes to be recognised for the work we do as carers. So many people don’t understand how much care someone with mental health problems requires”.

    Also nominated were Jo Teakle, from Collingwood House, Gloucester and Angela Ross-Gamble and Marie Stephens from Wotton Lawn, Gloucester.

    Of Jo, the person who nominated her said: “Jo has been passionate about incorporating service user and carer perspectives into the heart of services and has been an advocate of this in a quiet way for many years now.
    “Jo’s natural aptitude to include people has enabled people to feel confident that they have something to offer to medical education and comfortable in the delivery of their training to often very senior people”.

    The nomination for Angela Ross-Gamble & Marie Stephens read: “Angela and Marie have invited as many people as possible to take part in the garden art development which has involved listening to ideas and views as well as creating templates for discussion”. Other service users said: “It was pleasing to be involved in such work that would have a lasting benefit for other patients and that their input had been welcomed, valued and respected.”

    Service User and Carers Choice - Nominations for this award can only be made by service users and carers who have contact with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. It allows service users and carers to nominate an individual who, in their opinion, has made an outstanding contribution in any area of work.

    Winner - Mirella Stratford - Fieldview, Gloucester

    Mirella has been nominated by members of a family she has supported. When the benefits system changed Mirella helped with all the paperwork, speaking up on the carer’s behalf to ensure the correct benefits were retained, enabling the carer to continue providing care for his father round the clock. Of Mirella, the family said:  “We would describe her as a rock, and it is like having another mother!”

    Also nominated were Jane Vickers, from Cirencester and Tracey Boden, from Weaver’s Croft, Stroud.
    One person who nominated Jane said: “Jane has devised and runs a Skills Training for Recovery Group. Were this not worthy enough by itself it is the fact that the whole course was put together in her own free time that she deserves recognition.” Another proposer said: “I certainly would not have experienced the very hard journey of self- discovery that I have over the past 18 months without the help, guidance and dedication that Jane has shown to me”.

    Service Users nominated Tracey for this award because she “always goes the extra step, over and above what is expected of her. Her expertise and professionalism are second to none”. They added: “She has helped both my husband and myself beyond measure”. Another service user said: “I feel lucky to have her as my nurse and helper”.

    Valuing Diversity - This award looks for shining examples of individuals or teams who have been creative in recognising and valuing diversity which as a result has produced benefits for all.

    Winners - Dementia Education Nursing Team – Tina Kukstas, Sue Keane, Mary Keating, Robin Willmott

    This team adopted an innovative and creative approach to engage with Black and Minority Ethnic communities to promote dementia awareness, training Black and Minority Ethnic community members to have the skills to ‘educate’ their communities about dementia. They recognise that diversity is not only about race; they look at other characteristics and make the service as truly inclusive as possible.

    Also nominated were Kate Evans and James Wildy, from Westridge, Stonehouse and Lucy Garden, from Wotton Lawn, Gloucester.
    Kate leads on Autism training and has introduced a co-trainer James, who is an ‘Expert by Experience’. Carers who attend the training have a first-hand account of what it is like to have autism.This results in people living with autism receiving better, more individualised care.

    Lucy took up a part time project based role working for 2gether in close alliance with Gloucestershire Young Carers in October 2012. The aim of the work is to develop sustainable family based interventions. Among the many positive outcomes of this work has been to identify and support young carers who have been seldom heard. Young carers have commented about the positive and empowering effect that this work is having on them and their whole family.

    Clinical Team of the Year

    Winners - Bed Management Team - Leon Meek and Amy Alexander

    Those who nominated Leon and Amy said: “These two staff members work in the interests of all patients all of the time. They manage high pressure situations and competing demands for beds every day and always find a solution.
    “In all this time I have never known such a small team make such a positive impact on service users and all the staff with whom they come into contact”.

    Also nominated were the Westridge Staff Team, from Stroud, and the Laurel House Staff Team, from Gloucester.
    The Westridge team have been challenged for a prolonged time and there has been much scrutiny from internal and external services. Yet the team has remained strong and coherent throughout the difficult year whilst maintaining and delivering excellent nursing care. They have been praised for treating patients holistically and with an individualised approach, demonstrating excellent team working skills despite very difficult circumstances.

    The Laurel House team was nominated by a variety of service users. A typical comment included in the nominations was: “The team go out of their way to ensure access to services, e.g. voluntary work and drama initiatives. They make sure all my needs are met”.
    Another comment included: “Their team work has helped me grow as an individual. Their encouragement and patience is endless.”

    Best Supporting Colleague

    Winner - Fi Baxter - Staff Bank, Wotton Lawn

    Fi works as a Staff Bank Administrator and received numerous nominations. The Judging panel said: “To receive so many nominations from people who had never met Fi is testament to her personality and ‘can do’ attitude’. One nomination said: “There is a collective sigh of dismay when Fi is not in the office. “Fi is an absolute diamond who deserves to be recognised as such”.

    Also nominated were Keith Noble, from Collingwood House, Gloucester and Andrew Swithenbank, from Oak House, Hereford.
    Andrew is based at Oak House, in Herefordshire. Consistently going above and beyond what was required is what got Andrew on to the shortlist. His involvement in a trip to Saundersfoot organised by the Mental Health Reference Group for service users in his own time deserved particular acknowledgement.

    Keith works as a Mental Health trainer alongside his other role as an Approved Mental Health Professional. Keith went way beyond his daily role to support his colleague during a difficult 6 month period of serious ill health in the family. Giving up his free time when his colleague’s car broke down was another example of his generous behaviour.

    Non Clinical Team of the Year

    Winners - Wotton Lawn Porters – Mark Tandy and Paula Reis

    Those who nominated Mark and Paula said: “They may be rushed off their feet but in the 6 months I’ve been here I have never heard a cross word uttered. Always smiling, always cheerful, the only indication you might get as to how busy they are is a slightly raised eyebrow and a wry grin! They are the backbone of Wotton Lawn”.

    Also nominated were the Clinical Systems Team – Linda Castle and Sue Harries and our Human Resources Operations Team.
    Someone who nominated the HR Operations Team described them as: “Always helpful and cheerful at a moment’s notice. They are very responsive and give good quality help and input from simple requests for information to their innovative work on contributing to complex projects such as tenders and management of change issues”.

    When nominating Linda and Sue, their proposer said: “Both Linda and Sue regularly and cheerfully help me in my role by regularly completing tasks that are not part of their remit. They are always happy to assist me and are a pleasure to work alongside for which I am always very grateful”.

    Best Supporting Manager

    Winner - Denise Evans - Fieldview, Gloucester

    Denise manages the teams at Fieldview covering Gloucestershire Community Learning Disabilities Team and Gloucestershire Community Mental Health Team. Multiple nominations highlight how well regarded Den is among her team. They say: “Den would never draw attention to herself or that she was worthy of highlighting and considers what she does is simply her job and that should be recognised.She is brilliant and we love her!”

    Also nominated were Kelly Tidmarsh from Acorn House, Gloucester and Tim Wallin from Etnam St, Leominster.

    Tim manages the North Recovery Team based at Etnam Road, Leominster. The nominations say that Tim leads by example, supporting the team through organisational changes and offering advice, support and encouragement.
    “Tim is unfailingly supportive”, they said.

    Kelly is the manager of the Vulnerable Children Service based in Acorn House. Quotations from the nominations include: “Kelly is probably the best manager I have experienced in over 20 years of nursing” and “She has remained human, supportive, attentive, always there when we need her and always putting her team above herself and often above her own needs”.

    CEO Award for Innovation

    Winner – Michael Humphries, Herefordshire

    Michael is a support worker in the Herefordshire Assertive Outreach team and was the recipient of this award last year. This year his nomination is for an entirely different innovation. Through his personal contact with an animal shelter he has organised regular times for service users to take dogs for walks. The proposer said: “I was struck by how something so simple could have such a positive impact on someone who was struggling with their illness”.

    Also nominated were John Cooper and the Children and Young Person’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies team.
    John is an Occupational Therapist who has developed a new assessment, collaborating with academics around the globe to develop this assessment to a place where it is ready to be published for international use.
    Someone who nominated, said: “John is a real example of someone who has believed in an idea which would benefit his clients and has dedicated a significant amount of his personal time to make the development. He lives the values of the organisation.”

    Children and Young People’s IAPT, their proposer said: “Is not just about learning new skills but it is a service transformation project which requires the application of skills. Service users can now access evidence based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in a way that was not possible before. Their hard work will underpin the changes needed to modernise the service.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/awards-pay-tribute-to-champions-of-mental-and-social-healthcare http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/awards-pay-tribute-to-champions-of-mental-and-social-healthcare Mon, 09 Dec 13 11:15:41 +0000
    Awards Celebrate Outstanding Contributions to Mental and Social Healthcare

     

     

    An annual awards ceremony recognising the contributions and achievements of staff and volunteers working in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire will be held later this week.

    The Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) event takes place this Friday (December 6) at Puckrup Hall, near Tewkesbury.

    Also honoured during the event will be staff who have achieved Long Service awards, for working either 20 or 30 years for the NHS.

    Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our annual ROSCAs event gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to our staff throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire,  who are dedicating themselves to making life better for our service users, carers and communities.

    “We also use the event to highlight the volunteers who so generously give up their time to help us in our work, and those people who have dedicated many years of service to the NHS.

    “We are very much looking forward to a wonderful celebratory evening and I congratulate in advance everyone who has been shortlisted to receive an award. Of course the real winners who benefit from the fantastic display of talent and commitment we are celebrating are the communities we serve.”

    Nominations for the ROSCAs are made by staff, service users, carers and the general public. The nominations are then judged by a panel, which includes staff side representatives, service users and carers, Gloucestershire Media (who sponsor one of the categories) and Trust Governors. 

    The list of categories and shortlisted nominees is as follows:

    Unsung Hero
    Anthea Foden (Cheltenham)
    Jacqueline Thomas (Herefordshire)
    Jimmy McKee (Gloucester)

    CEO Award for Innovation
    Children and Young People’s IAPT Team
    Michael Humphries (St Owen St, Hereford)
    John Cooper (Westridge, Stonehouse)

    Carer and Service User Involvement
    Jo Teakle (Collingwood House, Gloucester)
    Angela Ross-Gamble (Wotton Lawn, Gloucester)
    Gemma Coltraro (Wotton Lawn, Gloucester)

    Service User and Carers Choice
    Jane Vickers (Cirencester)
    Mirella Stratford (Fieldview, Gloucester)
    Tracey Boden (Weavers Croft, Stroud)

    Clinical Team of the Year
    Westridge Staff Team
    Bed Management Team - Leon Meek and Amy Alexander
    Laurel House Staff Team, Gloucester

    Non Clinical Team of the Year
    Clinical Systems Team – Linda Castle and Sue Harries
    Human Resources Operations Team
    Wotton Lawn Porters – Mark Tandy and Paula Reis

    Valuing Diversity
    Kate Evans and James Wildy (Westridge, Stonehouse)
    Lucy Garden (Wotton Lawn, Gloucester)
    Dementia Education Nursing Team – Tina Kukstas, Sue Keane, Mary Keating, Robin Willmott

    Best Supporting Colleague
    Keith Noble (Collingwood House, Gloucester)
    Andrew Swithenbank (Oak House, Hereford)
    Fi Baxter (Staff Bank, Wotton Lawn)

    Best Supporting Manager
    Kelly Tidmarsh (Acorn House, Gloucester)
    Tim Wallin (Etnam St, Leominster)
    Denise Evans (Fieldview, Gloucester)

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/awards-celebrate-outstanding-contributions-to-mental-and-social-healthcare http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/awards-celebrate-outstanding-contributions-to-mental-and-social-healthcare Wed, 04 Dec 13 14:31:14 +0000
    Philippines Fundraiser at Cheltenham Treatment Centre A fundraising event is being held in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal at a Cheltenham eating disorders treatment centre.

    The event will be held at the Brownhills Centre, in Swindon Road, Cheltenham, on Friday December 13.

    Starting at 2pm and ending at 4pm, the event will include a bring and buy sale, coffee and cakes, a Christmas card sale and a raffle, featuring prizes such as theatre tickets, art work, beauty vouchers and more.

    Charlitta Strinati, a clinician at the centre, said: “The event has been organised by our service users, as they feel strongly about doing something to raise money for the people affected following Typhoon Haiyan.

    “The funds from this event will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, set up to provide, among other things, shelter, clean drinking water and food.

    “Everyone is welcome to attend the event and we would also very much welcome further prizes for our raffle. We are looking forward to a fun, but very worthwhile, event.”

    If anyone is able to donate a raffle prize, they should contact Charlitta via charlitta.strinati@gmail.com, or by phone on 01242 634242.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/philippines-fundraiser-at-cheltenham-treatment-centre http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/philippines-fundraiser-at-cheltenham-treatment-centre Wed, 04 Dec 13 12:06:36 +0000
    Sowing the Seeds for Recovery

    A new gardening project is sprouting up in Hereford, to help put people with mental illness on the road to recovery.

    Oak House is an inpatient recovery centre for working age adults with a history of mental health problems.

    For a number of years the grounds have been underused, so staff and service users have worked with volunteers and local businesses to landscape the patch and bring it back to life for growing plants and vegetables.

    Ward Manager Hayley Sawney explained: “Earlier this year we met some volunteers who were part of a ‘green care’ scheme, so they shared an interest in using horticulture as a way to improve and support recovery.

    “We were keen to pool our resources and develop the underused garden area into a therapeutic green space.

    “The whole project has benefitted our service users. It brings people together, cuts across boundaries and uses individual skills. It also demonstrates how, if you undertake tasks in stages, you can achieve your goals – as in recovering from mental illness.

    “The project is also a great opportunity to involve the community – raising awareness of mental health and reducing stigma.”

    Funding for the project has been obtained through 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Charitable Funds committee, and local businesses DB Garden Sales, Wyevale Garden Centre and Radbourne’s have provided equipment, time and expertise to get the project off the ground.

    Hayley said: “We’ve had soil from Radbourne’s, bulbs and plants from Wyevale and wood, an arbour, planters, tools and labour from DB Garden Sales. We’re extremely grateful for their support – they have been marvellous.

    “Eventually we will use the garden to grow produce, which our service users will then cook and eat so we will be promoting healthy eating as well. We can’t wait to see the garden develop during the coming months and years.”

    The garden was officially opened today by 2gether’s Chair Ruth FitzJohn, who said: “Sometimes it all comes 2gether: volunteering, inclusion, the community getting together, a healthy activity and a beautiful outcome. It is such a pleasure to join the "owners" of the garden at Oak House for this joyful and affirming launch of the volunteer garden project.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/sowing-the-seeds-for-recovery http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/sowing-the-seeds-for-recovery Tue, 26 Nov 13 15:13:34 +0000
    Service User Artwork Created for Trust HQ

    A new piece of artwork has been created by 2gether service users.

    The piece was commissioned by our Chair Ruth FitzJohn, and is now on display in her office at Trust headquarters, Rikenel, in Gloucester.

    “I approached the occupational therapy department at Wotton Lawn, our Gloucester hospital, and invited them to involve a group of inpatients in creating something new to display in our headquarters building,” Ruth explained.

    “I was interested in something which represented ideas of recovery and hope for the future during admission to a mental health unit.”

    Working with occupational therapists, the patients discussed their ideas over several weeks. The process involved word gathering, exploration of themes, colours, techniques and materials to be used.

    The final result was a mixed media piece of artwork measuring over one metre square.

    Some participants found the process challenging and didn’t believe they were in any way artistic. However, when given support and encouragement to participate in the occupational therapy led session, they were surprised by their own achievements.

    The process helped everyone involved to develop a sense of pride, which led to an increase in self confidence. It also allowed people to develop new skills or build upon skills they already had.

    “The final product is outstanding – thought provoking, colourful and very striking,” Ruth explained.

    “I didn't need it to be beautiful, but did need it to be powerful and to provoke the thoughts of all the visitors to the trust who pass through my office. In fact it is visually stunning as well as completely evocative of struggle, progress and hope"

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/service-user-artwork-created-for-trust-hq http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/service-user-artwork-created-for-trust-hq Thu, 21 Nov 13 11:37:48 +0000
    Psychiatrist Named Psychiatric Trainer of the Year

                                                                                                                                          Dr Undrill (right) receives his award from Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

    Dr Guy Undrill, a consultant psychiatrist with 2gether, has been named Psychiatric Trainer of the Year 2013 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    The annual RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health.

    Dr Undrill won the award for his significant contribution to the training and education of trainee psychiatrists. He was presented with his trophy by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, at a prestigious ceremony held at the Royal Society of Medicine.

    Competition for the RCPsych Awards is extremely tough, and the judging panels were hugely impressed by the quality of this year’s entries.

    The judges said: “Guy Undrill should be applauded for his great enthusiasm and expertise as a trainer, particularly in the field of Motivational Interviewing. His work has been much appreciated by the individual trainees he has mentored, and the trainees and trainers in the South West region who have benefitted from his innovative work.”

    Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Through the RCPsych Awards we bring national recognition to outstanding psychiatrists. Training and educating the next generation of psychiatrists is absolutely vital if we are to continue delivering high quality mental health services to patients and carers. On behalf of the entire College, I want to congratulate Dr Undrill on winning this award.”

    Dr Paul Winterbottom, Medical Director for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Guy has consistently contributed to the educational experience to psychiatrists provided by 2gether and led the delivery of training in the wider arenas of Severn Deanery and the South West.  He combines an enthusiasm and energy with a desire to innovate and inspire colleagues.  I am delighted that his expertise has been recognised and extend my congratulations to him.”

    Dr Undrill said he was ‘delighted’ to have received the award.

    He added: “Being recognised by the college for work as a trainer is a huge compliment as education is one of the most important facets of the college’s work.

    “I’ve been very lucky to have had the support of Rob MacPherson (the head of the school of psychiatry), Amjad Uppal (current director of medical education) and Steve Arnott (previous director of medical education). All three of them have real vision and commitment to psychiatric education in the region and they have helped to create the structure that has allowed many innovations in the region to grow and flourish, from the educational fellowship scheme to developments in supervision and (close to my own heart) bringing in coaching technologies from elite sports to communication training for psychiatrists.

    “I hope we can continue to work together to make this region one of the foremost places to train in psychiatry in the UK.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/psychiatrist-named-psychiatric-trainer-of-the-year http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/psychiatrist-named-psychiatric-trainer-of-the-year Mon, 18 Nov 13 09:39:14 +0000
    IBS Course is First for Country A new course for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

    Let’s Talk, Gloucestershire’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service, will begin the course next month.

    Over the course of six weeks, participants will learn through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy how to identify stress and develop coping strategies to deal with their symptoms.

    Jan Bagnall, Senior Therapist with Let’s Talk, said: “Up to one in five people in the UK develop IBS at some stage in their life and it can be very debilitating. Our course will provide the information and skills required to deal with the symptoms of IBS more effectively.

    “The course will not ‘cure’ those symptoms, but by looking at the psychological implications of IBS we believe it will enable sufferers to cope more with the condition they have and improve their mental wellbeing.”

    The IBS course will cover:

    · IBS and the CBT model
    · Relaxation
    · Anxiety and IBS
    · Depression and IBS

    The course will run from November 7 until December 12 and will take place weekly from 6 until 7.30pm in Cheltenham.

    It will be delivered to groups of between three and 23 people and is one of a number of extra courses now being offered by Let’s Talk.

    For full details or to book a place, please visit the course website or ring 0800 073 2200.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/ibs-course-is-first-for-country http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/ibs-course-is-first-for-country Thu, 31 Oct 13 14:52:55 +0000
    New Courses to Aid Mental Wellbeing New courses are being launched across Gloucestershire to help anyone struggling with their mental health, sleep problems, anger management, panic and similar issues.

    The county’s Let’s Talk service is expanding the number of courses it offers from 6 to 16, and widening the number of topics covered. 

    Anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to sign up for the new free courses, as well as the courses Let’s Talk already offer, such as those addressing low mood, anxiety, self-esteem, wellbeing and obsessive compulsive disorder.
     
    Jan Bagnall, Senior Therapist with Let’s Talk, said: “Many of us struggle from time to time with common issues such as having trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, panicking and feeling down.

    “These courses offer an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation, find out you are not alone and benefit from the support of qualified professionals.

    “If at the end of the course you feel you need more support, then this can be arranged, but these courses are a good first step and you can sign up online, without needing a referral from a GP or similar professional.

    “People who have attended our courses previously have found them extremely beneficial and some, such as our low self-esteem course and the stress and anxiety course, are very popular so book your place now before they fill up.

    “Now that we are expanding the courses offered, we hope people will find it easier to access a course suitable for their needs, so I’d encourage everyone to visit our website and see if there’s a course which would help them.”

    The courses each last between five and eight weeks, and they are held at venues across the county either during the day or in the evenings, making them accessible to all.

    The new courses include:

    · Anger management
    · Sleep
    · Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    · Panic

    Existing courses include:

    · Anxiety
    · Self esteem
    · Mindfulness
    · Wellbeing
    · Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    · Low mood

    To see full details and book a place, please visit https://courses.talk2gether.nhs.uk/ or ring 0800 073 2200.

    The courses are educational and are not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090).

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-courses-to-aid-mental-wellbeing http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-courses-to-aid-mental-wellbeing Tue, 15 Oct 13 09:48:54 +0000
    World Mental Health Day

    The mental health and wellbeing of older people is being promoted through events taking place to mark World Mental Health Day tomorrow (Oct 10).

    World Mental Health Day is led annually by the World Health Organisation, and is aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues.

    The theme for this year is ‘mental health and older adults’ and 2gether is supporting the day by promoting information to help older adults maintain and enhance their emotional wellbeing, as well as offering advice and sources of support.

    Professor Jane Melton, 2gether’s Clinical Director for Social Inclusion, said: “There is a common misconception that growing older and mental health problems go hand in hand, but this need not be the case.

    “While for some people loneliness, isolation and the loss of independence can cause depression and a decline in mental wellbeing, there are ways in which we can safeguard our mental health as we grow older.

    “Similarly, while memory loss and illnesses such as dementia affect some of us in later life, there are steps we can take to deal with these conditions and continue to live fulfilled and active lives.

    “For World Mental Health Day we are offering our professional advice and support to older people, and we’d also encourage friends, relatives and carers to help us by sharing our information with their loved ones and talking to them about how they feel, so that support can be offered where it’s needed.”

    A new 2gether leaflet has been produced for World Mental Health Day, offering advice on the ‘Five Steps to Wellbeing’, which have been proven to improve emotional wellbeing.

    It also contains information on memory loss and dementia, along with details for sources of support, including our Let’s Talk service and Managing Memory 2gether.

    The leaflet and other supporting information will be promoted with stands at Morrisons supermarkets in Abbeydale, Gloucester, and Commercial Road, in Hereford, from 10am until 1pm tomorrow.

    2gether staff will also be taking part in Gloucestershire County Council’s Older Person’s Roadshow at Newent Memorial Hall, in Bury Bar Lane, from 12pm to 4pm.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/world-mental-health-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/world-mental-health-day Wed, 09 Oct 13 12:31:45 +0000
    Invitation to Trust AGM An open invitation is being extended to 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Annual General Meeting.

    The meeting, to be held on Thursday September 26, will be an opportunity to hear about the work of the Trust and our achievements during 2012 to 2013.

    The meeting takes place between 5 and 8pm in the Main Hall of the Kindle Centre, in Hereford.

    Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: “Our Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to reflect both on what we have achieved in the past year and on what we are aiming to achieve in the future.

    “One in four people experience mental ill health each year so mental health is everyone’s business. That is why we are encouraging as many people as possible to join us at our AGM to find out more about the services we provide across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire”.

    The meeting will feature presentations as well as an opportunity to visit information stands, ask questions and provide feedback on Trust services.
     
    A financial review of 2012/13 will form part of the proceedings. Hard copies of the Trust’s Annual Report and Accounts 2012/13 will also be available.

    If you would like to attend or receive further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk   

    Please also contact us if you require transport from Gloucester.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/invitation-to-trust-agm Mon, 16 Sep 13 09:42:16 +0000
    New Mindfulness Course in Gloucester A course starting in Gloucester next month may help anyone feeling overwhelmed by their low mood, thoughts, feelings, responsibilities or worries.

    The Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Course (MBCT), delivered by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service, will offer a practical, non-medical approach to coping with depression, anxiety and stress.

    Gill Turnbull, from Let’s Talk, said that a mindfulness approach could have a significant impact on improving physical and mental wellbeing.

    “Most of us find ourselves frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities and the feeling of wanting things to be different from how they are right now,” Gill said.

    “This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with emotional or physical pain, life stresses and illness that challenge our attempts to find a solution or to feel better.

    “Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness-based approaches are intended to teach people practical skills to help with psychological and physical health problems and ongoing life stresses.

    “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is a group-based programme for people experiencing depression, anxiety and stress. It has been extensively studied since the late 1970s and there is evidence of significant positive effects on participants with depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.

    “The programme is taught in eight weekly, two hour long sessions and involves intensive training in mindfulness meditation together with discussion on depression, anxiety, stress and life skills. Participants are given CDs and are asked to practise the meditations for up to 45 minutes daily and to do informal practice whilst doing their day to day activities.”

    The group will meet from 6 until 8pm at Gloucestershire University’s Oxstalls Campus, in Longlevens, starting on Wednesday October 2. There will be a break during half term.

    Places are limited so please ring 0800 073 2200 to register for a free place on the course.  You will then be contacted by a Mindfulness teacher to discuss the course and how it meets your needs.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-mindfulness-course-in-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-mindfulness-course-in-gloucester Thu, 12 Sep 13 14:11:06 +0000
    Groundbreaking Project to Enhance Schizophrenia Care

    Pictured (from left to right): Steve Shrubb (2gether NHS Foundation Trust), Paul Jenkins (CEO of Rethink Mental Illness), Helen Maplestone (2gether NHS Foundation Trust), and Norman Lamb (Minister of State for Care and Support).

    National charity Rethink Mental Illness has teamed up with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust  to launch a ground-breaking project to improve services for people with schizophrenia and psychosis.
     
    The Rethink Mental Illness Innovation Network, launched yesterday (4th September) in the House of Commons, will see 2gether join with the charity to test new and innovative services for people affected by severe mental illness.
     
    It will focus on issues like improving mental health hospital care, tackling physical health problems, and helping people with mental illness get into employment.
     
    This follows a report last year from the charity’s Schizophrenia Commission, which revealed catastrophic failings in the state of care for people with schizophrenia and psychosis.
     
    The new project hopes to transform mental health services by putting some of the Commission’s recommendations into practice
     
    Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Last year the Schizophrenia Commission showed that care and treatment for patients is nowhere near good enough. It highlighted that people with schizophrenia are dying 15-20 years earlier than the general population and that only 7 percent are able to get a job. Too many people are falling through the gaps in the system and ending up in prison or homeless.”
     
    “But by developing better services, we can transform people’s lives. We’ve launched the project with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust to help us find out what services work best for people with schizophrenia and psychosis, and to put them in place in the NHS. It could make a massive difference to people who are affected by mental illness.”
     
    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an extremely important project that we are very pleased to be involved with. Whilst care for people with schizophrenia and psychosis in Gloucestershire is among the best in the UK we are always keen to improve still further and learn from colleagues elsewhere.
     
    “The inequalities faced nationally by individuals experiencing schizophrenia and psychosis are simply unacceptable, and we are proud to have been invited to work in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness to be at the forefront of work to improve the care and support provided to thousands of people.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/groundbreaking-project-to-enhance-schizophrenia-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/groundbreaking-project-to-enhance-schizophrenia-care Thu, 05 Sep 13 17:00:44 +0000
    Garden Party to Thank Carers A Gloucester hospital is organising an afternoon of entertainment, fun and games for previous and current patients as well as carers.

    The garden party, at Wotton Lawn Hospital, is being held on Sunday September 15 from 3 until 6pm.

    Gemma Coltraro, Charge Nurse at Wotton Lawn’s Priory Ward said: “We held a similar garden party last year. That was a great success, so we’ve decided to repeat the event again this year.

    “We’re looking forward to welcoming back old friends, as well as the carers of our current patients.

    “Carers provide such vital support - they really are unsung heroes. Our garden party is one more way we can help recognise and celebrate their vital role in a patient’s recovery as well as offer them further support, health and wellbeing advice.”

    The garden party will be attended by representatives from Carers Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Young Carers, County Community Projects and 2gether staff who can offer advice and information to everyone who attends.

    In addition to information and displays, there will be live music, a barbecue and other refreshments, as well as a tombola, face painting and a variety of games.

    If you would like to attend the free event or for more information, please speak to a member of the ward team by calling 01452 894535.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-party-to-thank-carers http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/garden-party-to-thank-carers Tue, 27 Aug 13 11:19:05 +0000
    Quality Report 2012_2013 now available Quality Accounts are annual reports to the public from providers of NHS healthcare services. They provide additional accountability about the quality of an organisation's services.

    Our Quality Report for 2012/2013 is now available.  To download your copy please click here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-report-2012_2013-now-available http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-report-2012_2013-now-available Tue, 06 Aug 13 10:45:12 +0000
    Get 2gether in Stroud A ‘get 2gether’ is being organised to update people in the Stroud area about the work of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The event, at the Old Town Hall on the evening of Monday July 15, is open to anyone wanting to learn more about the work of 2gether and have a say in how local mental and social healthcare services are provided.

    2gether Trust Governor for the Stroud area Dr Richard Castle said: “This is an open event we are organising to engage with people who live or work in Stroud about the services we provide in their area.

    “It will present an opportunity to help shape our services, as well as ask questions of our Board and Governors. 

    “We’d love to see as many people as possible, as it will also be a great chance to network with members of local care organisations and charities.”

    The programme for the event is as follows:

    · Introduction to 2gether and mental health services (Shaun Clee, Chief Executive)
    · Networking and opportunity to talk to different services and organisations (inc. Action 4 Children, Family Lives, 2gether Managing Memory, Samaritans)
    · Presentation on Emotional Wellbeing Services in the county (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Team)
    · Question and answer session

    Everyone is welcome to attend. The event takes place from 6 until 8pm.

    For further information or to register to attend please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk

    *Please note, this press release was originally issued on July 4, but was reposted due to technical issues with the website.*

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-stroud1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-2gether-in-stroud1 Mon, 15 Jul 13 14:26:27 +0000
    2gether Takes Part in Safety Event for School Pupils Primary school children across Herefordshire have been attending workshop based days promoting safety, healthy lifestyle choices and good mental health.

    The event, called the Crucial Crew, is being held at Hereford Football Club between June 17 and 28.

    Staff from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust are attending the event to promote emotional wellbeing.

    Children can attend up to nine hands-on workshops in a day at the event, which has been organised by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue service, Hereford Housing, the British Red Cross, Network Rail, West Mercia Police, Crush/Women’s Aid, Herefordshire Council and 2gether.

    Jo Denney, non medical consultant for social inclusion at the trust, said: “It is very important that young people are aware of the challenges they may face and how they can cope with those effectively.

    “We find that the best way to raise that awareness is by encouraging the children to have fun while they learn.

     “Letting children explore their emotions is instrumental in helping them to understand themselves as people and improve their overall well being, both now and later in life, particularly as they enter secondary school.”

    Each workshop lasts a ‘bite sized’ 20 minutes and asks the children to do a number of exciting activities which give them an understanding of the topic while still being enjoyable.

    *Please note, this press release was reposted after the event, due to technical issues with the website*.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-takes-part-in-safety-event-for-school-pupils http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-takes-part-in-safety-event-for-school-pupils Mon, 15 Jul 13 14:25:04 +0000
    Art Exhibition to Showcare Staff and Service User Art An exhibition is to be held later this month to showcase the art work of service users and staff from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The event will take place on Thursday June 27, at St Mary Congregational Church, at the junction of Pitt Street, St Mary’s Street and Archdeacon Street, in Gloucester City Centre.

    Artwork including ceramics, glass, woodwork, paintings and photography will be on display, and the organiser, Lisa Bubb, said there would be something for everyone to see.

    “The artwork we will be showing has been produced by service users and staff from a variety of our services all over Gloucestershire and Herefordshire,” Lisa, an Activity Coordinator with 2gether, explained.

    “There are a variety of art groups running Trustwide, as art and art therapy are very useful ways of expressing feelings and of helping to improve emotional and mental wellbeing.

    “Our service users and staff also create artwork in their own time as a hobby, so we have some very talented people among our service users and staff, and this exhibition gives them a great opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience.

    “People coming to view the exhibition will also get a good feeling for the work we carry out within the Trust and an insight into how art can be used to benefit those with mental health problems.”

    The exhibition runs from 9am until 3.30pm and entrance is free. 

    *Please note, this press release was reposted after the event, due to technical issues with the website.*

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-exhibition-to-showcare-staff-and-service-user-art http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/art-exhibition-to-showcare-staff-and-service-user-art Mon, 15 Jul 13 14:20:38 +0000
    Refurbishment and Reopening of Hereford Facility The day care unit and cafeteria at a Hereford mental health facility has been completely refurbished and reopened.

    The facility, at the Stonebow Unit, which is in the grounds of Hereford County Hospital, has been given the overhaul by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the facility, with funding from Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

    Sally Simmonds, Acute Services Manager with 2gether, said the work, which included total redecoration and the creation of a new communal kitchen and coffee room, had made a huge difference.

    She said: “The day care unit offers therapeutic activity to outpatients at risk of hospital admission and to inpatients staying at Stonebow and another of our facilities, Oak House.

    “The kitchen will be a very valuable asset, enabling group cooking activities and letting us provide activities which promote independence.

    “Overall, the refurbishment provides a light, calming and airy environment which will be valued by staff and patients alike.

    “We’re very grateful to everyone who made the refurbishment possible, and I’m sure the new facilities will prove a great asset to us and everyone we support from across Herefordshire.”

    The refurbishment has taken two months in total and the official reopening was carried out by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Chair Ruth FitzJohn.

    The re-opening took the form of a celebration, during which music was provided thanks to the Herefordshire Mental Health Reference Group.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/refurbishment-and-reopening-of-hereford-facility http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/refurbishment-and-reopening-of-hereford-facility Mon, 15 Jul 13 14:18:00 +0000
    Men Urged to Seek Help with Mental Health Problems Men across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are being urged to talk about and seek help for mental health problems during Men’s Health Week, which starts today (June 10).

    Men’s Health Week is an annual event promoted by the Men’s Health Forum, and this year the campaign is focussing on tackling stigma in men’s mental health and promoting mental well-being for men.

    Despite the fact that men and women experience mental health problems in roughly equal numbers, men are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated for it.

    That’s something that needs to change, according to Dr Chris Fear, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director at 2gether.

    He said: “Men are often reluctant to seek support, feeling that mental health problems are a sign of weakness.

    “We need to overcome this stigma and speak out, so that men feel more confident to come forward and seek the support they need.

    “After all, one in four of us will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in our lives, and often the hardest thing is admitting there is a problem in the first place.

    “Too many men ‘self-medicate’ by drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs, when there are a whole host of support services and treatments available to them.

    “I’d urge any men struggling with mental health problems to speak to their GP or another health professional and if you know a man who seems to be struggling with their mental wellbeing, please encourage them to talk to someone about it.”

    Another man keen to encourage others to seek help with mental health problems is 52-year-old Gloucester builder David Holder.

    David, from Abbeymead, was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder following his admission to an Acute Mental Health Ward when he was 26. He’s since written a book about his experiences – The Psychotic Episode – and volunteers with 2gether, offering support and hope to people going through similar experiences to his own.

    He said men should not feel embarrassed about speaking about mental health issues or seeking help.

    “I speak very openly about my experiences, both through public speaking and generally to people I meet and the people I do work for,” he explained.

    “I always tell men I know that it’s not their fault and there’s no shame in it. There’s too much stigma attached to mental illness and we need to combat it.”

    To read about the services 2gether offers, including our Let’s Talk service which offers information, guidance and therapy for people suffering with stress, anxiety, depression or similar conditions, please visit www.2gether.nhs.uk

    To read more about Men’s Health Week and the Men’s Health Forum campaign, please visit http://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mhw

    *Please note, this press release was reposted after the event, due to technical issues with this website*

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/men-urged-to-seek-help-with-mental-health-problems http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/men-urged-to-seek-help-with-mental-health-problems Mon, 15 Jul 13 14:16:10 +0000
    Carers Reminded to also Take Care of Themselves

    Carers who support service users treated by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust are being reminded that their wellbeing is also vitally important.

    The reminder comes at the beginning of Carers Week 2013, which starts today (Monday June 10).

    Carers Week is an annual UK-wide awareness campaign, aimed at improving the lives of carers and the people they care for.

    There are thousands of carers who support people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and other conditions treated by 2gether, and they are being reminded that they should not forget their own wellbeing while caring for those they support.

    Dr Jane Melton, 2gether’s Clinical Director for Social Inclusion, said: “Carers, by nature, tend to put those they are caring for before themselves. Their selflessness often means they don’t seek support for problems they are experiencing. We want to remind carers that they are important too and we are committed to supporting them as well.

    “We’ve demonstrated our commitment to carers through publishing and using our Carers Charter and Young Carers Charter. In the charters we pledge to work with carers, listen to them, respect and value them, as well as recognise their own needs. Carers Assessments are one way in which we can ensure carers get the full range of support they need.
     
    “Carers undertake a critical role which we must value and respect. Carers Week is as good an opportunity as any to remind people who devote time to care for others that their health and wellbeing is essential. We hope that Carers Week will act as a reminder that carers must think of their own health and wellbeing sometimes too as well as that of those that they care for.”

    The theme for this year’s Carers Week is ‘Prepared to Care?’.

    Carers supporting service users within treatment from 2gether can request a Carers’ Assessment through their Care Coordinator.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/carers-reminded-to-also-take-care-of-themselves http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/carers-reminded-to-also-take-care-of-themselves Mon, 10 Jun 13 11:13:29 +0000
    Volunteers Thanked for Immense Contribution to 2gether

    The volunteers who give up their free time to help us in our work have been thanked for their immense contribution during an event held to mark Volunteers Week.

    There are approximately 100 volunteers registered with 2gether, performing a wide range of roles throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

    A tea party was held at Kingsholm, the home of Gloucester Rugby Club, earlier this afternoon, in order to thank them for all that they do and recognise their significance within the Trust.

    Richard Szadziewski, one of 2gether’s Non Executive Directors, thanked the volunteers during a speech in which he paid tribute to their commitment.

    He said: “You bring energy, your own life experiences and commitment to the service. In short, you give so much of yourselves and expect little in return.

    “You are amazing people doing amazing things and you are making life better for people.”

    The volunteers who attended the event included Geoff Baldwin, 45, from Bishops Cleeve. He helps to coordinate some of our Let’s Talk courses held in Cheltenham, and also meets and greets participants, helping to put them at ease.

    “I like helping people and have always wanted to help people,” he explained.

    “I really enjoy volunteering. It gives me a sense of pride and there’s nothing better than someone coming up to you after they’ve attended a course and thanking you for the help you gave them.”

    Another volunteer at the event was Tracie Hodge, 41, from Churchdown. She and her Border Terrier Ellie – a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog - volunteer at Charlton Lane Hospital, in Cheltenham.

    “We visit the hospital once a week and go around the wards, spending 30 to 40 minutes on each one,” said Tracie.

    “Patients like to stroke Ellie, sit with her, groom her and take her on short walks around the garden.

    “She really enjoys being the centre of attention and she’s very popular with the patients. It’s a great feeling to be giving something back.”

    Other 2gether volunteers perform roles such as volunteer driving, assisting in our library, counselling, data collection, and helping with sports and activity groups.

    You can read our Volunteer Strategy by clicking here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-for-immense-contribution-to-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/volunteers-thanked-for-immense-contribution-to-2gether Fri, 07 Jun 13 17:41:20 +0000
    Reading Well Scheme to Help Combat Mental Health Problems A new scheme set up to improve people’s mental health through reading is to benefit people across Gloucestershire.

    The Reading Well scheme was given its national launch earlier this week by The Society of Chief Librarians and the Reading Agency.

    In Gloucestershire it will build upon the already successful Books on Prescription scheme which has been running for some years.

    In order to highlight the scheme and raise its profile locally, staff from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust will be visiting libraries and speaking to readers countywide throughout the rest of the month.

    Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, Clinical Lead for the Trust’s Let’s Talk service, said there was a lot of evidence that reading self help books could help people suffering from mild to moderate mental health conditions to manage their own health and well-being. Even greater benefit could be derived if the person is supported by a health practitioner whilst they are learning from the book.

    She said: “The Books on Prescription scheme has been running in Gloucestershire since 2005, when it was started by Gloucestershire Libraries and Information, the Primary Care Trusts and the Primary Mental Health Service.

    “The national Reading Well scheme is a very welcome development, building as it does on the success of our scheme and a number of others.

    “We have seen some great successes with people who are able to manage their own mental health issues through reading, and we now hope to promote this scheme more widely.

    “I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more to speak to one of our staff when they visit libraries throughout the rest of the month and take some positive action to improve their mental wellbeing.

    “Anyone struggling with anxiety and depression who wants support and guidance can also get in touch with Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200.”

    Cllr Kathy Williams, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for long term care, said: “Reading is just one of many ways in which people with mental health issues can learn about their condition, but in their own time and at their own pace. The Books on Prescription scheme that already operates at the county’s libraries has shown how popular services like these can be and I hope the Reading Well programme will prove to be just as successful.”

    Under the Books on Prescription scheme health professionals including GPs are able to ‘prescribe’ a self-help book to their patients from an approved list.  The patient takes the ‘prescription’ to a library to be ‘dispensed’ for a suggested loan period. However, library users can also borrow the self help books without the need for a prescription.

    Books on the list have been carefully selected, and are designed to cover a range of mild to moderate mental health problems including stress, anxiety, phobias, anger, depression, OCD, panic and more.

    The new Reading Well scheme is supported by the Royal Colleges of General Practitioners, Nursing and Psychiatrists, the Department of Health through its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, The British Psychological Society and Mind.

    Therapists from 2gether’s Let’s Talk service will be paying visits to libraries to speak to people about the scheme and how it might help them on the following dates:

    · Monday June 10. Gloucester, between 10am and 12 noon
    · Monday June 10. Stroud, between 2 and 4pm
    · Wednesday June 12. Cheltenham, between 10am and 12 noon
    · Monday June 17. Coleford, between 11am and 1pm
    · Tuesday June 18. Tewkesbury, between 10am and 12 noon
    · Wednesday June 19. Dursley, between 10am and 12noon
    · Tuesday June 25. Newent, between 2 and 4pm
    · Wednesday June 26. Stow on the Wold, between 10am and 12 noon
    · Thursday June 27. Cirencester, between 10am and 12noon

    To find the location of your local library, click here  

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reading-well-scheme-to-help-combat-mental-health-problems http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reading-well-scheme-to-help-combat-mental-health-problems Wed, 05 Jun 13 13:10:06 +0000
    Young Carers to Receive Government Funding Following the news last week that a quarter of a million children provide care, local organisations have revealed that Gloucestershire is one of only eight localities to receive funding from the Department for Education to introduce a whole family approach in supporting young carers.

    Local charity Gloucestershire Young Carers and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s partnership is one of only eight across the UK to be chosen by Carers Trust, a national charity, to receive grant funding from the Department for Education, to deliver a new Gloucestershire Family Mental Health Empowerment Project.

    Parenting can be a real challenge and when you are also trying to cope with mental distress, things can be really tough for the whole family. But help is at hand for families in Gloucestershire with the launch of an exciting new project.

    The Gloucestershire Family Mental Health Empowerment Project will offer support to both parents and children in families where a parent experiences serious mental health issues.

    More than 200 young carers, some as young as eight, could benefit.

    Mandy Bell, Mental Health Lead at Gloucestershire Young Carers, said: ‘This is a real opportunity for us to work in partnership with mental health services to embed a whole family approach which ensures that the needs of both the parent and child are addressed right from the start.’

    Research evidence has shown that the health and wellbeing of vulnerable young carers can be improved by identifying families who may be at risk early and by taking a whole family support approach from the very start.

    Lucy Garden, an Occupational Therapist working at 2gether and the project’s Family Empowerment Worker said: “Gloucestershire Young Carers and 2gether are working even closer together to help make sure that the needs of the whole family are identified and supported and we’re already seeing the difference.

    The joint project aims to minimise the impact of parental mental illness on dependent children by: recognising and supporting the parents in their role; increasing identification of young carers; and building resilience of young carers and families.

    Lucy continued: “By speaking with and involving all family members, we can help understand and identify specific needs and assist all family members to get the support that they need. Young carers benefit from feeling less isolated, parents feel more empowered and the whole family are more able to talk about and resolve the challenges that they are facing together.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-carers-to-receive-government-funding http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-carers-to-receive-government-funding Wed, 22 May 13 11:08:06 +0000
    2gether Teams Receive Royal College of Psychiatry Accreditation The three 2gether teams who support mental health patients in their own homes have received accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    The teams, who support people experiencing sudden mental health issues that are presenting risks to their welfare, are now officially accredited under the national Home Treatment Accreditation Scheme (HTAS).

    2gether’s Countywide Community Services Manager Jez Leat, who manages the teams, said it was a great achievement, which should give service users and the wider community additional confidence in the services provided by the Trust.

    “The process we went through to achieve accreditation involved rigorous examination of the care provided and the processes behind it,” Jez said.

    “Our teams were assessed in depth, by a visiting team of inspectors, and have been found to be meeting the standards set down by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    “The Home Treatment Accreditation Scheme was introduced last year, as a way of ensuring high quality home treatment services,” he added.

    “We are delighted to have met the standards, and our accreditation will continue until 2016 when we will be inspected again.”

    The three teams – known as Crisis and Home Treatment Teams - cover the following geographical areas:

    • Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswolds;
    • Gloucester and Forest; and
    • Stroud and Cotswolds.

    The teams are comprised of professionals including Nurses, Social Workers, Psychiatrists and Community Support Workers.

    They offer support and advice when people need an additional level of care, for example when their mental health is deteriorating. The teams monitor mental health, offer support and advice to families and carers, give practical support and assistance with daily activities, assist with medication management, and help service users to develop coping strategies.

    The teams visit individuals every day for up to six weeks, enabling service users to stay in their own home, unless hospital admission becomes necessary. They are available to support people 24 hours a day and operate an emergency helpline for the people they are supporting.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-teams-receive-royal-college-of-psychiatry-accreditation http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-teams-receive-royal-college-of-psychiatry-accreditation Wed, 22 May 13 10:51:35 +0000
    Gardening Scheme Grows from Strength to Strength A scheme set up to help mental health patients to be more active is growing from strength to strength.

    The Growing 2gether scheme is based at the Hayden Road allotments, in Cheltenham, and service users from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust as well as other agencies attend regular sessions there.

    Alicia Talbot, an Exercise and Health Practitioner with the Trust’s Cheltenham Assertive Outreach Team, runs the sessions, with support from 2gether staff and local Community Health Trainers.

    She said that the people who take part– most of whom have a severe and enduring mental illness - are benefitting hugely from the exercise, fresh air, sense of satisfaction and social opportunities offered by the scheme.

    She said: “Green exercise has proven mental and physical health benefits, and has emerged as a simple, low-cost, therapeutic activity, for individuals experiencing mental health problems.

    “Through the allotment, our clients can work together to plan, prepare and grow produce, take the produce home to cook healthy meals, learn life skills, and improve their physical and mental health in the great outdoors.

    “It’s also about getting out and meeting other people, providing routine and structure, improving communication skills and gaining a sense of achievement from what they are doing.

    “Being physically active is really important for mental health and wellbeing, but not everyone wants to go to the gym, start running or take part in competitive sport.

    “Gardening is something that appeals to many people, and our sessions are regularly attended, even in the depths of winter.”

    When the site was originally rented by 2gether, it was uncared for, with old play equipment and long grass covering it.

    Since then it has been transformed into a viable growing area, with a shed, a path and seating area, compost bins, tools, a bench, water butt and fencing all installed.  

    As well as 2gether’s service users, the plot is also used by clients of local Community Health Trainers. The allotment scheme was granted funding from the Cheltenham Partnership’s NHS Reducing Health Inequalities ‘Olympic Legacy’ Fund and is supported by Cheltenham Borough Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Department and Vision 21, a not for profit, independent, environmental sustainability organisation, which provides a consultancy service to the allotment scheme.  Vision 21 also run a series of free ‘Grow your Own’ workshops, which  service users and staff are able to access for further information and advice.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gardening-scheme-grows-from-strength-to-strength http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gardening-scheme-grows-from-strength-to-strength Wed, 15 May 13 11:20:17 +0000
    Wotton Lawn Gets Walking for Mental Health Awareness Week The physiotherapy and exercise team at a Gloucester hospital have organised a Walkathon to encourage both patients and staff to be more active.

    The staff at Wotton Lawn, which is an 88 bed acute Mental Health Hospital run by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, have organised the event as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

    The week-long awareness raising event started yesterday, and the theme for the week is ‘physical activity’, with the aim of highlighting the significant part physical activity plays in improving mental health and wellbeing.

    Sophie Lucas, Health and Exercise Practitioner with 2gether, said: “We carry out a range of activities to encourage our service users and staff to be more physically active, as we recognise the enormous impact physical activity has on mental health and wellbeing.

    “This week gives us an extra opportunity to focus on this, and the Walkathon is a fun activity everyone can get involved in, but with a serious message behind it.

    “Each ward has been given a record sheet and set of rules for the walks, and each ward will document how many miles they walk up until May 20, when the results will be collated. The winners will be the ward with the most miles recorded, and we’re looking forward to finding out who has put the most miles in.”

    There are four admission wards at Wotton Lawn, Abbey Ward, Dean Ward, Kingsholm Ward and Priory Ward.

    Wotton Lawn also has a ten bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit – Greyfriars – as well as the Montpellier Secure Recovery Unit, which is a rehabilitation facility for men with a primary diagnosis of serious mental illness.

    Service Users at Wotton Lawn are supported by a range of professionals, including nurses, doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and health and exercise practitioners.

    Mental Health Awareness Week is held annually, and organised by the Mental Health Foundation.

    To find out more about what 2gether is doing for the week, visit www.2gether.nhs.uk.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/wotton-lawn-gets-walking-for-mental-health-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/wotton-lawn-gets-walking-for-mental-health-awareness-week Tue, 14 May 13 15:20:52 +0000
    Rugby Star Supports Mental Health Awareness Week Campaign

    Sporting legend Phil Vickery has given his backing to our campaign to encourage people to be more active to help improve their mental health and wellbeing.

    Speaking at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins today (13 May), former England international, Wasps and Gloucester rugby star Phil said everyone should try and be more active to help improve both their physical and mental health.

    He said: “I’m very supportive of what 2gether is doing to encourage everyone to be more active and take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

    “As a sportsman I know how good keeping fit and being active makes you feel, not just physically but also mentally.

    “But you don’t need to be a sporting professional to lead an active lifestyle; I think almost everyone can try and do something every day to be a bit more active. It’s really important for us all to look after our mental health, physical health and general wellbeing.”

    The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which is organised by the Mental Health Foundation, is ‘physical activity’.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is visiting Coleford, Stroud, Hereford, Gloucester and Cheltenham to spread the word about mental health and becoming more physically active.

    Dr Jane Melton, 2gether’s Clinical Director for Social Inclusion, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to get out and about to spread the word about mental health and wellbeing.

    “Each year one in four of us will suffer a common mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. It’s important to know that there is help available and there are also ways in which we can help ourselves, including by being more physically active.

    “Not everyone will want to take up competitive sport or run a marathon, but by building a small amount of activity into our routine every day, perhaps by walking or gardening, we can all do a great deal to lift our mood prevent or overcome common mental health problems.

    “We’re looking forward to meeting people during our week on the road, and we and Active Gloucestershire have got activities, giveaways and information to share. I’d encourage everyone to come along and see us.”

    The roadshow will be out between 11am and 2pm as follows:

    •  Monday 13 May – Coleford, Clock Tower
    •  Tuesday 14 May – Stroud Subscription Rooms
    •  Wednesday 15 May – Hereford, High Town
    •  Thursday 16 May – Gloucester, King’s Square
    •  Friday 17 May – Cheltenham, High Street

    To read our guide to building more physical activity into your daily life, please click here


     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rugby-star-supports-mental-health-awareness-week-campaign http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/rugby-star-supports-mental-health-awareness-week-campaign Mon, 13 May 13 14:35:29 +0000
    2gether Staff Hit the Road for Mental Health Awareness Week Staff from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust will be hitting the road to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13 to 19).

    The theme for the week this year is physical activity, and 2gether is working with organisations including Active Gloucestershire and local authorities to promote the benefits being physically active can have on mental health and wellbeing.

    The 2gether Roadshow will visit five locations during the week – Coleford, Stroud, Hereford, Gloucester and Cheltenham – to promote the facts about mental illness and the services available for those struggling with mental health issues.

    Dr Jane Melton, 2gether’s Clinical Director for Social Inclusion, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week, which is run by the Mental Health Foundation, is an opportunity for us to get out and about to spread the word about mental health and wellbeing.

    “Each year one in four of us will suffer a common mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. It’s important to know that there is help available and there are also ways in which we can help ourselves, including by being more physically active.

    “Not everyone will want to take up competitive sport or run a marathon, but by building a small amount of activity into our routine every day, perhaps by walking or gardening, we can all do a great deal to lift our mood prevent or overcome common mental health problems.

    “We’re looking forward to meeting people during our week on the road, and we and Active Gloucestershire have got activities, competitions, giveaways and information to share. I’d encourage everyone to come along and see us.”

    John Stevens, Chief Executive of Active Gloucestershire, said: “Active Gloucestershire’s aim is to get more people being more active and more often. This extends to all individuals whatever their circumstances which is why we are pleased to be supporting 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust during Mental Health Awareness Week.

    “This year it is estimated that one-in-four of us in the United Kingdom will be affected by a mental health problem. Regular participation in physical activity and sport can promote mental well-being and enrich the lives of people experiencing mental health problems. There are many benefits of doing so including less tension, stress and mental fatigue; improved sleep and a healthy appetite; having fun and a better social life; less anger or frustration; developing a focus and sense of purpose and gaining a sense of achievement”.

    Dr Sola Aruna, Consultant in Public Health and lead for Public Mental Health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “When people are suffering with a mental health issue, they often feel alone, but it is more common than people think with around one in four of us likely to have problems with our mental and emotional wellbeing at some point in our lives.

    “If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed; you’re not alone but we do understand it may be difficult to talk about. These road shows will be attended by people who will be able to help and offer advice that you may find life changing.”

    The roadshow will be out between 11am and 2pm on five dates as follows:

    · Monday May 13 – Coleford, Clock Tower
    · Tuesday May 14 – Stroud Subscription Rooms
    · Wednesday May 15 – Hereford, High Town
    · Thursday May 16 – Gloucester, King’s Square
    · Friday May 17 – Cheltenham, High Street

    To find out more about how you can stay active and keep your mind healthy, visit our Active 2gether pages.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-hit-the-road-for-mental-health-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-hit-the-road-for-mental-health-awareness-week Wed, 08 May 13 15:06:29 +0000
    New Non Executive Directors Join 2gether 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has appointed two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board.

    Joanna Newton was most recently Chair of NHS Herefordshire, a role she held for seven years. She was also appointed Board Chair of the West Mercia Cluster of PCTs leading up to the transfer of commissioning to Clinical Commissioning Groups on 1 April 2013. 

    Prior to moving back to Herefordshire Joanna held senior roles in pharmaceutical marketing, principally for Procter and Gamble and SmithKline Beecham.

    Over the last thirteen years, Joanna has held health sector Non Executive roles. Her first Chair role was with Herefordshire & Worcestershire Ambulance Trust in 2003. Since then she has also chaired the Health and Social Care Cross Border Group and the West Midlands Specialist Commissioning Board. Until recently Joanna has chaired the board of governors for her local school.

    Jonathan Vickers spent 25 years in the international oil and chemicals industries including board membership of Castrol and Burmah Chemicals. 

    Over the last decade, Jonathan has served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of a range of public sector organisations including NHS South West Strategic Health Authority.

    Jonathan is an Independent Member of Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Approvals Board and a board member at UK Sport.

    Ruth FitzJohn, Chair of 2gether said: “Joanna and Jonathan join the Trust at a very exciting and challenging time. Their complementary skills and experiences will help strengthen the Board and help provide a new and valuable perspective to Board and Committee deliberations”.

    Joanna said of her appointment: “2gether provides services important to the health and wellbeing of our local communities and I am delighted to be joining the board to support this work”.

    Jonathan continued: "I am delighted to join the board of 2gether at this exciting time. The Trust has an excellent track record of patient care and a strong financial position.  As a new chapter opens in the history of the NHS, we need to ensure that we are able to manage the challenges it presents, whilst remaining alive to the opportunities it offers.

    2gether is a public benefit corporation.  Members of the public, service users, staff and partner organisations can influence the strategic planning of the organisation by being a member and standing for election to the Council of Governors.

    Ruth said: “This is also my first month working within the Trust. I look forward to working alongside Joanna, Jonathan, staff, Governors and Trust members so that we can continue to make tangible improvements to an already high quality, local mental health service.”

    To become a member of the trust, visit www.2gether.nhs.uk/membership or call Anna Hilditch on 01452 804000.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-join-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-join-2gether Wed, 08 May 13 12:01:26 +0000
    Mindfulness Course to Start in Gloucester Anyone feeling overwhelmed by their thoughts, feelings, responsibilities or worries could benefit from a course being established in Gloucester from June 5.

    The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course delivered by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service, will offer a practical, non-medical approach to coping with anxiety and stress.

    Gill Turnbull, from Let’s Talk, said that a mindfulness approach to people’s distress could have a significant impact on improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

    “Most of us find ourselves frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities and the feeling of wanting things to be different from how they are right now,” Gill said.

    “This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with emotional or physical pain, life stresses and illness that challenge our attempts to find a solution or to feel better.

    “Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness-based approaches are intended to teach people practical skills that can help with physical and psychological health problems and ongoing life stresses.

    “Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group-based programme for people with a wide range of physical problems and who experience anxiety and depression. It has been extensively studied since the late 1970s and there is evidence of significant positive effects on participants with generalised anxiety disorder, panic, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and other conditions.

    “The programme is taught in eight weekly sessions for 2 hours and involves intensive training in mindfulness meditation together with discussion on stress and life skills. Participants are given CDs and are asked to practise the meditations for up to 45 minutes daily and to do informal practice whilst doing their day to day activities.”

    The group will meet weekly from Wednesday June 5 until Wednesday July 24, from 6 until 8pm, at Gloucestershire College, Llanthony Rd, Gloucester.

    Places are limited so please ring 0800 073 2200 to register for a place on the course.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/mindfulness-course-to-start-in-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/mindfulness-course-to-start-in-gloucester Tue, 07 May 13 10:17:52 +0000
    New Emotional Wellbeing Course in Gloucester A new Emotional Wellbeing course will begin on Saturday mornings in Gloucester from June 8.

    The course, which will run for five sessions, will take place from 10am until 11.30am, at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus.

    Jan Bagnall, Senior Therapist with 2gether’s Let’s Talk service, said: “This course will be very useful to anyone wanting to improve their emotional wellbeing.

    “If you are struggling with low mood, depressed or feeling anxious, this course will teach you some useful skills to make changes in your life.

    “Previous courses have been very well received, with those who attended saying afterwards that they felt less isolated, had got to know themselves better and that the course helped them to be more assertive and think in a positive way.

    “We run other courses of this type, but we hope that because this course is on a Saturday morning, people who work during the week or who struggle to find childcare, will find it easier to attend.”

    The free course will help those attending to gain:

    • an understanding of how to keep emotionally well;
    • knowledge of how to get more active, improve your sleep, eat well and feel better about your appearance;
    • more skills to improve your confidence and your acceptance of yourself;
    • a recognition of helpful and unhelpful thoughts;
    • a plan to get some meaning back into your life;
    • a plan for a way to be kinder to yourself;
    • techniques to be more assertive and to improve relationships;
    • a recognition of emotional early warning signs; and
    • a plan for managing those inevitable difficult days.
    • The course, which starts on June 8, is educational and is not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090).

    To book a place, or to find out about a range of other courses offered, please ring Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200.
    For further details visit http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-emotional-wellbeing-course-in-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-emotional-wellbeing-course-in-gloucester Tue, 30 Apr 13 09:46:27 +0000
    Expert Encourages Those with Depression to Seek Help People with depression are being encouraged to seek help.

    Depression is a common, but potentially serious illness, which can have a big impact on people’s lives. However, there are many sources of support available, and no one need suffer in silence.

    Alison Sedgewick-Taylor, of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service, said: “Many of us feel sad or down from time to time, but depression is a medical condition that can have a major impact on daily life.

    “When you are depressed, you may feel extreme sadness for a long time, and these feelings can be very debilitating.

    “Depression may make you withdrawn, make you less productive at work, damage your relationships with your friends and family and generally make you feel life is not worthwhile.

    “Physical symptoms of depression also include changes in appetite, disturbed sleep patterns and unexplained aches and pains.

    “However, there are lots of sources of support and many ways in which people with depression can be helped to overcome their illness.

    “No one should suffer alone with this condition and I’d encourage anyone who feels they may be depressed to seek help.”

    If you believe you are suffering from depression you should firstly visit your GP for advice. You may then be referred on to an organisation like 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    If you live in Gloucestershire you can also access support directly through our Let’s Talk service. The service website (http://www.letstalk2gether.nhs.uk/) includes self help material, as well as a questionnaire where you can see whether or not you are depressed.

    Let’s Talk also runs courses around the county, helping to improve general mental wellbeing. Ring Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200.

    April 15 to 21 is national Depression Awareness Week, which is organised by the Depression Allicance. http://www.depressionalliance.org/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/expert-encourages-those-with-depression-to-seek-help http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/expert-encourages-those-with-depression-to-seek-help Mon, 15 Apr 13 09:37:42 +0000
    Countdown to Fifth Annual Big Health Check Day The countdown has begun for the fifth annual Big Health Check Day, being held in Gloucester on May 10.

    The event – at Wall’s Club, in Barnwood - will focus on the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities in the county and is open to individuals with learning disabilities, their families and carers.

    Participants will be able to find out more about local services and resources from the 26 stall
    holders and get involved in a number of fun and informative sessions on exercise and health, better eye care and Dementia support.

    Organised jointly by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire County Council, and Gloucestershire Voices, it will be attended by people from across the county.

    One of the organisers is Simon Shorrick, Strategic Health Facilitator with 2gether’s Learning Disability Services.

    He said: “We’re really excited about our 5th Big Health Check day, and we’d encourage people to come along and join us.  It’s a great opportunity to bring together people with learning disabilities and their carers to find out more about local services, share their views, and have some fun”.

    Gloucestershire Voices, a user led self-advocacy organisation for adults with learning disabilities, will be performing a short play called ‘The Long and Winding Road’.

    This will be a light hearted but thought provoking play about a visit to a GP surgery for an annual heath check and what could go wrong and how this could be done better.  The ambulance service will also be in attendance for people to have a look around an ambulance and talk to the paramedics.

    Other organisations attending include Mencap, SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate and Support) Advocacy Services, PALS – the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service, the Independence Trust, Carers Gloucestershire, SeeAbility, and Healthwatch.

    The Big Health Check Day is part of the implementation of the ‘The Big Plan’ – a joint strategic plan between NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council.

    For further information about the day, please contact Simon Shorrick, Health Facilitation team on 0800 019 3346 or email simon.shorrick@glos.nhs.uk

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/countdown-to-fifth-annual-big-health-check-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/countdown-to-fifth-annual-big-health-check-day Wed, 10 Apr 13 11:28:19 +0000
    Council of Governors Meeting - 11 April 2013 The next meeting of the Council of Governors will take place on Thursday 11 April 2013, 5.00pm - 8.00pm Venue: The Business Continuity Room, Trust HQ, Rikenel.  The agenda for the meeting can be viewed here.

    Meetings are open to members of the public and papers can be requested by contacting Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governors-meeting---11-april-2013 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/council-of-governors-meeting---11-april-2013 Fri, 05 Apr 13 15:16:22 +0000
    New formulary website for Gloucestershire A new Gloucestershire-wide drug formulary website launched on April 1.

    The new Joint Formulary will be used by all NHS prescribers in Gloucestershire to promote evidence-based, safe, cost-effective prescribing. The new website is accessible to all clinicians and patients across the county.

    The Joint Formulary has been developed in collaboration between Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services, and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Visit the new formulary at www.formulary.glos.nhs.uk/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-formulary-website-for-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-formulary-website-for-gloucestershire Fri, 05 Apr 13 09:58:33 +0000
    2gether is granted NHS Provider Licence 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has been issued with its new NHS Provider Licence by independent regulator Monitor.

    The licence, effective from 1 April 2013, is the tool Monitor will use to regulate foundation trusts and other NHS-funded providers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

    It sets out the obligations providers will need to meet in order to assist Monitor to fulfil its principal duty to protect and promote the interests of patients.

    The licence conditions will help Monitor set prices for NHS care; enable integrated care; prevent anti-competitive behaviour which is against the interests of patients; and help commissioners ensure patients have access to NHS services when providers run into severe difficulties. The licence conditions will also allow Monitor to continue to regulate the way foundation trusts are governed.

    2gether’s Chief Executive Shaun Clee said: “We welcome the introduction of the new Monitor licence and the independent oversight Monitor gives to us and other NHS Foundation Trusts.

    “The licence should ensure our service users, partners, commissioners and communities can continue to have confidence in the way we manage and provide our services across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and the surrounding areas.”

    Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive at Monitor, said: “It is important that we create a balanced system of oversight in health care that puts the protection and promotion of the interests of patients at the heart of the regulatory process.

    “Our goal is to have a licence which will allow us to operate as an evidence-based and patient-focused regulator in partnership with the Care Quality Commission and NHS Commissioning Board and enable licensees to focus on patient care.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-is-granted-nhs-provider-licence http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-is-granted-nhs-provider-licence Thu, 04 Apr 13 13:18:03 +0000
    New Wellbeing Courses in Cirencester Courses aimed at soothing stress and anxiety and mood boosting are starting in Cirencester next month.

    The two courses, offered by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service, are free and aimed at learning skills to manage and improve mental health and wellbeing. 

    Alex Burrage, from Let’s Talk, said: “These courses are psycho educational, and will allow anyone who attends to learn skills, such as relaxation and mindfulness techniques, to help improve their overall wellbeing.

    “They are about overcoming stress, anxiety and low mood through tried and tested techniques, with the aim of bringing about lasting improvements in mental health.”

    The ‘Soothe Your Stress and Anxiety Course’, which starts on April 10, will teach participants:

    • New problem solving skills;
    • Relaxation and breathing techniques;
    • About the panic cycle and how to break it;
    • How to recognise the physical effects of stress and anxiety;
    • How to understand stress and anxiety and its causes and impact on your life; and
    • How to identify helpful and unhelpful thoughts and change them.

    The ‘Boost Your Mood’ course starts on April 11, and will cover:

    • Developing a plan to prevent relapse;
    • Being able to identify obstacles for motivation and action;
    • Knowing different relaxation and mindfulness exercises;
    • Planning a valued direction and smart goals for the future;
    • Understanding how low mood and depression develops and is maintained; and
    • Learning effective ways to improve sleep, diet, exercise and time management.

    Each course lasts six weeks. Courses are educational and are not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090) .

    To find out if this course would be suitable for you, or to find out about a range of other courses offered, please ring Let’s Talk on 0800 0732200.

    For further details visit http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-wellbeing-courses-in-cirencester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-wellbeing-courses-in-cirencester Thu, 21 Mar 13 10:00:52 +0000
    2gether Staff Help Patients Become Smokefree Dozens of people have given up smoking in the last year with the help of the Smokefree Champions from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The champions will be redoubling their efforts to help people quit for No Smoking Day, which is on Wednesday (March 13).

    Manning stands within waiting areas at Wotton Lawn, in Gloucester, and Charlton Lane Hospital, in Cheltenham, they hope to encourage even more people to give up.

    There are currently more than 60 staff working in wards and units across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire who are trained Smokefree Champions in addition to their day job.

    One such staff member is Shelley Jones, Ward Manager at the Honeybourne Unit, in Cheltenham.

    Shelley, an ex-smoker herself, is currently helping three people within the unit to give up.

    She said: “We carry out our initial assessment when people come into the unit and during that we find out whether they smoke or not, and talk to them about the benefits of giving up.

    “If they are keen to give it a try we support them with meetings at least once a week and organise nicotine replacement therapy.

    “People experiencing mental illness are more likely than the general population to take up smoking and do sometimes need more help to quit.

    “However, once they see the benefits and see others around them giving up as well, it can really help motivate them and quitting can feel like a real achievement.

    “Once people are ready to leave the unit we make sure they get access to the Quit Smoking clinics so they can stay off the cigarettes when they leave us.”

    The unit has a CO (Carbon Monoxide) machine which enables staff to show service users the impact that giving up smoking is having on their overall health.

    A 29-year-old man currently staying on the unit, who does not wish to be named, found his CO level decreased from 37 to 1 within a couple of days of quitting.

    A smoker since the age of 13, and on 30 to 40 a day, he’s seen huge benefits since giving up with the help of staff, nicotine patches and nicotine mist.

    He said: “I thought smoking looked cool when I was younger and my mum and dad also smoked, but from speaking to the staff here I’ve found that, although it’s still hard, I don’t mind giving up so much.

    “I used to trick myself that smoking was good for me because it reduced stress, but now I’ve turned that around so I see smoking is not good for you. I’ve come up with logical reasons and seen what the chemicals do to you, which has helped me give up.

    “I’m proud I’ve been able to give up and my family are really proud too. They’ve all given up as well, including my ex-girlfriend, and I’ve found it’s just as good socially to be an ex smoker as it is to be a smoker.”

    Marley, 18, is another service user at Honeybourne. He’s also been smoking since his early teens and decided to give his 10 to 20 cigarettes a day up to become more healthy.

    He said: “It’s also about the cost. Since giving up I can start saving for more Xbox games and I’m finding it easier at the gym as my breathing is easier.

    “The adverts on the TV have been really off putting for me and I’m really proud of giving up. I’m setting an example to other people who smoke now, which is really good.”

    If you are keen to give up smoking, visit the Gloucestershire Stop Smoking Service at http://www.stopsmokingsupportglos.org.uk/ or the Herefordshire Service at
    http://www.herefordshire.nhs.uk/1366.aspx.


    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-help-patients-become-smokefree http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-help-patients-become-smokefree Mon, 11 Mar 13 11:07:28 +0000
    New Facility for People with Dementia People with dementia will soon be able to test out the latest equipment designed to help them live at home for longer with the opening of a new Telecare Suite. 

    Staff from ²gether have worked with Telecare in Gloucestershire to set up the small facility which will open at 2gether’s Charlton Lane Hospital, in Cheltenham, later this month.

    Shannette Bendall, of 2gether’s Managing Memory ²gether service, said: “The Telecare suite will provide an opportunity for people with dementia and their carers to see at first-hand how Telecare products work and how they might help them to keep safe at home.”

    Fall detectors and movement sensors, as well as equipment designed to summon help should the homeowner need it, will all be operational within the suite. Staff trained in the use of Telecare will also be on hand to demonstrate how the equipment works. 

    “Having dementia can make you forget how to respond in certain situations and to forget to do the things that keep you safe,” Shannette explained.

    “This can mean that you may be more at risk or would struggle to get help if you fell or had a fire or flood. Living with dementia may also mean that you forget to take your medication or get confused about time, and whether it is day or night.

    “Having Telecare equipment installed can enable earlier discharge home from hospital and   allow people to stay at home safely rather than having to move into residential care.”

    Telecare in Gloucestershire is a free service provided by Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire.

    The service aims to provide solutions to keep people with disabilities safe at home through the use of technology. 

    Neil Moffat, Acting Operational Manager for Telecare Gloucestershire, said: “Telecare provides peace of mind to you and your relatives, providing a rapid response in an emergency.

    “The equipment is simple to install, simple to use and can be tailored to suit your individual needs.”

    Telecare can be used to prevent bogus callers taking advantage of vulnerable people. It also raises the alarm in case of a flood or fire, and notifies someone if  the homeowner has gone out at an inappropriate time of the day, such as early hours of the morning, putting themselves at risk.

    The system is connected to a monitoring centre. As soon as a risk is detected an alert is raised, summoning instant help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Dermot McMeekin, ²gether Trust Acting Chair, will officially open The Telecare Suite on Wednesday March 27 2013 at 11am. Telecare presentations and guided tours will take place at 11.30 am, 12.30pm and 2pm. To book places please call Managing Memory ²gether on 0800 694 8800.

    If you are unable to attend the open day, but want to find out more about Telecare and arrange an appointment to visit the Telecare Suite, please ring Managing Memory ²gether on 0800 694 8800

    For direct referrals for Telecare please contact Gloucestershire County Council’s Adult Helpdesk (Telecare Referrals and Information) on 01452 426868.

    Managing Memory 2gether is a Gloucestershire based specialist telephone advice and information service for people worried about memory, people with dementia and carers of people with dementia.  This service also co-ordinates and delivers a countywide programme of education sessions on a range of topics relating to memory loss and dementia.

    Find out more here http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/managing-memory-2gether


    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-facility-for-people-with-dementia http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-facility-for-people-with-dementia Wed, 06 Mar 13 11:09:41 +0000
    Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit Among Best in UK A Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Gloucester has once more been recognised for the high standards of care it offers.

    Greyfriars PICU, which is run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded official Accreditation of Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units. 

    It is the second time the 10-bed unit has been given the accolade, which it will now keep until late 2015.

    Unit Manager James Wright said the achievement – at the highest level of ‘excellent’ - demonstrated that the PICU is one of the best in the UK.

    He said: “This is evidence that PICU services in Gloucestershire continue to be among the best in the country.

    “We continue to receive visits from other NHS Trusts and services across Europe, who are seeking to develop their services along the same lines as our model, which incorporates the Engagement, Activity and Physical Health Team (EAP). 

    “We remain an influential advocate in developing, inspiring and innovating practice within the field of PICU and are well represented within the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care.

    “It’s marvellous that we have maintained this standard, and great news for our service users, local communities and, of course, all the staff that work here.”

    The PICU was opened in 2010 in the grounds of Wotton Lawn Hospital, in Horton Road. The centre provides care and treatment for people whose safe management and treatment is not possible on an open acute ward. It has 10 individual bedrooms with en-suite facilities.

    The application for AIMS accreditation includes service users and family carers checking progress against a number of care and organisational standards. Accreditation is only granted following a visit from Royal College of Psychiatrist assessors, who check current practice within the Unit.

    AIMS was set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to identify and acknowledge services with high standards of organisation and care, and with a view to helping other healthcare providers to achieve these standards.

    To read more about the Royal College of Psychiatrists, click here.  

    To read more about Greyfriars, click here.   

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/psychiatric-intensive-care-unit-among-best-in-uk http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/psychiatric-intensive-care-unit-among-best-in-uk Tue, 05 Mar 13 09:49:13 +0000
    2gether Staff Inspired by Founder of Kissing it Better The simple ideas that can make a big impact in health care were the subject of an event organised by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    2gether care staff from across the trust attended the ‘Kissing it Better’ workshop, held at Dowty Sports and Social Club, at Staverton.

    Key note speaker for the event was renowned nurse, health spokesman and journalist Jill Fraser, the Director and Co-Founder of Kissing it Better.

    Jill explained how her background in nursing and her personal experience of healthcare had led her to establish the charity. Its aim is to enhance care in hospitals and other settings, using not only healthcare staff but also local communities.

    Jill said: “At Kissing it Better we use simple ideas to create a big change. It’s not about spending great amounts of money; we introduce straight forward ideas to make the difference between a patient feeling ok and feeling brilliant.

    “I know there’s already some brilliant work taking place within 2gether, but there are always extra ways in which the people you care for can be helped to recover.

    “I hope something good comes out of this event, because it is one thing to talk about these ideas, but it is quite another to introduce them and it’s only with the right structure in place that these things can be put into action.”

    Kissing it Better is based around a website where healthcare professionals can share ideas about what they are doing to make life better for patients within their care.

    There are hundreds of ideas in categories including hygiene, surroundings, physical comfort, mobility and coping with boredom.

    Some of the ideas include bringing local choirs in to wards to sing to patients, setting up bird tables to ensure patients have something interesting to look at out of the window, and arranging for visits from local artists.

    Kissing it Better works with hospitals and NHS Trusts across the UK.

    2gether’s Deputy Director of Nursing, Vikki Tweddle, invited Jill to the event.

    She said: “I saw Jill speaking at a national nursing event and was inspired by what she said.

    “The ideas Kissing it Better has encouraged and introduced into hospitals are having a huge impact upon patients.

    “We are very grateful that Jill took the time to share her experiences with us and we are inspired now to use the principles of Kissing it Better to make life better for our service users.”

    For more information on Kissing it Better please visit http://www.kissingitbetter.co.uk/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-inspired-by-founder-of-kissing-it-better http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-inspired-by-founder-of-kissing-it-better Wed, 27 Feb 13 09:53:52 +0000
    2gether Appoints New Director of Finance 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has today announced the appointment of a new Director of Finance and Commerce.

    Jason Burn is an experienced NHS Foundation Trust Director and has worked in the NHS for over 20 years. He was recently Acting Chief Financial Officer at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and before that, Director of Finance at Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust.

    As Director of Finance and Commerce, Jason will serve as an Executive member of the Trust’s Board. He will provide strategic financial direction and financial management, be responsible for the Trust’s contractual responsibilities with 2gether’s existing and new commissioners and lead on Estates, Facilities and Information Technology.

    Jason said: “2gether has a history of delivering continuously improved clinical services for local communities whilst delivering strong financial performance. I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues and building on the significant achievements they have already made.”

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether, said: “With the support of our colleagues, commissioners and partners, we have delivered significant service improvements and financial efficiencies.

    “Jason’s experience will help us to retain our focus on high levels of service quality, while we continue to deliver solid financial performance within a highly competitive and financially challenging environment.”

    Jason will take up his new role with 2gether on 4 March.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-appoints-new-director-of-finance http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-appoints-new-director-of-finance Wed, 20 Feb 13 17:02:14 +0000
    New Saturday Emotional Wellbeing Course A new Emotional Wellbeing course will run in Cheltenham from Saturday March 2.

    The course, lasting five weeks, will take place from 11am until 12.30pm on Saturdays at the University of Gloucestershire.

    Jan Bagnall, Senior Therapist with 2gether’s Let’s Talk service, said: “This is a course useful to anyone wanting to improve their emotional wellbeing.

    “If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, low mood, low self esteem, or other similar issues, I would encourage you to attend.

    “We run these courses at other venues as well, but this is our first course on a Saturday morning so we hope it will be accessible to people who work, have childcare issues or are unable to attend our other events.”

    The free course will help you to gain:

    • an understanding of how to keep emotionally well
    • knowledge of how to get more active, improve your sleep, eat well and feel better about your appearance
    • more skills to improve your confidence and your acceptance of yourself
    • a recognition of helpful and unhelpful thoughts
    • a plan to get some meaning back into your life
    • a plan for a way to be kinder to yourself
    • learnt techniques to be more assertive and to improve your relationships
    • a recognition of your own emotional early warning signs
    • a plan for managing those inevitable difficult days

    The course is educational and is not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090).

    To book a place, or to find out about a range of other courses offered, please ring Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200.
    For further details visit http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-saturday-emotional-wellbeing-course http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-saturday-emotional-wellbeing-course Wed, 20 Feb 13 16:59:09 +0000
    Eating Disorder Sufferers Urged to Seek Help People affected by eating disorders are being urged to seek support, during national Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which starts today (Feb 11).

    It’s thought that more than 1.6 million people in the UK suffer with eating disorders.

    However, there are many sources of support for those struggling with this form of illness.

    Sam Clark-Stone, Lead Clinician with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Eating Disorders Service, based in Cheltenham, said eating disorders are surprisingly common.

    “Eating disorders are relatively common, particularly in adolescent girls, which is the typical image people have when they think of this condition,” he said.

    “However, while most eating disorders start in adolescence, they can start in early adulthood and sometimes later. Boys and men do also develop eating disorders, although this is less common.

    “Eating disorders can be very debilitating and have a lasting impact, both physically and mentally, as well as socially and in terms of education and employment.

    “The condition can be very hard to treat as the person affected often doesn’t see themselves as ill. Adolescents are usually brought to see us by their parents, although they often don’t want to attend appointments.

    “As well as professional health services, there are also a number of support groups in existence, so I would urge anyone who has an eating disorder or anyone who believes someone they know has one to seek help.”

    Eating disorders – which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating - mean the sufferer judges their self-worth in terms of their weight, shape and control of eating.

    Treatments include family based therapy – where family members are supported to help the sufferer to eat normally and gain weight – admission to a hospital or day unit to save someone from the physical ill effects of weight loss, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

    There are a number of support groups for people with eating disorders, including the Gloucestershire Beat (Eating Disorders Association) Support Group, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

    The group is run by Pat Ayres MBE, a 2gether Public Governor, from Kemble. Pat set up the group after her own experience of caring for her daughter, who had an eating disorder for 10 years.

    The group meets in Cirencester on the first Wednesday of each month.

    Pat said: “We always welcome new people into our group. I know from personal experience how traumatic and isolating supporting someone with an eating disorder can be, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to offer help to those suffering for such a long time.”

    Anyone concerned a loved one or friend may be suffering from an eating disorder can look out for the following warning signs:

    · Weight loss
    · Dizziness, tiredness and fainting
    · Feeling cold
    · Strange behaviour around food
    · Hiding, collecting and storing food
    · Secretive eating
    · Excessive exercising
    · Fear of gaining weight
    · Self dislike
    · Moodiness
    · Excessive perfectionism

    To read about 2gether’s Eating Disorders Service click here.

    2gether also runs a support group for adults and carers of those with eating disorders. The group meets in Cheltenham fortnightly on Tuesday evenings. For further information please ring 01242 634242.

    To find out more about the Gloucestershire EDA Support Group please click here or ring Pat Ayres on 01285 770385.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/eating-disorder-sufferers-urged-to-seek-help http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/eating-disorder-sufferers-urged-to-seek-help Mon, 11 Feb 13 09:15:39 +0000
    Success of 2gether Staff is Celebrated The success, hard work, and dedication of more than 40 healthcare staff has been recognised during a presentation ceremony held by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    A ‘celebrating success’ event was held at Dowty Sports and Social Club, in Staverton, to present certificates to staff who have achieved qualifications in subjects including customer service, food safety, prevention and control of infection, and working with substance misuse.

    One of those to receive an award was 33-year-old Matthew Burton, a Healthcare Assistant at 2gether’s Hollybrook Learning Disability Hospital, in Stroud.

    Matthew, who is from Gloucester, works there supporting people with learning disabilities who have challenging behaviours.

    In addition to his National Vocational Qualification Level 3 diploma in Health and Social Care, Matthew also achieved the Star Unit. The Star Unit  recognises exceptional performance and is awarded to an elite group of candidates whose work and all round performance stands out so significantly that it deserves public recognition.

    Matthew said: “I’m really proud to have received the award. It was a lot of hard work but I had a lot of support from the NVQ team at our training centre Collingwood House.”

    Two of the other certificate recipients were mother and daughter Dee Daly and Sarah Boyd.

    Dee, 56, has worked for the NHS for 38 years in total and has undertaken roles in Theatres, Paediatrics, Endoscopy, Orthopaedic and Recovery units at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. She later held nursing roles within the community before moving to 2gether, where she initially worked with people with learning disabilities.

    Dee now works as a Liaison Support Worker for our Substance Misuse Service in Gloucester and has also worked at Branchlea Cross, in Cheltenham, where she implemented the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) programme.

    Dee’s certificate was presented for achieving the Level 3 Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) certificate in Working with Substance Misuse.

    Her 35-year-old daughter, who is from Gloucester like her mum, has worked for 2gether since 2009. She is currently Personal Assistant to our Medical Director Dr Paul Winterbottom, and received her certificate for QCF Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Business & Administration.

    Sarah said: “My mum has been a great inspiration to me throughout my life and encouraged me to pursue a career within the Trust.  

    “The environment mum works in can be very challenging and difficult but her determination and dedication to her role drives her to support her clients no matter what she is faced with.”

    Trust Chief Executive Shaun Clee, who presented the recipients with their certificates, said each member of staff who had undertaken the qualifications showed great commitment to 2gether and its service users.

    He said: “We cannot underestimate the hard work and energy our staff have put into achieving these qualifications, in addition to carrying out their day jobs.

    “Those who will benefit most from these qualifications are the people we engage with and provide services to.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/success-of-2gether-staff-is-celebrated http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/success-of-2gether-staff-is-celebrated Fri, 08 Feb 13 10:09:51 +0000
    Healthcare Services at HMP Gloucester Healthcare provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) at HMP Gloucester will conclude at the end of March. This follows the announcement from the Ministry of Justice that HMP Gloucester will close at the same time.

    Visiting healthcare staff at the prison for the last time, Richard Graham MP said: “I was delighted to see Marieanne Bubb-McGhee (Service Manager) and members of the Prison healthcare team again in HMP Gloucester last Friday.

    “The last Inspector's report showed very clearly, the extraordinary human achievements of the healthcare team and how they are working with prisoners. I've seen glimpses over the years of how difficult this can be so the team should go out with real pride in what they've achieved”.

    Shaun Clee, 2gether’s Chief Executive, said: “We are all extremely proud of our staff and the services we provide at HMP Gloucester. The team is dedicated, uniquely skilled and committed to their service users.” 

    In 2012, a report from the Care Quality Commission noted that 2gether’s Prison Healthcare Team met all essential quality and safety standards in the Prison. People responding to a recent Care Quality Commission survey ‘expressed a high level of satisfaction with the health services offered.’

    Shaun Clee continued: “Throughout the recent uncertainty, at a personal level, prison healthcare colleagues have continued to make sure that our service users continue to receive the highest level of care and treatment. It is testimony to their dedication and professionalism that they remain helpful, co-operating and supportive to those around them, in extremely difficult times.

    “Our aim is to make every effort to help maximize and retain valuable skills within the county and we are working alongside local health and social care colleagues to identify all suitable opportunities. Working together with union representatives, colleagues will be fully supported in their ongoing career choices.”

    Richard Graham MP continued: “I'm delighted that the NHS family is rallying around and to help secure local jobs for members of this highly qualified and experienced team. That is exactly what the NHS in Gloucestershire should be doing and it was good to hear it was working well in practice.”

    He concluded: “All good fortune to each member of the team. You may be split up and go different ways but I suspect all of you will remember your time at HMP Gloucester.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/healthcare-services-at-hmp-gloucester http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/healthcare-services-at-hmp-gloucester Wed, 06 Feb 13 10:00:47 +0000
    Notice of Election to Council of Governors

    Notice of Election 

    For the Council of Governors of 2gether 

     

    NHS Foundation Trust

     

    For the attention of all 2gether Public Members 

    The Trust gives notice that it will hold elections to the Council of Governors of 2gether.

    An Election is to be held in the following constituency:

     

    Cheltenham (1 vacancy) 

     

    Nomination forms to stand for election to this position can be obtained from Anna Hilditch via the contact details shown below.

     

    All Nomination papers should be received by the Returning Officer, Caroline Hinchcliffe, at the address below by 5pm on Friday 22nd February 2013.

     

    Electoral Reform Services Limited

    The Election Centre

    33 Clarendon Road

    London N8 0NW

    Tel: 0208 889 9203

     

    Faxed or emailed nominations will not be accepted.

     

    Should any nominee wish to withdraw their nomination, they must put this in writing to the Returning Officer by 5pm on Wednesday 27th February 2013.

     

    Ballot papers will be distributed to qualifying members on Thursday 14th March 2013. 

     

    Completed ballot papers must be received by the Independent Scrutineer by 5pm on Wednesday 3rd April 2013. 

     

    The regulations governing this election can be obtained from Electoral Reform Services Ltd (address as above).

    The Independent Scrutineer for these elections is Electoral Reform Services Ltd (address as above).

    The Returning Officer for these elections is Caroline Hinchcliffe of Electoral Reform Services Ltd (address as above).

     

     

    For any questions or for an informal discussion about the role of the Governor, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary, 2gether on 01452 894165 or via e-mail anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election-to-council-of-governors http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election-to-council-of-governors Wed, 30 Jan 13 15:48:48 +0000
    Legal Highs Cause Increasing Concern The potential health risks of legal highs are being highlighted by health professionals and carers.

    Increased use of the chemical substances, more correctly referred to as novel psychoactive substances (NPS) or compounds, seems to suggest a notable trend in UK drug taking, experts suggest.

    The substances can, however, have a serious impact on physical and mental health, and staff from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and people with experience of legal high use in their family say people need to be more aware of the dangers.

    Someone who has first hand experience of the impact legal highs can have on their loved ones is the mother of a young Cheltenham man currently being treated by 2gether.

    Sandra, who wishes to remain anonymous, said her son now realises the damage the substances were doing to him, but at the time they seemed like a safe and attractive stimulant.

    “We first realised my son was using legal highs when he was being treated at an inpatient facility and they were found in his room,” she explained.

    “His mental health had gone backwards very quickly and we didn’t realise why until the legal highs were found. I rang the owner of the shop he had bought them in and she told me she never sold them to people who were unwell, but there’s no way she can really tell.

    “My son stopped using them and recovered but then we noticed he was relapsing, and we caught him using legal highs again. This time his physical health went downhill as well and he had a frightening experience.

    “My son is very black and white in his thinking. He assumed that because they were legal they must be safe. Now he says he is no longer using them and he admits, looking back, that they caused his relapse.

    “The quality of care my son is receiving is of the highest standard and appreciate that everything is being done by staff to aid his recovery.

    “I just think it is a pity that the heavy legislation which ensures his safety is not backed up and supported by legislation which would make these drugs impossible for him or any other vulnerable person to have access to these substances.

    “It seems such a pity when a highly committed and pro-active health care system is let down by the law and the people selling these drugs, who either have absolutely no knowledge of the damage these drugs can do or are fully aware but choose to remain complacent and greedy.”

    Mental Health Nurse Shelley Jones, who is a Unit Manager (Modern Matron) within 2gether, said she too has serious concerns about the use of legal highs.

    “I know of people buying them in both Cheltenham and Gloucester and they seem to be freely available on the internet as well,” she said.

    “That doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful though. In fact, I would say they are more harmful than some illegal drugs in terms of the health implications.

    “A number of people we work with have had an extremely bad reaction to these drugs – both in terms of a severe deterioration in their mental health, and extreme reactions in their physical health.

    “We’ve also had families we work with comment on their concerns about legal highs and their use locally.

    “They are dangerous enough when used on their own, but mixed with alcohol, prescription medication and other drugs, they can have a severe impact on someone’s health; people need to be aware of the risks”

    Danny Morris, Development Manager with 2gether’s Drug Treatment and Advice Service Herefordshire (DASH), said that newer substances were increasingly common and that many people do take them without evident ill effects, but for some they cause serious issues.

    He said: “Newer substances typically mimic the effects of more familiar controlled drugs are typically taken for the same reasons and in similar situations. While many people take them in a controlled manner without any problem, a small but significant proportion of people will suffer physical and mental health issues as a result.

    “If people do not want to or cannot stop taking legal highs altogether, there are ways in which they can limit the health risks by, for example, not mixing them with other drugs or taking them at the same time as drinking alcohol.”

    Anyone concerned that their health is being affected by the use of novel psychoactive substances  or ‘legal highs’ should speak to their GP or an organisation like the Independence Trust in Gloucestershire on 0845 863 8323 or DASH on 01432 263636.

    Websites providing helpful advice on legal highs include http://www.nhs.uk/ and http://www.talktofrank.com/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/legal-highs-cause-increasing-concern http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/legal-highs-cause-increasing-concern Mon, 28 Jan 13 09:20:13 +0000
    2gether Given Chance to Shine A project by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust is one of 30 from across the UK to be chosen for a national initiative to improve the quality of healthcare.

    The projects selected for the Health Foundation’s Shine programme are testing new approaches to delivering healthcare that will either support patients to be active partners in their own care, improve patient safety or improve quality while reducing costs.

    The ‘Coaching for Recovery’ project by 2gether will see the establishment of academic style courses at venues in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, educating people with long term mental health conditions on ways they can improve and maintain their wellbeing.

    Project lead and mental health nurse Tim Coupland, of 2gether, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of just 30 projects nationally to participate in the Health Foundation’s Shine programme this year.

    “It’s a fantastic opportunity to look at a new approach to recovery from mental illness and we are hopeful we can have a real impact in assisting lasting improvement for those who attend.

    “We’ll be setting up ‘pop up’ recovery colleges from the summer onwards. There are very few of these running within the UK, so people in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire will be part of something at the very cutting edge of mental health recovery.”

    Dr Jane Jones, Assistant Director at the Health Foundation, said: “Innovative approaches are required to tackle the challenges that we are facing today in healthcare. We want to encourage innovators in the service to lead the way in thinking differently and to show how new approaches can deliver better healthcare.

    ‘This year we have chosen the 30 best innovative ideas, selected from a large number of applicants. The project teams will have the challenge of demonstrating the practicality of their ideas and show that they can improve quality and reduce costs with the potential to have high impact when scaled up across the UK. Our aim is to share and promote the most effective innovations to the clinical and managerial leaders of the UK healthcare system and policy-makers.”

    This latest round of the Shine programme is the largest ever run by the Health Foundation. It has 30 project teams, selected from a high number of quality applications from across the health service.

    Over 15 months, the teams will develop and test their approaches, put their ideas into practice and gather evidence about what works and what doesn’t. Each team will receive £75,000 of funding and a package of support from the Health Foundation.

    By the end of 2014 the Health Foundation will have learnt about the different innovations, including those that have the potential to be spread more widely across the UK.

    The project by 2gether will lead to one ‘pop up’ recovery college being established from the summer onwards in each of the following areas – East Gloucestershire, West Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

    Each college will run for a maximum of five days, with approximately 15 ‘students’ attending each course.

    The colleges will enable students to learn more about mental health conditions and how to take control of their own recovery. Rather than being a form of therapy or formal medical treatment, the courses are about becoming experts in self-care.

    To read more about the Health Foundation and Shine please click here

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-given-chance-to-shine http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-given-chance-to-shine Wed, 23 Jan 13 09:05:08 +0000
    No Need to Suffer in Silence on Blue Monday Help is at hand for anyone feeling down on what is thought to be one of the most depressing days of the year – Blue Monday.

    Blue Monday, which this year falls today - January 21 - is said to be the day when a number of factors conspire to create the most depressing day of the year.

    However, nobody need suffer in silence, as help is available from the experts at Let’s Talk – a psychological therapy service provided by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    “Blue Monday is a concept which has been spoken about for several years now,” said Consultant Clinical Psychologist Alison Sedgwick-Taylor of 2gether.

    “It is the day when we may be coping with bad weather and dark evenings, we may have worries about money made worse by Christmas, our New Year’s Resolutions are on the wane and we feel a general lack of motivation.

    “But it need not be a day to feel down. You can put the day to good use in a number of ways, one of which could be deciding to look after your mental health, particularly if you have been struggling with anxiety or depression for a while.

    “We are here all year round to offer free therapy, support and advice on overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress.

    “All it takes is one phone call to us, or a visit to your GP if you prefer, and you can take the first step in improving your mental wellbeing. Blue Monday is as good a day as any to take the initiative and turn your life around for the better.”

    You can call 0800 073 2200 and speak directly to a trained therapist.

    Let’s Talk is an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Service (IAPT). It is free and works in three ways:

    • There is a range of information and a self-help toolkit on the Let’s Talk website. Under the ‘Gaining Control’ section there is advice on dealing with a range of problems, as well as a list of books that can help with self improvement.
    • If you need further guidance and information because problems are beginning to interfere with your daily life you can call us between 9 am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0800 073 2200. Over the phone we will talk through your difficulties with you and together we can decide the best next step. This may be through telephone conversations, attending a course at a college or on your home computer.
    • If you continue to struggle we can discuss additional ways to help.
    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/no-need-to-suffer-in-silence-on-blue-monday http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/no-need-to-suffer-in-silence-on-blue-monday Mon, 21 Jan 13 09:19:05 +0000
    Event Explores Learning Disabilities and the Criminal Justice Sector An event exploring the issues surrounding people with learning disabilities who come into contact with criminal justice agencies has been held in Gloucester.

    The conference – organised by the Gloucestershire Learning Disabilities and Criminal Justice Group – included the launch of a new leaflet aimed at helping anyone with learning disabilities who is taken into police custody.

    Guest speakers at the event, held at Oxstalls Tennis Centre in the city yesterday (Jan 15), included representatives from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Mencap, HM Prison Gloucester and Tascor - the agency that supplies custody detention officers within Gloucestershire’s Police Stations.

    Jonathan Thomas, Community Services Manager for the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, who chairs the organising group, said it had been a very worthwhile event.

    “It is estimated that between 20 and 30 per cent of people who commit criminal offences have some form of learning difficulty,” Jonathan said.

    “Being arrested and placed in police cells is an unnerving experience for anyone, and can be even more difficult if you don’t understand what is happening or what your rights are.

    “The police and Tascor obviously try to support people who perhaps cannot read or understand instructions, but sometimes people do not admit to having a learning disability. They may also not request an appropriate adult or solicitor because they don’t understand they have the right to or appreciate why having such professionals to support them is important.

    “The court process can be similarly confusing for people with learning disabilities, and then further support is required while people go through their sentence – whether that be in prison or out in the community.

    “We, and the other agencies within the group, wanted to explore these issues further and, as well as launch our new leaflet, try and see what is already being done and what else can be done to both support people going through the criminal justice system and ultimately try and prevent them from committing offences.”

    The leaflet was produced by staff from Tascor, 2gether, and Gloucestershire Constabulary as well as a group of people with learning disabilities, in order to ensure it was fit for purpose.

    Alyson Keane, Team Leader with Tascor, which provides custody detention officers in the police cells at Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud, led the production of the leaflet.

    She said: “We realised that there are relatively high numbers of people taken into custody who cannot understand some of the processes we go through in the cells and struggle to understand their rights and other important information.

    “After some careful research we’ve produced three leaflets – one for each custody suite in the county – so that anyone who needs some help in understanding what will happen to them while they are in custody and afterwards will have easy access to all the information they need in a format that is easy for them to understand.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/event-explores-learning-disabilities-and-the-criminal-justice-sector http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/event-explores-learning-disabilities-and-the-criminal-justice-sector Wed, 16 Jan 13 14:59:48 +0000
    Spaces Available on Emotional Wellbeing Courses Spaces are available on a number of emotional wellbeing courses being run by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The courses, which are free of charge, are held at various locations across Gloucestershire and Jan Bagnall, of the Let’s Talk service which runs the events, said they were invaluable in helping to deal with a wide range of mental health issues.

    “The courses are held regularly at various public buildings across the county, and we will always welcome new participants to come and take part,” Senior Therapist Jan explained.

    “They are really great for people wanting to deal with stress, anxiety, low mood, low self esteem and other issues.

    “With the New Year just getting underway, it’s the ideal time to think about your emotional wellbeing, so please do get in touch if you want to participate.

    “People who complete our courses are almost always very glad they’ve done so as they can have a significant impact on quality of life.”

    The courses are being held at venues in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Moreton in Marsh, Cirencester, Stroud, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean. The majority of courses are run during the evening, however a number take place during the day.

    On these courses you will be led by trained and experienced staff. You will not be expected to speak in front of others or disclose personal information to anyone.

    Anyone attending the emotional wellbeing course will gain:

    · an understanding of how to keep emotionally well
    · knowledge of how to get more active, improve your sleep, eat well and feel better about your appearance
    · more skills to improve your confidence and your acceptance of your self
    · a recognition of helpful and unhelpful thoughts
    · a plan to get some meaning back into your life
    · a plan for a way to be kinder to yourself
    · learnt techniques to be more assertive and to improve your relationships
    · a recognition of your own emotional early warning signs
    · a plan for managing those inevitable difficult days

    The course is educational and is not a therapy group so we ask that if you have pressing concerns about your mental health and need immediate help or support, you contact your GP or the Samaritans (08457 909090) .

    To book a place, or to find out about a range of other courses offered, please ring Let’s Talk on 0800 0732200.

    For further details visit http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/spaces-available-on-emotional-wellbeing-courses http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/spaces-available-on-emotional-wellbeing-courses Wed, 16 Jan 13 10:09:55 +0000
    2gether Staff Chosen as NHS Heroes Staff from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust have been nominated as ‘NHS Heroes’ for the support they provide to those with mental health conditions in Gloucestershire.Jane Vickers

    Award recipients Jane Vickers and Gill Yardley were branded ‘stars’ by the members of the public who nominated them.

    The NHS Hero Award is a brand new recognition scheme for all NHS staff, marking the 64th anniversary of the NHS.

    The scheme is aimed at recognising the great work that thousands of individuals and teams do every day within the NHS in England.  The award is seen as a great way for staff and patients to show someone how much they appreciate them

    Those who nominated them were full of praise for Jane, a Community Mental Health Nurse, and Clinical Psychologist Gill, who are both based in Cirencester.

    The member of the public who nominated Gill said: “Gill has always treated me with dignity and respect and has always gone out of her way to address my needs.”

    The person who nominated Jane said: “I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I had given up on life and was spiralling downwards. Jane helped me with skills so I can deal with life’s challenges.

    “She would rather be helping people than taking a holiday,” she added. Gill Yardley Receives her Award from Baroness Rennie Fritchie

    2gether’s Chief Executive Shaun Clee said the compliments given to Jane and Gill were highly warranted.

    “They are prime examples of the wonderful staff we have working for 2gether,” he said.

    “I congratulate them on their recognition, which is richly deserved.”

    The NHS Heroes awards will now take place annually to give everyone the opportunity to give something back to the people who have gone out of their way to help them.

    The scheme, which is supported by the Department of Health, has a website where people can register their hero online by completing a few questions.

    For more information on the NHS hero Award click here 

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-chosen-as-nhs-heroes http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-staff-chosen-as-nhs-heroes Wed, 02 Jan 13 11:22:15 +0000
    Trust Leads the Way in Schizophrenia Care A recent report looking into care for people with schizophrenia and psychosis across the country made 42 separate recommendations for improving services.

    When the Schizophrenia Commission published its findings, its Chair - Professor Sir Robin Murray - said that people with this ‘Abandoned Illness’ were being ‘let down by the system’.

    However, 2gether’s Medical Director Dr Paul Winterbottom, said: “Locally, we already have the vast majority of the recommendations in place and are continuing to develop our services to meet the need.

    “We are reinvesting in mental health services and the care we provide is aligned with best practice and among the best in the UK.”

    Some of the areas the report highlighted are:

    · Early intervention

    We see this as crucial to improving outcomes and our dedicated early intervention service called GRiP – Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis – offers a variety of interventions for 14-35 year olds – a group who are at risk of developing first episode psychosis. These interventions include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Work, Medication Initiation, and support with accessing practical needs such as employment/ occupation, benefits, sport and exercise, and education.

    · Acute inpatient care

    Wotton Lawn Hospital, our 88 bed Acute Mental Health Hospital near the centre of Gloucester, received a Star Award in 2008 and at that time was only the third NHS Hospital in the UK to receive the honour.

    · A set of values

    With our service users and carers we have developed two separate charters that help reinforce a set of values for the care and treatment people can expect to receive with us. These are promoted across the trust and through publicity and marketing to our service users and the wider public.

    · Promotion of well being

    Through our Let’s Talk service and social inclusion work we promote wellbeing advice, encourage those experiencing early symptoms of mental ill health to seek support and promote our services and other appropriate organisations providing advice and support.

    · Supporting carers

    We routinely carry out carers’ assessments to understand their needs and offer any support and advice necessary.

    · Medication reviews

    Patients are regularly given information on their medication along with reminder cards suggesting questions they may want to ask their clinician about the medication they are on, so they can make fully informed decisions.

    · Smoking cessation provision

    We work with our local Director of Public Health to ensure that there is a targeted smoking cessation programme to support and encourage service users to give up smoking.

    · Physical health considerations

    The Making Every Contact Count initiative gives us an enhanced focus on physical health at every possible opportunity. Service users are given help and advice to improve their overall health by, for example, eating more healthily, getting more exercise and reducing their alcohol consumption.

    Above all, we aim to provide the best care for our service users focusing on the best form of treatment. This might be access to talking therapies, help to ensure service users can remain close to their family and friends rather than in hospital through recovery and crisis home treatment teams, and, where appropriate, the best environment in our hospital and appropriate medication to help stabilise their symptoms.

    To read the Schizophrenia Commission report click here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-leads-the-way-in-schizophrenia-care http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-leads-the-way-in-schizophrenia-care Wed, 02 Jan 13 10:33:25 +0000
    Cut Out and Keep Guide to Safer Drinking A cut out and keep guide to safer drinking has been produced to help people safeguard their mental and physical health.

    The credit card-sized guide – produced by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust – is available to print out and keep in a purse or wallet, to be available at all times.

    Dr Karen Williams, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist with the Trust, said people could easily become confused about how much alcohol was considered safe to drink.

    “If people stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol, then drinking is not too much of a problem, providing you have an otherwise healthy liver,” Dr Williams said.

    “However, excessive alcohol consumption can have long term health impacts, including heart disease and psychological illnesses like depression and anxiety. It can also impact upon your everyday life and affect your friends and family. 

    “Even relatively moderate drinking can exacerbate existing mental health conditions.

    “Although it may give you the impression that it provides relief from anxiety and stress, it is not healthy to rely on drink to do this.

    “It’s sometimes hard to keep track of how much you are drinking, particularly if you are going to parties where others are pouring your drinks or topping up your glass, but this guide should help you to have some idea of what your units.”

    To print out the guide click here 

    Anyone suffering with mental health or alcohol dependency issues should speak to their family GP for advice. Further information on mental health and alcohol dependency issues is available elsewhere on our website.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cut-out-and-keep-guide-to-safer-drinking http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cut-out-and-keep-guide-to-safer-drinking Thu, 20 Dec 12 12:50:02 +0000
    Trust Encourages Communities to Combat Loneliness this Christmas Mental health experts are calling upon people throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to help combat loneliness this Christmas.

    Research suggests that loneliness can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health.

    Figures from the Mental Health Foundation indicate that four in 10 people in the UK have felt depressed due to loneliness, and Dr Jane Melton, Clinical Director for Social Inclusion with the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said there were some simple ways we could all help to combat the issue.

    “It is thought that one in 10 people feel lonely often,” Dr Melton said.

    “This can be magnified at Christmas time, when many people seem to be meeting up with family and friends to celebrate the festivities.

    “Those who don’t have any close family around them or close friends can feel particularly isolated and alone, but there is no need for this as we can all do something to help.

    “We’re encouraging everyone to help combat loneliness this Christmas, as it can have a major impact on people’s health, not just now but into the future.”

    As well as depression, persistent loneliness can also cause stress, as well as poorer functioning of the immune and cardiovascular systems.

    There is also evidence that loneliness makes it harder to control habits and behaviour leading to health problems. Lonely middle-aged adults drink more alcohol, have unhealthier diets and take less exercise than the socially contented.

    Tips the Trust is encouraging people to follow are:

    · Look out for your family, friends and neighbours. If you think they are lonely, why not contact them, pop round or try to involve them in your plans over Christmas.

    · Don’t just keep in touch over the internet or on social networking sites. Physical, face to face contact is very important. Too much time at a computer screen can inhibit social skills, which only increases loneliness and isolation.


    · If you are lonely, try and involve yourself in some social activities. Perhaps visit the theatre, or join a group of like-minded individuals, or take up a new hobby. Taking the first step can be difficult, but the long term benefits can be enormous.

    · To help combat loneliness try to get outdoors. Even walking to the shops or walking around a park will bring you into contact with people and just saying ‘hello’ and getting a kind word back in return will boost your confidence.

    If you are suffering from mental ill health you should speak to your GP. Information on other support available can be found on our website.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-encourages-communities-to-combat-loneliness-this-christmas http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-encourages-communities-to-combat-loneliness-this-christmas Tue, 18 Dec 12 14:34:28 +0000
    Workplace Wellbeing Sessions Offered to Businesses Businesses in Cheltenham are being offered a free service to help their staff cope with stress.

    Wellbeing taster sessions are available from the Let’s Talk service, provided by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, to employers who want to offer some extra assistance to their employees.

    Senior Therapist Jan Bagnall said that there are benefits to be gained for both employees and their managers through the scheme.

    “It is estimated that sickness absences due to mental health problems cost UK companies around £30 billion each year,” Jan explained.

    “Unhealthy employees are 20 per cent less productive and twice as prone to illness as their healthy colleagues, so for employers investing in the emotional wellbeing of their staff makes a big difference.

    “For the staff themselves, we can support them in avoiding and overcoming stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and other mental health issues, so there are benefits on both sides.

    “We recently ran a pilot programme for Gloucestershire College which was attended by over 100 staff, and the feedback has been very positive.”

    Sharon Parkin, Director of HR at Gloucestershire College, said: “A number of staff have recently undertaken a five week wellbeing programme offered by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and feedback has been very positive. 

    “In addition, 40 college managers recently undertook an ‘Introduction to Wellbeing’ session which was also positively received. 

    “As one of the county’s largest employers we take the wellbeing of our staff very seriously, and we fully support this initiative and its positive approach to mental health and well-being.”

    Let’s Talk is offering to go into companies to give taster sessions, which will give an overview of how to deal with work related stress.

    Staff will then be able to decide whether or not they would like to attend five weekly sessions based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for dealing with stress, low mood and anxiety.

    There is no charge for any of the services provided. The service is currently being trialled with businesses in Cheltenham but, subject to interest, may be expanded into other parts of the county.

    If you would like to arrange workplace wellbeing sessions for your business please ring Jan Bagnall on  01242 634314 or e-mail letstalk.businesses@glos.nhs.uk.

    Individuals wishing to contact the Let’s Talk service for support should ring 0800 073 2200.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/workplace-wellbeing-sessions-offered-to-businesses http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/workplace-wellbeing-sessions-offered-to-businesses Mon, 17 Dec 12 09:46:42 +0000
    Young People Benefit from Enhanced Therapy Services Children and young people in Gloucestershire are now benefiting from an enhanced service to help them deal with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health difficulties.

    Children and Young People’s IAPT – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies - has just celebrated its first year of development across the county.

    It has culminated in a group of young people from 2gether’s Children and Young People’s Board, working with charity Action for Children, in leading the creation of a film about young people’s mental health which will be used nationally.

    Soon to be available on the internet, the film will encourage young people to seek help with mental health issues and raise awareness of the support available.

    In addition, as part of the project, young people from Gloucestershire also gave a presentation at the Department of Health’s first ever annual IAPT conference.

    Mathew Page, Children and Young People Service Director for the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have been working to support children for many years, which is so important as figures show that one in 10 children aged between five and 16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health difficulty.

    “This scheme has enabled us to build on our experience and offer enhanced support to the young people we work with.

    “We know that getting help early and quickly can prevent more serious problems from developing both in childhood and in later life.

    “This initiative means we’ve built upon our existing work to offer different forms of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, specifically for children, and we’re pleased now to be putting it into practice to help the young people we support, as well as their families.”

    Last year the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, with NHS Gloucestershire, became part of one of the first partnerships in the country set up to develop new ways of providing early intervention to improve the mental health of young people.

    The initiative was part of a £32 million investment programme by the Department of Health, and saw 2gether successfully bid to join with the University of Reading and other organisations in the initiative.

    It has enabled seven staff from 2gether’s Children and Young People’s Service to undertake post graduate training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. These new approaches help children and young people work out their own coping skills and assist them to monitor their progress with their therapist. 

    Plans are also in place to improve IT systems, reduce paperwork and enhance the referrals system to make it easier for more young people to seek help.

    2gether’s staff are now drawing to the end of their training and new working practices have been embedded, with the benefits already being passed on to the young people they work with.

    Parents, carers and young people who attended a recent feedback event were very positive about the new ways of working, with comments including:

    · “It has been very helpful and is the only service that has helped my daughter” – Parent

    · “First class (treatment), really pleased we were given this option” – Parent

    · “It is awesome here” – young person


    Helen Ford, commissioner of Children’s Services, NHS Gloucestershire, added: “Our services are at the forefront of innovation, enabling children and young people to access the most up to date evidence based support.”

    So far, over 100 children, young people and families have been helped by IAPT with nearly all showing significant improvements in addressing their difficulties 

    When the NHS initiative first started last year 2gether formed part of the Reading and Oxfordshire collaborative, set up alongside collaboratives in London and Salford.

    Earlier this year the Department of Health announced two new collaboratives would be set up in the North East and South West.
    The children’s IAPT service has adopted elements of the already successful adult Let’s Talk IAPT programme which 2gether offers.

    Children and young people have been involved in the development of the project and in the planning and local evaluation, along with charities Action for Children and Young Minds.

    Young people experiencing mental health issues can be referred to the service via their GP.
    To find out more about our Children and Young People Service please click here

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-people-benefit-from-enhanced-therapy-services http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/young-people-benefit-from-enhanced-therapy-services Fri, 14 Dec 12 12:42:57 +0000
    Trust Supports Drink Drive Campaign

    We’re supporting Gloucestershire’s 2012 drink drive campaign, which was launched on Friday (Nov 30).

     

    Dr Karen Williams, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, attended the launch and said that it was very important to remember that even one drink may have an impact on your ability to drive safely.

     

    “Even a small amount of alcohol has an impact on our ability to perform tasks such as driving. It is impossible to calculate how much you might be able to safely drink before driving because everybody is different,” Dr Williams said.

     

    “There are lots of myths about alcohol, with some people thinking that eating a big meal will lessen the impact drinking has on your body. It might slow the rate at which alcohol gets into your system, but it won’t prevent it.

     

    “People also think that drinking coffee, having a shower and sleeping will make alcohol leave their system quicker, making them safe to drive the morning after the night before. This just isn’t true. Alcohol generally leaves our system at the rate of one unit an hour, and nothing we do will speed that process up.

     

    “The only way to be sure you will not be over the limit is to avoid alcohol altogether if you are driving.”

     

    The theme for this year’s campaign – being run by the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership - is Eat, Think and Be Merry.

     

    The campaign’s messages are being promoted using posters placed throughout the county at petrol stations, shops and on the roads. Meanwhile a branded van will target areas across Gloucestershire during December to spread the message.


    Dave Hornibrook, Assistant Chief Fire Officer and head of the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, said: “We deal with the effects of drink driving throughout the year and we see the often tragic consequences of just having one or two drinks before getting behind the wheel.


    “We hope that motorists enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations, but that they separate their drinking from their driving. The alternative is not worth thinking about.”


    Inspector for Roads Policing at Gloucestershire Police Jason Keates said: “The message is simple – you can’t know your own alcohol limit so don’t take the risk. The only way to be sure you are safe to drive is to have none for the road.


    “If drivers think they can get away with it, they should think again. Officers are enforcing this law every day of the year.”


    Within the first 24 hours of this year’s campaign being launched, Gloucestershire Police made three arrests for drink driving.

     

    The campaign is also focussed on combating drug driving – which can also lead to arrest and a driving ban.

    For more about the campaign visit http://www.eatthinkbemerry.org.uk/.

     

    If you are concerned about alcohol consumption speak to your family GP or contact an alcohol support service, such as the Independence Trust - http://www.independencetrust.co.uk/home-page.aspx

     

    To find out more about alcohol and your health click here:
    http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/alcohol/pages/alcoholhome.aspx

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-drink-drive-campaign http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-drink-drive-campaign Mon, 03 Dec 12 14:21:20 +0000
    Music Lifts Spirits of Patients and Staff at Stonebow Music is helping to lift the spirits of patients and staff alike at our mental health hospital in Hereford.

    A series of weekly music events has been held on Cantilupe Ward, which is part of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Stonebow Unit, for the last few months.

    The concerts – performed by local musician Alex Gordon – have now proved so popular that staff on other wards have decided to follow suit.

    It’s led to another local musician – Kevin Michaels – running similar events each week on Mortimer Ward.

    Jackie Morris, Occupational Therapist for Cantilupe Ward, explained: “We started the weekly concerts on Cantilupe a few months ago and Alex has performed regularly since then.

    “He’s a very versatile performer, and the patients and staff really look forward to his visits.

    “He’s always willing to perform requests, so he takes away suggestions and comes back the following week to play people’s favourite songs.

    “Everyone is encouraged to join in and it’s proving a very popular initiative. We’ve just organised a Christmas concert for December 19, which will be a great event for us to enjoy.”

    Alex, who plays the guitar and trumpet, said: “I try and play music from the 40s through to the 70s and try to get people singing along and reminiscing about their experiences informed by the music we are singing.

    “I love working with the folk on Cantilupe. It is amazing how the music can lift people and bring strong emotions flooding back. Some weeks we have had patients dancing around the ward to Mack the Knife or Bring me Sunshine.”

    Kevin’s sessions on Mortimer Ward also encourage audience participation.

    Kevin, who is a Community Music Tutor, said: “I would say I am more of a 'facilitator' than 'entertainer' as the sessions are more about participants having an equal input into the music, sharing ideas, encouraging them to communicate and interact with each other both verbally and non verbally.

    “I would say that underlying that, it is also about empowerment, creativity, raising confidence and self esteem whilst engaging transferable skills such as listening, communication and team work.”

    Kevin also runs Real Impact Music - supplying music workshops for specialist schools, charities, care homes, pupil referral units, and people with special needs and disabilities.

    As well as performing himself on the guitar and percussion, Kevin also takes instruments in for patients and staff to play.

    “Some of our patients are accomplished musicians and singers themselves,” Ward Manager Ian Bloore explained.

    “Kevin performs for us but also organises an open session so that people can join in. It’s very popular with those who already play music, but also those who’ve never tried it, as it’s something different to get involved in.”

    The regular sessions have been paid for through the 2gether Trust’s Charitable Funds committee, which is a committee that administers charitable donations and distributes funds to worthwhile causes.

    The Stonebow Unit is based in the grounds of Hereford County Hospital. It is comprised of three wards– Cantilupe, Mortimer, Jenny Lind - and Day Care.

    Cantilupe Ward caters for people with dementia and other organic illnesses, Mortimer Ward is an acute admission ward for working age adults, Jenny Lind is a ward for older people with acute functional illness, and Day Care provides short intensive therapies and activities to help prevent admission and help facilitate early discharge from wards.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/music-lifts-spirits-of-patients-and-staff-at-stonebow http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/music-lifts-spirits-of-patients-and-staff-at-stonebow Mon, 03 Dec 12 09:43:07 +0000
    Role of Young Carers Recognised with Launch of New Charter

    The role of young carers and the support they require has prompted the creation of a new charter.

    The Young Carers Charter has been launched today by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust to coincide with Carers Rights Day (Nov 30).

    The charter recognises and values the important role of young carers, and demonstrates our commitment to working with them to help make life better.

    Jo Denney, Non Medical Consultant for Social Inclusion for the Trust, said: “The theme for this year’s Carers Rights Day is ‘Getting help in tough times’.

    “We’ve worked with young carers with the support of local group Gloucestershire Young Carers to develop our Young Carers Charter.

    “The launch of the charter is an important step in acknowledging the role of young carers and raising the awareness of young carers within our services.

    “It has been based on our core values that represent our commitment to the people we serve, whatever age they are.”

    Mandy Bell, Development Lead (Mental Health) at Gloucestershire Young Carers, said the charter was an important step in ensuring young carers got the support and recognition they deserved.

    She said: “The challenge for practitioners is to minimise the factors that pose a risk to the wellbeing of family members and to enhance protective factors”.

    The Trust and Gloucestershire Young Carers partnered with Gloucestershire College for the launch of the charter in Gloucestershire.

    Gloucestershire College offered both organisations a welcome opportunity to publicise what statutory and non-statutory support is available to people who are combining study with a young carer role. It also helped raise awareness among the many young people studying courses at the college, which may lead to increased professional contact with young carers to ensure they get extra support.

    Information and resources from both organisations were available in the Atrium at Gloucestershire College’s Gloucester Campus this morning.

    In Herefordshire, the charter was launched during an event organised by Herefordshire Carers Support to coincide with Carers Rights Day. The event, at the Kindle Centre, was attended by the Trust’s Chief Executive Shaun Clee, along with Dr Jane Melton, Clinical Director for Social Inclusion. Shaun and Jane launched the charter and joined in a panel discussion about how Herefordshire carers can get the help they need.

    Information about the Young Carers Charter, our other pledges to service users and carers and information about Trust services can be found on our website: www.2gether.nhs.uk 

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/role-of-young-carers-recognised-with-launch-of-new-charter http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/role-of-young-carers-recognised-with-launch-of-new-charter Fri, 30 Nov 12 11:27:04 +0000
    Gloucestershire secures funding to challenge dementia Gloucestershire is set to benefit from an extra £500k to enhance treatment, care and support for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

    Community organisations across the county combined resources to respond to the Prime Minister’s ‘Challenge on Dementia’ launched in July this year which pledges additional money to support local GPs to commission innovations and best practice in dementia care.

    The application was successful, and funding of £500k was awarded for two projects which will see improvements to community-based care and changes that will make Gloucestershire a more ‘dementia friendly’ county.

    Hein Le Roux, Clinical Lead for Dementia on the emerging Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

    “We are thrilled to have won this funding. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to dementia care and awareness across the county. Already, it has prompted vital discussions about the current and future needs of our population.

    Our projects will see organisations working together to ensure that community based services become more responsive to the needs of patients, helping people with dementia to avoid going in to hospital unless absolutely necessary and improving support to carers, who play such a vital and often difficult role.”

    Lorna Robertson, Locality Manager for the Alzheimer's Society in Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, said:
     
    “We are delighted to be part of the successful Gloucestershire bid. We will be working together to make sure that people living with dementia and their carers are fully involved in this exciting work so that their thoughts, views and experiences influence local developments.”

    Dr Martin Ansell, Clinical Director of Older Persons Mental Health Services for the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said:

    “This is great news for the county, giving us the chance to enhance the work already taking place to support people living with dementia now, and in the future, as well as their carers. By 2013 there are likely to be around 9,000 people in Gloucestershire with dementia, so this funding is most welcome.”

    Cllr Antonia Noble, Cabinet Member for People with Long Term Needs, said:

    “I am delighted that we are receiving this funding for dementia. It is great that all the fabulous work that is currently conducted by the dementia care teams has been recognised nationally.”

    Both projects will work innovatively with local communities to make sure that people living with dementia are included and involved. This will include positively promoting and raising awareness and understanding of dementia amongst the general public.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-secures-funding-to-challenge-dementia- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-secures-funding-to-challenge-dementia- Thu, 29 Nov 12 13:57:38 +0000
    2gether NHS Foundation Trust appoints new Chair Ruth FitzJohn has been appointed Chair designate of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether).

    The appointment was confirmed last night (19 November) by 2gether’s Council of Governors – a group of elected local people who represent the views of local communities, staff and stakeholders.

    Speaking about her new role, Ruth said: “I am thrilled to be given this opportunity. I look forward to contributing to the work of the Trust and helping to ensure that the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire continue to access the best possible mental and social healthcare services available.

    “I am confident that by working with our communities, colleagues and local partners, we can make continuous improvements in care and treament, while demonstrating sustained value for money”.

    For the last six years, Ruth has been Chair of NHS Gloucestershire (and during the last year, NHS Gloucestershire and NHS Swindon). Following an international career in IT management and strategic planning, she has gained considerable NHS experience as Vice Chair of the former East Gloucestershire NHS Trust then Chair of the ‘3 Star’ Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Primary Care Trust.

    Following the Council of Governor’s meeting, Ros Taylor, Lead Governor of 2gether said: ‘We are very pleased that Ruth is joining us. This is an important and challenging time for the whole NHS and her wealth of experience, knowledge and insight will be invaluable for the Trust over the coming years”.

    Ruth will take over from 2gether’s current chair, Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE who announced her retirement in July 2012 after five years with the Trust.

    Ruth said: “Under Rennie’s leadership, the Trust forged strong local relationships and has continued to invest, develop and deliver high quality services for the people we serve. It will be a great honour to help build on Rennie’s strong legacy”.

    “I invite all members of the communities we serve to join us in challenging the social exclusion that so often exists in our society. Together, we can build a stronger, more diverse community”.

    Ruth will join 2gether in her new role on 1 April 2013. This was agreed so that she can continue to serve NHS Gloucestershire and NHS Swindon in full until the organisation ceases to exist on 31 March 2013.

    Ruth added: “In accepting this exciting opportunity at 2gether, I would also like to pay tribute to the management and staff of NHS Gloucestershire and NHS Swindon. Due to their hard work, a huge amount has been achieved in recent years to improve patient care, improve the health of the population and secure financial stability. I remain committed to delivering my responsibilities here until the Spring.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-appoints-new-chair http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-appoints-new-chair Tue, 20 Nov 12 15:08:53 +0000
    Trust Supports Alcohol Awareness Week A national week to raise awareness of the issues around alcohol is being supported by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Alcohol Awareness Week 2012 starts today (Nov 19) and this year it’s aimed at encouraging people to talk about drinking.

    The hope is that people will openly discuss the health risks, social problems, stigmas and taboos associated with alcohol.

    Dr Karen Williams, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist, from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said it was important to get these issues out in the open.

    She said: “When people talk about alcohol they tend to discuss the obvious topics such as underage drinking, people who get drunk and violent in the street and alcoholism.

    “What we tend not to talk about are the many people who hold down responsible jobs and are damaging their health by drinking too much. 

    “It’s a hidden issue because many people drink alcohol in the privacy of their own homes. However, they are causing just as much damage to their health as those who frequent the clubs and pubs in towns and cities up and down the country.

    “If people stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol, then drinking is not too much of a problem.

    “However, excessive alcohol consumption can have long term health impacts, including heart disease and psychological illnesses like depression and anxiety. It can also impact upon your everyday life and affect your friends and family. 

    “I’d urge everyone to use Alcohol Awareness Week to talk about drinking and seek help and advice if they need it.”

    Talking points being promoted by charity Alcohol Concern, which organises Alcohol Awareness Week, are:

    · Over 45s are three times as likely to drink alcohol every day than younger people;
    · People who work are more likely to drink alcohol than the unemployed;
    · Around 200,000 people go to work with a hangover every day; and
    · Alcohol is the second biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking.

    Alcohol Concern is also urging people to sign up for ‘Dry January’, which is aimed at encouraging people to give up alcohol for the month.

    Dr Williams said Dry January could be a good way for people to assess how much better abstinence could make them feel.

    She said: “By giving up alcohol for the month of January you should see an impact on your health, waistline, skin and bank balance. This might encourage you, if not to give up alcohol entirely, to cut down on what you are drinking.”

    Dry January is not a medical detox programme, and should not be undertaken by people with alcohol dependency issues, who should instead seek medical advice, approach alcohol support services or your family GP for advice.

    For information on Dry January visit http://www.dryjanuary.org.uk/

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-alcohol-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-supports-alcohol-awareness-week Mon, 19 Nov 12 08:53:15 +0000
    2gether Nurses Receive National Recognition The title of Queen’s Nurse has been awarded to two nurses from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Sue Williams and Jeanette Waldman have been given the title by the charity the Queen’s Nursing Institute in recognition of their commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership.

    Sue, 49, from Bisley, near Stroud, will receive her award during a ceremony at the Commonwealth Club, in London, later on today. (Nov 12)

    A qualified nurse since 1985, she has specialised in older people’s mental health and is currently a Community Dementia Nurse based at Weavers Croft in Stroud.

    She said: “I consider myself to be very fortunate to work within a Trust which actively encourages involvement in the development and improvement of our services. I was encouraged and supported in my application for the award of Queen’s Nurse by Tina Kukstas, Head of Nursing and Development for the Trust.
     
    “Achieving this award is a great honour and I am proud to be a community nurse within 2gether Trust.

    “The award has enabled me to network with peers throughout the country in discussions around policy and deliverance of qualitative services for our communities. It has also led to my current involvement with the Department of Health on issues with regard to dementia.”

    Jeanette, 48, a mother of four from Mitcheldean, in the Forest of Dean, is unable to collect her award on this occasion, and will be officially presented with it next spring. However, she too is now an official Queen’s Nurse and also said she was delighted.

    She said: “I qualified as a nurse in 1995.  I have held numerous roles with the Trust within in-patient, day and community services and within a variety of care groups.  I briefly moved out of the Trust for four years before returning in 2005 and I currently hold a team manager post within Gloucester recovery and the Forest community learning disability team. 

    “I was inspired to apply for the Queens Nurse award through talking with Marianne Bubb McGhee, of the Trust, who is already a Queen’s Nurse and a good role model.  Being a Queens Nurse opens up avenues to network with peers across the country to learn what is happening with services and participate in discussions which can help influence future policy. 

    “Being a Queens Nurse also helps raise the profile of mental health services. So we need to encourage more nurses to be recognised for their dedication and work they do to improve services.”

    The title of Queens Nurse is open to community nurses with more than three years’ experience. Managers and patients provide feedback about applicants, which is assessed along with their application.

    Nurses who hold the Queen’s Nurse title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking and other opportunities, as well as a shared professional identity.

    QNI Director Crystal Oldman said: “Congratulations are due to Sue and Jeanette for their success. Community nurses operate in an ever more challenging world and our role is to support them as effectively as we can. The QN title is a key part of this and we would encourage other committed community nurses to apply.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nurses-receive-national-recognition http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nurses-receive-national-recognition Mon, 12 Nov 12 10:51:29 +0000
    Let's Talk on National Stress Awareness Day Stress is something we all encounter in our day to day lives but you don’t have to suffer alone.

    That is the message from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service, on this National Stress Awareness Day (Wednesday 7 November).

    It is important that you recognise when you are under stress and that it may be harmful. Most of us recognise the symptoms of stress as feeling anxious, worrying more than usual, not being able to concentrate, and not sleeping well but we don't always take our feelings of stress that seriously, assuming either that it is part and parcel of life or that it will pass. 

    To help people struggling with stress, anxiety or depression in Gloucestershire 2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides a Let’s Talk service for people across the county.

    Let’s Talk is Gloucestershire’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service and offers information, guidance and talking therapy for people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

    Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, Clinical Lead for the IAPT service, said: “Let’s Talk is all about getting help early and quickly. You are not alone if you are struggling with anxiety or depression – one in four of us will experience these problems at any one time.

    “We all go through difficult times and sometimes our problems can start to affect our day to day lives. You may find yourself crying a lot, getting snappy, not being able to concentrate or avoiding things you used to find easy. You may find it difficult to work or take no pleasure from everyday activities.

    “It is important to recognise early signs that you are not yourself and seek help. Talking therapies can help you feel more positive and in control.”

    Anyone over 18 years old with depression and/or anxiety disorders and living in Gloucestershire, can access Let’s Talk. This may include panic attacks, agoraphobia or other phobias, feeling overly anxious or stressed about being in social situations or about your health. You may think you need some help to cope after a traumatic event or that you have recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviours (compulsions).

    The service delivers National Institute Clinical Excellence (NICE) compliant interventions, primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Information and low intensity guidance is offered over the phone, via home computer or through attendance at a local college course.

    Reading material is available through libraries and the Let’s Talk website http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/ and you can now download a unique mobile app to monitor your mood – the Moodometer.

    Service users can be referred by their GPs or refer themselves to Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200. You can access the service by:

    • Talking with your GP or another primary healthcare professional such as a practice nurse, district nurse, health visitor or midwife
    • Telephoning 0800 073 2200, 9am until 5pm Monday-Friday. Please have your NHS Number ready when you call
    • Logging on to http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/
    • The Moodometer can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store online

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/lets-talk-on-national-stress-awareness-day http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/lets-talk-on-national-stress-awareness-day Tue, 06 Nov 12 17:27:02 +0000
    Outstanding Contributions to Mental and Social Healthcare Recognised with Awards

    The exceptional work carried out by those who work in our county’s mental and social healthcare services has been recognised during an award ceremony.

    The sixth annual Recognising Outstanding Services and Contributions Awards, known as the ROSCAs, was held by the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) on Friday 2 November.

    The event, at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, was attended by approximately 150 staff, volunteers, service users and carers.

    2gether’s Chief Executive, Shaun Clee, said: “The ROSCAs are always a fantastic occasion, allowing us to recognise the outstanding contributions of colleagues and volunteers across mental health and learning disability services.

    “Every one of the nominees demonstrated the best of what our organisation seeks to achieve and our winners thoroughly deserve the recognition they have received.

    Nominations for the awards were made by Trust staff and members of the public. The judging panel for the awards consisted of staff, service users, carers and Trust Governors.

    Shaun continued: “The awards allow colleagues and the people we serve to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and innovative ways of working that colleagues have demonstrated throughout the last year.”

    As well as the ROSCA winners, staff who have been in service for 20 and 30 years were also honoured with a Long Service Award. Their combined experience represented over 1450 years of dedicated NHS work.

    Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether, said: “This year’s ROSCAs were a marvellous occasion as ever, and we are immensely proud of all of the award winners - for what they have achieved and, I’m sure, will continue to achieve for people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.”

    The ROSCAs winners were presented with a glass trophy and staff celebrating 20 or 30 years of service in the NHS were presented with a certificate.

    Shaun Clee concluded: “The ROSCAs are now in the sixth year and I remain incredibly proud of our colleagues working to make life better and volunteers who give up their own spare time to help others. Together, we can make sure that we continue to provide innovative and reliable services for our communities.”

    The winners and the reasons for their nomination were as follows:

    Unsung Hero

    Children and Young People’s Board

    These are young people who attend a participation group for the Children and Young People’s Service. They are passionate about young people receiving help for mental health needs. They have written and performed a play about mental health for teenagers called ‘Taking Steps’. They are reliable, dependable have great ideas and are great role models.

    Carer and Service User Involvement

    Carol Criasia (Carers’ Support Worker ‐ Herefordshire)

    Carol provides staff training in carer involvement, and strongly advocates for the needs of service users and carers with dementia. Her advocacy across health and social care has made a significant difference to the lives of many. If it’s anything to do with carers – it’s Carol.

    Service Users and Carers Choice                 

    Claire McGovern (Community Learning Disability Nurse – Children and Young People’s Service)

    Those families who have been helped by Claire say: “Claire deserves massive recognition. She is an angel, superwoman, a diamond”. “She is always there to help”. “No problem is too challenging”.

    Clinical Team of the Year

    HMP Gloucester Healthcare and Integrated Drug Treatment Team

    Nominated for ‘their provision of a high quality service to a most complex and at times demanding patient group. Central to the team’s success is their ability to work in effective partnership with other staff teams in the prison. A recent Care Quality Commission inspection reported that the team were one of the best they had seen in the country’.

    Non-Clinical Team of the Year

    Health Facilitation Team

    Health Facilitation is a very small team but have demonstrated how dynamic, inclusive and inspirational they can be in promoting and tackling health inequalities within learning disability services. They have demonstrated their versatility by working with a range of staff to produce easy read materials for use by anyone.

    Valuing Diversity 

    Managing Memory 2gether Team

    The team recognises the importance of community engagement and social inclusion; understanding that everyone is unique and diverse. The staff have identified barriers to accessing services and taken action to address this through partnership working, adapting and designing materials and understanding needs from a cultural perspective.

    Best Supporting Colleague

    Mark Greening (Receptionist, Albion Chambers)

    Mark has been in post since April 2012. Those who have had contact with him have said: “Who is this man on the recovery reception? He is great!” “Mark actually DOES help!” “We have not had a receptionist who could undertake such a wide range of duties.”

    Best Supporting Manager

    Simon Webster (Deputy Ward Manager, Greyfriars)

    Those who nominated Simon have said: “Simon supported me through times of personal difficulty.” “Without his support and input it is likely that I would not have returned to my nursing career.”

    CEO Award for Innovation 
                               
    Mike Humphries (Healthcare Assistant, Assertive Outreach Team, Herefordshire)

    Mike has run a community football group for four years for service users, taking an ‘activity’ into a recognised Football Association team which entered the Birmingham ‘Ability Counts’ League. Through Mike’s innovation, the players have undergone FA training, achieving coaching and refereeing certificates thereby gaining confidence and recognition.


    Pictured:
    HMP Gloucester Healthcare and Integrated Drug Treatment Team, Clinical Team of the Year winner.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/outstanding-contributions-to-mental-and-social-healthcare-recognised-with-awards http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/outstanding-contributions-to-mental-and-social-healthcare-recognised-with-awards Tue, 06 Nov 12 11:44:08 +0000
    Conference aims to enhance dementia care Experts from around Gloucestershire will join together later this week to share best practice and ideas about supporting people with dementia.

    In what will be the first such event in the county, more than 60 of the most experienced dementia leaders will hear from guest speakers and participate in workshops aimed at enhancing the wide range of services available for people living with dementia

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust Dementia Education nurse Mary Keating, who is organising the event on behalf of the Gloucestershire training strategy group, said: “We currently have 65 people countywide who have the dementia LEAD (leading through evidenced actions in dementia) award – which means they have completed enhanced training in dementia leadership.

    “They will join with other, national, experts to talk about our current practices in terms of dementia care, and how we can build upon these to enhance the services provided to the many people who live with dementia in the county.

    “It should be a very informative event and we hope it becomes an annual occurrence. I am not aware of any other multiagency event of its kind focusing on dementia in the UK, so we are breaking new ground in devoting ourselves to this issue.”

    The conference will be held in Barnwood, Gloucester, on Friday November 2.

    Guest speakers include Dr Kim Manley CBE, who is Co-Director for the England Centre for Practice Development, Christchurch University, Canterbury; Kate Harvey, of the Nuffield Bioethics Committee; Helen Bown, Joint Commissioning Manager for Older People and Physical Disability for NHS Gloucestershire; and Dr Hein Le Roux, County GP dementia lead.

    Those attending will be drawn from the public, private and voluntary sector.

    Dementia is a term used to cover a range of diseases which cause progressive deterioration of memory and other aspects of mental functioning. Five percent of people over the age of 65 have dementia and this rises with increasing age to 20% of the over 80s. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Currently within the UK over 800,000 people over 65 years of age are living with dementia and in less than 15 years this figure will rise to 1.4million.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of services to support early diagnosis and intervention and offer help, advice and support with more complex problems associated with dementia. For more information on dementia please visit: http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/conditions-a-z:-dementia

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/conference-aims-to-enhance-dementia-care- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/conference-aims-to-enhance-dementia-care- Tue, 30 Oct 12 10:11:47 +0000
    Celebrating World Mental Health Day with a Pledge  

    Staff from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) were joined by service users, carers and representatives from local organisations to help launch Gloucestershire’s first NHS Mental Health Service User Charter on World Mental Health Day (10 October).

    The Charter was developed by service users, representative organisations and 2gether staff. It is a pledge to how everyone will work together and the standard of service people can expect.

    2gether’s mental health team and GUIDE & PALs staff were also on hand to offer information and suggestions on how to improve emotional wellbeing. They also gave advice on how to access appropriate, local mental health services.

    Jo Denny from 2gether said: “It was wonderful that so many new and existing friends joined us at the launch of the Charter – it is a testimony to so many people’s knowledge and expertise.

    “We are committed to improving and sustaining high quality of care and customer service. The Charter is based on current practice and is one more way we can help demonstrate and promote our commitment to quality care and a positive patient experience.”

    At the same time as the official launch, staff across the trust signed a copy of the Charter for display in their work areas. 2gether’s Trust Board signed the Charter when they last met to discuss trust business.

    Angelo Viola, a service user representative who worked on developing the Charter said: “The Charter helps inform service users what to expect and what is going to happen when they receive trust services. It will provide additional reassurance.”

    To view the charter, please click here.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/celebrating-world-mental-health-day-with-a-pledge http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/celebrating-world-mental-health-day-with-a-pledge Fri, 19 Oct 12 15:02:01 +0000
    Prison healthcare services receive glowing report Healthcare services provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucester Prison are meeting all essential quality and safety standards, an inspection has found.

    Following a two-day visit the Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the services a glowing report – something which has been welcomed by those involved in the important work being carried out.

    Marieanne Bubb-McGhee, Clinical Service Manager for Offender Health, County Wide Services, said: “I am very proud of all of the staff who were involved in the inspection, including the GPs and dental staff, who have worked to make the team what it is and who deliver high quality, equitable care to all the men at HMP Gloucester.

    “The report gives us great satisfaction, but more importantly gives welcome and independent reassurance that the services we provide in the prison are of a very high standard.”

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides general and mental health nursing within the prison. It also provides the integrated drugs treatment service.

    During their visit, the inspectors observed how people were being cared for, talked to staff and talked to people who use services. They also used the results of questionnaires compiled by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), who also conducted an inspection at the same time.

    The majority of people spoken to said they were very satisfied with the services provided at the prison.

    The standards inspected by the CQC and their main findings were as follows:

    • People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run

    The inspectors found staff spoke to people using the services in a friendly, respectful and polite manner. People were involved in their care and treatment, and had their views sought. Information about services and health conditions were readily available and an interpreter was available to assist with people whose first language was not English.

    • People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights

    The inspectors found there was a high level of satisfaction with health services. Nursing staff were available 24 hours a day, and there was good access to nurses with appointments promptly arranged. The four-bed health care centre was found to be well run. In addition, upon arrival at the prison a qualified nurse conducts an immediate health screen, which is followed by a second screen within 48 hours. Where health concerns are highlighted, referrals are made to the clinic or GP. People deemed ‘at risk’ by the mental health team receive additional support. There is also the option for self referral to the nurse-led clinic, and regular clinic sessions held for conditions such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, epilepsy and sexual health. Services provided also include health promotion for issues such as smoking and exercise.

    • People should get safe and coordinated care when they move between different services

    Other medical services within the prison such as dentistry, optical treatment and GPs are provided by other organisations. However, they are co-located with the services provided by 2gether and inspectors found the transition between services was ‘seamless’. There are also very good links with community services, with pre-release clinics held to ensure individuals are supported once they leave the prison.

    • Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills

    The survey by HMIP found that 58 per cent of people felt the quality of health service by nurses was good or very good. There were clear lines of accountability, responsibility and supervision of staff. Training provided to staff was generally found to be good, ensuring that practices are safe and in line with good practice.

    • The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care

    The inspectors found systems in place to monitor the quality of service provided and improve services where necessary. Complaints are fully recorded and investigated, and management monitor on a daily basis what is taking place within the centre.

    In each case the Trust was found to be meeting the standard. To read the report in full visit: http://bit.ly/RAEXhh

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/prison-healthcare-services-receive-glowing-report http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/prison-healthcare-services-receive-glowing-report Thu, 18 Oct 12 14:26:29 +0000
    Fitness4less and the NHS provide emotional wellbeing 2gether Local NHS experts have teamed up with Fitness4Less to offer an emotional wellbeing programme for local residents and staff at their Cheltenham based gym.

    The course is part of a new initiative with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service and is aimed at helping people get immediate support for common problems such as stress, anxiety and depression.

    It offers a range of techniques to help people keep emotionally well and new skills to help cope with more difficult days. The programme is absolutely free to members and non-members of Fitness4less.

    Jan Bagnall, senior therapist at 2gether said: “With the help of Fitness4Less, we hope that more people in Cheltenham can get the support and skills they need right now and closer to their home.”

    The new partnership aims to encourage people to tackle their emotional wellbeing problems as well as their physical health.

    Jan Bagnall continued: “Emotional and physical health are connected; we should all try to keep emotionally and physically fit to help manage everyday stresses and strains”.

    Petya Collins, General Manager of Fitness4Less, Cheltenham said: “We care about the wellbeing of our members, our staff and the local community. This was at the heart of our decision to team up with 2gether and deliver the emotional wellbeing programme”

    The programme starts in October with a choice of a morning session on Thursdays from 10.30am or a lunchtime session on Mondays at 12.30pm. It is based on 2gether’s already successful emotional programme available right across our county.

    To register for the course, speak to a member of staff at Fitness4Less or to speak with a local NHS professional, call 0800 0732 2000 between 9am-5pm, weekdays.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/fitness4less-and-the-nhs-provide-emotional-wellbeing-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/fitness4less-and-the-nhs-provide-emotional-wellbeing-2gether Tue, 16 Oct 12 16:37:42 +0000
    Join us on World Mental Health Day A campaign to mark World Mental Health Day is being launched at a free event in Gloucester on Wednesday 10 October.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether), is partnering with Guide & PALs and ASDA Supermarkets to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and to launch the county’s first NHS mental health Service User Charter.

    The one off event runs from 10am to 3pm in the ASDA car park, Gloucester and everyone is invited to come and join us.

    2gether’s mental health team and GUIDE and PALs staff will be on hand to offer information and suggestions on how to improve emotional wellbeing, as well as giving advice on accessing local mental health services.

    Metal health is one of society’s last taboos, even though one in four people will experience some form of mental distress during their lives – whether that’s depression, anxiety, stress, memory loss or a more complex condition.

    Dr Jane Melton Said: “We encourage people visiting the information bus to make their own pledge - to tackle stigma. We hope that a combined show of strength will encourage other people to start having their own conversations about emotional wellbeing.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-on-world-mental-health-day---wednesday-10-october http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-on-world-mental-health-day---wednesday-10-october Mon, 08 Oct 12 18:05:09 +0000
    Classical garden party celebrates carers Wotton Lawn Hospital in Gloucester is inviting all previous and current patients and carers to a classical Garden Party this Saturday (15 September).

    The free, fun filled and informative afternoon is being hosted by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether). It takes place between 3pm to 6pm in the hospital’s Courtyard Garden on Horton Road, Gloucester.

    Talented musicians including a harpist, violinists, a shimmering flute player and jazz band will entertain guests on the hospital’s outdoor stage. 

    The event also includes a barbeque and traditional games including tombola with prizes generously donated by local Gloucestershire businesses.

    Gary Dodson, Manager of Wotton Lawn Hospital’s Priory Ward, said: “Carers provide invaluable help and support – they really are the unsung heroes of our society. Our garden party is one more way we can help recognise and celebrate their vital role in a patient’s recovery as well as offer them further support, health and wellbeing advice.”

    An estimated six million people in the UK, including around 60,000 in Gloucestershire, provide unpaid care to someone they know. Trust staff and other agencies including Gloucestershire Young Carers, Carers Gloucestershire, Rethink and Guide & PALs will be on hand to provide information and support.

    Gary continued: “We are really looking forward to welcoming back old friends as well as carers of patients we are supporting right now.”

    If you would like to attend the free event or for more information, please contact Gary Dodson at gary.dodson@glos.nhs.uk or speak to a member of the ward team by calling 01452 894535.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/classical-garden-party-celebrates-carers- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/classical-garden-party-celebrates-carers- Wed, 12 Sep 12 15:44:21 +0000
    Join us at our Annual General Meeting Service users, Carers, local organisations and the public are invited to add a date to their diary and attend 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

    Date: Thursday  20 September 2012
    Venue: The Cory Room, Coots, Gloucester Docks, GL1 2EH
    Time: 5.00 – 7.00pm

    Tea and coffee will be available from 4.30pm.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides our local mental and social healthcare services including learning disability and substance misuse services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. 

    The meeting will reflect on the Trust’s activities, challenges and achievements over the 2011/12 financial year. The Trust will also outline plans for the year ahead that seek to continue to improve services and the quality of care we provide.

    The Trust’s 2011/12 Annual Report and Accounts is available to download by clicking here. You will also receive a copy by attending the AGM or on request from writing to Communications Team, Rikenel, Gloucester, GL1 1LY or email 2gether.comms@glos.nhs.uk

    If you would like to attend the AGM or would like any further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 894165 or anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk 

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-2gether-nhs-foundation-trusts-annual-general-meeting http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-2gether-nhs-foundation-trusts-annual-general-meeting Fri, 24 Aug 12 14:08:29 +0000
    Infection Control Annual Report 2011-12 Summary The annual report from the Directors of Infection Prevention and Control, Trish Jay and Dr Philippa Moore, was accepted by the Trust Board on 25 June 2012.

    The report summarises the infection control activities over the year of 2011-12 and concludes that the infection control risk in the Trust remains low and that the Trust remains compliant with the Health and Social Care Act: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance (The Hygiene Code).

    Key points from the report include:

    1. During 2011-12 mental health services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire were merged
    2. Hand hygiene compliance across the whole service exceeded its target of 90%
    3. Cleaning measurements improved during the year
    4. There were no MRSA infections and only two patients who were screen positive for colonisation
    5. There were no cases of Clostridium difficile across the organisation
    6. There were five outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting during the year on different inpatient wards, probably related to Norovirus
    7. Compliance with water management controls was improved during the year with the establishment of a Water, Environment, Equipment, and Buildings (WEEB) group to oversee issues
    8. Measurements around the good use of antibiotics have improved over the year and, following the merger, data is now collected from all areas including HMP Gloucester
    9. All infection control services including liaison and advice, audit, teaching, etc were maintained across all areas during the year

    To read the full report click here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/infection-control-annual-report-2011-12-summary http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/infection-control-annual-report-2011-12-summary Wed, 18 Jul 12 14:34:40 +0000
    International recognition for local mental health acute care The quality of acute mental healthcare in Gloucestershire has been praised by Dr Páll  Matthiasson who is the Chief Executive of Iceland's National University Hospital and Iceland’s national mental health services.

    Dr. Páll Matthíasson was visiting 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) on a special fact finding mission with a delegation of senior clinicians and service specialists from Iceland. 

    The Trust’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Low Secure Services provides specialist care for patients who need a safe, supportive environment for a defined period of time. The model of care and the new physical environment at Gloucester world class “Greyfriars” PICU was of particular interest to the international visitors.

    Speaking after the visit, Dr. Páll Matthíasson said: "The exemplary services provided at Gloucestershire's Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit is an inspiration”.

    Greyfriars PICU has attracted worldwide attention since its opening in 2010. It has been described as 'the best in the world' and has attracted national and international visitors, aiming to learn from the quality of care provided locally and the substantial research and unique safety and environmental features at Greyfriers.

    Roland Dix Consultant Nurse said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome Dr. Matthíasson and his team. We have a great team locally and it is testament to all those involved in the delivery of our services, that international colleagues are keen to learn from our hospital’s physical environment and the model of care we have developed”. 

    James Wright, Manager at 2gether’s PICU said “Gloucestershire can be proud of its psychiatric care services which have been acknowledged widely as amongst the very best available.”

    Dr. Matthiasson continued: “The work being achieved in Gloucestershire will help guide and improve clinical settings in Iceland”.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/international-recognition-for-local-mental-health-acute-care- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/international-recognition-for-local-mental-health-acute-care- Tue, 10 Jul 12 12:55:26 +0000
    Join us for Learning Disability Week Learning Disability Week takes from 18-24 June. 

    On Wednesday 20 June we are hosting a morning event at the Gloucestershire Deaf Association from 9am-1pm about ‘Assistive Technology Supporting Independence'. 

    The purpose of this event is to empower people with learning disabilities so that they can live and be more independent. The event is open to service users, carers and members of the public.  Three workshops are running during the morning:

    9.15am - 9.45am – Ageing Well – health improvement and living books

    10.00am - 10.45am –Independence through technology – service users talking about their experience of using equipment to help them be more independent.  There will also be a short film shown from the Brandon Trust.

    11.15am - 11.45am – National Star College – Gloucestershire Accessibility Support Service on assistive technology.

    There will also be a market place with stalls and information from:

    • NHS Gloucestershire Telehealth
    • National Star College
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Gloucestershire Voices
    • Gloucestershire Deaf Association
    • Sensory Services Team
    • Guide and PALS
    • Health Facilitation
    • Intensive Health Outreach Team
    • Mencap
    • Brandon Trust

    Anybody is welcome to attend what will be an exciting morning for people to find out more about learning disabilities and the help and support available locally.

    Gloucestershire Deaf Association has car park space and is also on the Number 10 bus route which runs every 10 minutes from Gloucester bus station.

    For more information contact Simon or Lorraine from the Health Facilitation Team on 0800 019 3346.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-for-learning-disability-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-for-learning-disability-week Fri, 15 Jun 12 14:45:29 +0000
    2gether sign up to Herefordshire Carers Support Carers Charter 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has signed the Herefordshire Carers Charter in recognition and support for Carers across Herefordshire.

    The Charter has been developed by Carers registered with Herefordshire Carers Support. It was signed by Baroness Fritchie, DBE, Chair of 2gether and Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether at the Adult Carer Forum. The signing was attended by carers involved in the development of the charter, Dr Jane Melton, Clinical Director of Social Inclusion at 2gether and Mark Hemming, Locality Director of 2gether’s services in Herefordshire.

    The Carers’ Charter is based on the key National Standards.  It also includes two further standards that reflect the need to see carers in their own right and to have effective processes for assessing their own needs. The standards are intended to describe what a good service to carers should look like and to monitor outcomes for carers.

    It is used to monitor outcomes for the 38,000 carers in Herefordshire which include:

    1. Information
    2. Having a voice
    3. Carers Needs Assessments
    4. Personal Health & Emotional Support
    5. Providing short breaks for Carers
    6. A life of your own

    By signing up to the charter 2gether are committing to adopt the values, aims and standards within the charter as they work in partnership with carers within Herefordshire.

    Dr Jane Melton, Clinical Director of Social Inclusion at 2gether said: “working in partnership with carers is important to us. Carers provide invaluable support to some very vulnerable people and they need to be valued, acknowledged and respected. 

    Signing up to the charter is just one way we can show our commitment to working together with carers.  It also means that carers can hold us to account for our actions and fulfilling our pledges.”

    Jane continued: “It has been wonderful to meet some of the carers today.  We are now going to work in partnership with Herefordshire Carers Support to produce our action plan to set out how we will deliver on the standards specified in the charter.

    The Charter was first launched at the Carers Rights Day conference on 2 December 2011.  With other agencies who have signed the Charter, 2gether will report back on their progress at the annual Carers Rights Day on November 30.

     


    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-sign-up-to-herefordshire-carers-support-carers-charter http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-sign-up-to-herefordshire-carers-support-carers-charter Thu, 31 May 12 11:57:32 +0000
    Olympic Torch Relay Mental health services provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust will not be affected while the Olympic Torch Relay enters the region this week.

    We will provide services as usual throughout the time of the Relay in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. We encourage service users to plan their journey if attending an appointment at one of our buildings on the Relay route.

    The Torch Relay comes to Gloucestershire on 23 May, leaving Gloucestershire late morning on 24 May before passing to Herefordshire.  The Torch will stay in Herefordshire on 25 May.

    More information is available on Gloucestershire County Council website by clicking here; and Herefordshire County Council website by clicking here.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/olympic-torch-relay- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/olympic-torch-relay- Mon, 21 May 12 12:37:42 +0000
    Cantilupe Ward Re-opened Cantilupe Ward at the Stonebow Unit was officially re-opened on Thursday 17 May by Baroness Fritchie, DBE, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Working in partnership with NHS Herefordshire, £380,000 has been invested in the refurbishment of the Stonebow Unit which are designed to increase the privacy, dignity and safety of our patients and provide single sex accommodation.

    As a result, patients now have have more accessible bathrooms and side rooms have full en-suite facilities.

    Improvements have also been made to the layout of the ward, giving patients more living space.  The Ward also now has new flooring and has been completly redecored to provide a light and modern environment. 
     
    Baroness Fritchie said "I would like to recognise the work contributed by the many patients, carers and staff at the earliest stages of this refurbishment where they put forward their ideas and suggestions which contributed to the final design. 

    “I would also like to thank patients, their relatives and friends for their tolerance, cooperation and patience whilst the works were being carried out.  I would especially like to pay tribute to our staff who have worked hard to ensure that, despite the disruption, our patients have received a consistent service."

    A tea party was held to celebrate the re-opening of the ward, with cakes and tea dance music enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

    The refurbishment projects are part of a wider programme of improvement to mental health services for our patients in Herefordshire.

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cantilupe-ward-re-opened http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cantilupe-ward-re-opened Mon, 21 May 12 10:23:12 +0000
    Join us for Mental Health Awareness Week Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 21-27 May 2012.

    As part of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week  we are holding drop in sessions in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.  These sessions give you the opportunity to come and speak to specialists in mental health, ask questions and find out about local services available to you.

    Join us at one of our sessions:

    Cheltenham
    We are in Cheltenham Town Centre outside Thomas Cook travel agents, opposite the Regents Arcade on Tuesday 22 May, 10am-4pm. 

    Our Dementia specialists from our Managing Memory Team will be on the GUiDE and PALS Bus to answer your questions on all things Dementia and general mental health.

    Gloucester
    On Wednesday 23 May we are at Gloucester Library from 11am–1pm. 

    Our specialists will be available to answer questions and talk to you about our services, including our Books on Prescription service.

    Hereford
    On Friday 25 May we are at Halo Leisure Centre, Holmer Road, Hereford from 11am–2pm. 

    Specialists from our Let’s Talk team will be available to answer questions and offer tips on how to take control of your emotional wellbeing.

    We look forward to seeing you at one of our sessions.

    2gether we can make life better.

    For more information about mental health awareness week visit http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-for-mental-health-awareness-week http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-for-mental-health-awareness-week Thu, 17 May 12 12:27:37 +0000
    Share your views about 2gether People in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are being asked for their views on local NHS mental health community services.

    The survey for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) is part of the national programme led by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is being carried out by Quality Health, an independent research organisation. 

    The independent annual survey is an important way for the Trust to seek the views of people in their care.

    It seeks to find out what service users think about different aspects of the care they receive from the Trust.  This includes care planning; availability of information; and communication with health and social care workers.

    The survey is used alongside a number of continual initiatives that measure Trust performance, patient and carer experience.  These include feedback provided to our local Patient Liaison Services (PALS), the Trust’s Patient Experience Team and touch screen information points located around the Trust sites and within the community.  Members of the public can also leave their feedback on the Trust website by visiting www.2gether.nhs.uk

    Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: “Together with our ongoing feedback processes, the results from the national survey help us to make appropriate improvements to our services and improve patient experience.”

    The survey is sent out to a random selection of service users and is used by the Department of Health, CQC, local Commissioners and other to assess how well the Trust is meeting the needs of patients.  It also helps measures overall patient experience.

    Trish continued, “If you receive a survey, please take some time to share your views about the care you received with us. We are committed to providing responsive, personalised and high quality care. Your feedback will help us understand what changes we need to make so we can continue to improve local mental health community services”. 

    For more information on previous surveys and CQC reviews of 2gether’s services, please visit www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-and-performance 

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/share-your-views-about-2gether Wed, 18 Apr 12 09:23:07 +0000
    Quality Account Q3 now available 2gether NHS Foundation Trust's Quality Account for Q3 is now available.

    The report shows the progress made towards achieving targets, objectives and initiatives identified in the Annual Quality Account 2011/12 from October to December 2011 (Q3).

    To view the report please click here.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-account-q3-now-available http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-account-q3-now-available Thu, 05 Apr 12 11:49:53 +0000
    Working 2gether to become smokefree People with mental health problems are more likely to smoke than the general population.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is committed to helping their service users to get the help and support they need to become smokefree.

    On No Smoking Day (Wednesday 14 March) Smokefree Champions manned stands in the main reception of two of our inpatient wards offering advice and guidance to service users, staff and anyone visiting the site about ways to give up smoking. This is part of the ongoing work to help encourage service users to give up smoking.

    All inpatient and day services have staff trained on how to approach the topic of smoking reduction, known as Smokefree Champions. Training is provided by the Gloucestershire Smoking Advisory Service.

    Inge Jones, Smokefree Champion at 2gether said: “We recognise that some service users have a dependency on nicotine. About half of people with mental illness who smoke want to quit. We are keen to support individuals and promote a healthier lifestyle.”

    This year alone has seen 155 referrals from 2gether Smokefree champions to the Gloucestershire Smoking Advisory Service.
    Inge continued: “All in-patient users are asked about their smoking habits on admission and offered support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for both smoking cessation and smoking reduction.”

    Day care and community users are also offered advice about accessing smoking cessation services.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-2gether-to-become-smokefree http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-2gether-to-become-smokefree Tue, 20 Mar 12 10:08:07 +0000
    CQC Review local mental health community services A formal review of community mental health teams in Gloucestershire has concluded that the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has made ‘considerable improvements’ in the services it provides.

    The report published today by health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was in answer to a request by Gloucestershire Coroner’s Office following an inquest in November 2011.

    The Coroner’s office asked CQC to investigate concerns that 2gether NHS Foundation Trust was a ‘fragmented’ service and ‘not patient centred’.

    During the investigation, the CQC looked into the Trust’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service as well as other primary and secondary mental health services, information given to patients and electronic systems.

    The review found that there has been ‘considerable improvements in the service provided’ with ‘positive comments’ from people who use the services and other healthcare professionals.

    Service users, families and carers who had previously said they received ‘poor’ care in the past, were interviewed as part of the responsive review of services. They told CQC inspectors that the care provided by 2gether’s community mental health teams had "significantly improved" and was "absolutely amazing".

    Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance at the Trust said: “We know we that there have been instances where we have got things wrong in the past. We have worked with our staff, service users and their family and carers to make sure we strive to continuously provide a better experience of our services”.

    The CQC carried out their visit to 2gether NHS Foundation Trust on 31 January and 1 February 2012. The regulator checked the Trust's record keeping, looked at records of people who use services, talked to staff and spoke with people who use services.

    Trish continued: “We previously identified a number of shortcomings in our services and we are pleased that our service users, their families, carers and our regulator think that the changes we have made, uphold safety and help to improve patient experience.

    Our focus has been to make sure that those in our care receive the highest level of quality. Together with additional changes we are making, the people we serve can have confidence in the quality of care and support we provide”.

    The CQC report assessed two outcome measures which focussed upon the care and welfare of those who use services and the systems that are in place to monitor the quality of services. The CQC concluded that the Trust was compliant on both.

    The report states: “People who come to the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust experience safe, effective and appropriate care, support and treatment. The trust carries out assessments of people needs and plans a programme of care to meet these needs. The trust ensures that it protects people's welfare and safety”.

    It continues: “The trust has regard to complaints, comments, and views of people who use the service, their carers or those acting on their behalf, and staff or professionals associated with the service.

    “We (CQC) found it (2gether) willing to address any shortcomings and ambitious to use and bring to patients the best practices in psychiatric care.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cqc-review-local-mental-health-community-services http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/cqc-review-local-mental-health-community-services Thu, 01 Mar 12 16:22:31 +0000
    Public Board Meeting - Monday 27 February 2012

    When: Monday 27 February 2012
    Time: 2.00pm
    Where: Business Continuity Room, Trust HQ, Rikenel, Gloucester

    2gether is a specialist NHS Foundation Trust, providing mental and social health care for people with mental ill health, learning disability and substance misuse problems.

    We hope that you will join us to hear what we will discuss, listen to answers to your questions and meet members of the Board.

    The agenda for the Board meeting is available here

    If you would like to attend the meeting or would like more information about the work of the Board, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary:

    Telephone: 01452 894165
    Email: anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk
    Write to: Anna Hilditch, Trust Headquarters, Rikenel, Montpellier, Gloucester, GL1 1 LY

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting---monday-27-february-2012 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting---monday-27-february-2012 Mon, 27 Feb 12 10:02:06 +0000
    New Non-Executive Director joins 2gether 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has appointed a new Non-Executive.

    Dr Martin Freeman has been a GP for 33 years. He is currently based in the Cam and Dursley area of Gloucestershire and has been the GP Clinical Lead for Dementia in the county and the South West region.

    Martin has a great interest in the provision of care for people with mental illness and learning disabilities.

    Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘I’m very pleased to welcome Martin to the Trust. This is an important and challenging time for us and his community involvement, knowledge and understanding of the NHS will help strengthen our already strong Board.

    ‘I look forward to working with Dr Freeman and I know he will add great value to our work as we continue to deliver high quality local health Services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.’

    Martin said of his appointment: ‘I am very pleased to be joining 2gether and look forward to contributing to the work of the Trust. I am particularly keen that we continue to focus on the delivery of services and facilities that are responsive to local people’s needs during a time of significant change in the NHS.’

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is a public benefit corporation. Members of the public, service users, staff and partner organisations can influence the strategic planning of the organisation by being a member and standing for election to the Council of Governors.

    To be a member you must live in England and be over 11 years old. To join, please complete the online form at www.2gether.nhs.uk/membership-form or call Anna Hilditch on 01452 894165.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-director-joins-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-director-joins-2gether Fri, 24 Feb 12 09:11:52 +0000
    Care Quality Commission Report on Westridge Learning Disability Hospital People with a learning disability who receive specialist assessment and treatment in Gloucestershire are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse.

    That is the assessment of the Care Quality Committee (CQC) following an unannounced visit to Westridge Learning Disability Hospital in Stonehouse, during October 2011. The report, which was published today (11 January), also highlights that patients’ human rights are respected and upheld.

    In May 2011, a BBC Panorama programme highlighted undercover footage of staff abusing vulnerable adults at Winterbourne View, a private hospital for people with learning disabilities.

    Following the programme, the CQC England’s independent regulator of all health and social care services, announced a national inspection programme of services for people with a learning disability.

    CQC inspectors assessed the services 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) provides at Westridge over two days. Their report highlights the views of patient’s relatives who told Inspectors that they are happy with the service provided; the skills of staff; and that they felt informed and included in the care provided.

    However, the report also noted concerns around personal care records which means that Westridge was non compliant on two standards assessed. This was primarily due to the Trust’s current transition from using paper to electronic care records.

    Trish Jay, 2gether’s Director of Quality and Performance said “We welcome CQC’s report and their findings. The report shows that people who use 2gether’s services at Westridge are safe and also highlights areas where we should make improvements to make sure our patients experience appropriate care and treatment”.

    Following initial feedback from inspectors, we identified actions to address the concerns and have implemented these fully.”

    The Trust has proactively provided CQC with a report on the actions and improvements it has taken since the inspection.

    Trish continued: “It is important that we learn from patients, relatives and other people who assess our services with a fresh pair of eyes. This helps us to keep improving what we do and make further improvements in our services to help ensure we provide responsive care and support.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/care-quality-commission-report-on-westridge-learning-disability-hospital http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/care-quality-commission-report-on-westridge-learning-disability-hospital Sun, 05 Feb 12 17:10:21 +0000
    Care Quality Commission Report on Hollybrook Learning Disability Hospital A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), England’s independent regulator of all health and social care services, has shown that Hollybrook Learning Disability Hospital in Gloucestershire is meeting all essential standards of quality and safety.

    The findings were gathered from the second of two announced visits to learning disability hospitals in Gloucestershire during November 2011.

    The inspections are part of a national review programme of services for people with a learning disability after a BBC programme highlighted concerns about patient care in a private hospital in Bristol.

    Both CQC reports for Westridge and Hollybrook learning disability hospitals show that the regulator is satisfied that patients are protected from abuse and that staff respect their human rights.

    One relative of a patient at Hollybrook told Inspectors that their loved one was ‘finally in a place where the staff know her well and know how to meet her needs.”

    The CQC said that Hollybrook was compliant and meeting the essential standards around record keeping but, to maintain this, suggested some improvements which 2gether are now implementing.

    Trish Jay, 2gether’s Director of Quality and Performance said “We are fully committed to ensuring that those in our care continue to receive safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights. Where improvements were suggested, we have implemented these fully.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/care-quality-commission-report-on-hollybrook-learning-disability-hospital http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/care-quality-commission-report-on-hollybrook-learning-disability-hospital Fri, 27 Jan 12 13:08:43 +0000
    New Community Dementia Nurse Scheme in Gloucestershire
    Front Row (L-R) - Amanda Tagg, Jonathan Lane, Alison Easton, Rose McDowall, Sally Rubringer, Graham Sharpley
    Back Row (L-R) – Melanie Thorne, Carol Jenkins, Sue Williams, Dee Godfrey, Peter Fitzpatrick, Andy Richardson

    A new service has been launched to support GP surgeries in the diagnosis, management and treatment of dementia.

    The Community Dementia Nurse (CDN) Service has been launched by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust as an addition to the already successful Managing Memory 2gether service.

    The CDN Service is the first of its kind in the country that provides specialist and direct support to GPs around dementia. It also links and works in partnership with the new Dementia Advisers Service that is delivered through the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Each surgery in Gloucestershire will be allocated a Community Dementia Nurse. The work of the Community Dementia Nurses will focus around three key areas:

    1. Advice and support with diagnosis
    2. Advice and support in the management and treatment of Dementia
    3. Time Limited Interventions– short term intensive treatment plans to address immediate care needs

    Rose McDowall, Senior Community Dementia Nurse said: “This is a new and exciting role for me and my colleagues and we are really looking forward to it. It will be really good to work closely with primary care colleagues to ensure that people with dementia and their carers receive timely, locally based support and treatment.”

    The Community Dementia Nurses will also be able to provide surgeries with information on signs, symptoms and management of Dementia. As well as offer advice on how to access further education and training related to Dementia.

    Dursley based Dr Martin Freeman, GP clinical lead for dementia in Gloucestershire, said: “Dementia care in Gloucestershire remains a key priority with health and voluntary services working together to provide high quality care for local people. We are now in the third year since the launch of the National Dementia Strategy. In that time a lot of work done has been done and new services have been commissioned of which community dementia nurses are a key new initiative.

    With the ageing population of the county set to increase we are expecting to treat more people with dementia. We know a diagnosis of dementia can be a worry both for the person with the condition and their family or friends, but in Gloucestershire we are working hard to educate and support the people who care for someone with dementia."

    Rose continued: “The great thing is that GPs will be able to draw on our expertise and experience about dementia. This can only be a good thing for patients and their families.”

    For people with dementia and their families who may need extra support from a Community Dementia Service they can access this service through their GP, Dementia Adviser or the Managing Memory 2gether service.

    People should talk to their GP if they are worried about their own or someone else memory.

    For people needing general information about memory assessment and or support/advice about services for people worried about memory, people with Dementia and their carers please contact the Managing Memory 2gether Information and Education Service on 0800 694 880 or email managingmemory@glos.nhs.uk

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-community-dementia-nurse-scheme-in-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-community-dementia-nurse-scheme-in-gloucestershire Mon, 12 Dec 11 11:36:22 +0000
    Public Board Meeting - Monday 19 December 2011 When: Monday 19 December 2011
    Time: 2.00pm
    Where: Committee Room 1, Shire Hall, St Peter’s Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

    2gether is a specialist NHS Foundation Trust, providing mental and social health care for people with mental ill health, learning disability and substance misuse problems.

    From 1 April 2011, we started to provide services in Herefordshire.

    We are holding our second public Board meeting in Herefordshire next week.

    We hope that you will join us to hear what we will discuss, listen to answers to your questions and meet members of the Board.

    If you would like to attend the meeting or would like more information about the work of the Board, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary:

    Telephone: 01452 891165
    Email: anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk
    Write to: Anna Hilditch, Trust Headquarters, Rikenel, Montpellier, Gloucester, GL1 1 LY

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting---monday-19-december-2011 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting---monday-19-december-2011 Mon, 12 Dec 11 10:41:59 +0000
    Exceptional work of local mental health staff celebrated

    Workers and volunteers have been honoured by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust for their work and contributions in mental and social healthcare services

    The Recognising Outstanding Services and Contributions Awards (known as the ROSCAs) are now in their fifth year. 

    Around 150 staff, volunteers, service users and carers attended the event, which took place on Friday, 4 November, at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester.

    There were nine categories in the ROSCAs and as well as the winners of these awards staff who have been in service for 20 and 30 years were also honoured with a Long Service Award.

    Chief Executive, Shaun Clee said: “This is our fifth annual ROSCAs and it is a great way to highlight and celebrate the very best in innovation, compassion and continued contribution of our service users, volunteers and staff within mental health and learning disability services.

    All of the winners and nominees were nominated by their peers or members of the public.  The panel of judges consisted of staff, service users, carers and Governors of the Trust.

    Shaun continued: “The awards are an opportunity for colleagues and people we serve to formally nominate and acknowledge people for their hard work over the last 12 months and through their continued service.”

    Cheers and massive applause greeted each award winner and nominee throughout the evening.

    Sophia Hall picked up two awards on the night, the Carer and Service User Involvement Award and the CEO Award for Innovation.  Sophia said of her win: “To have won one of the awards I was shortlisted for was a huge surprise but to win the second one as well was so unexpected.  It is a really nice feeling and an absolute honour to have been recognised in this way.  Any one of the other nominees would have been worthy winners.”

    Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether, said: “Everyone here tonight should be really proud.  It is an honour to be able to celebrate people’s dedication, support and hard work that they provide to service users and colleagues.”

    The ROSCAs winners were presented with a glass trophy and staff celebrating 20 or 30 years of service in the NHS were presented with a certificate.

    The 4 Me About Me Group, led by Bronwen Carless and Sally Gardner which won the Valuing Diversity Award for working with people with learning disabilities on various Trust projects including assistance with the creation of literature suitable for people with learning disabilities as well as being part of the recruitment process for Learning Disability staff at the Trust.

    Bronwen Carless, Lead Speech and Language Therapist and founder of the 4 Me About Me Group said: “The group is thrilled.  The award is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the fantastic work that the group does and the contributions it makes to the Trust.”

    Other winners included the Stroud and Cirencester Crisis Team, who won the Clinical Team of the Year. 

    Shaun continued: “Every year I am always so proud of our staff and dedicated volunteers and the work that they do.  Together we work incredibly hard to ensure that the mental health services we provide remain some of the best in the country.”

    Winners

    Unsung Hero      Alan and Sylvia Beddis 
    Carer and Service User Involvement      Sophia Hall 
    Service Users and Carers Choice      Jan Bagnall 
    Clinical Team of the Year     Stroud and Cirencester Crisis Team
    Non-Clinical Team of the Year      Personal Assistants to Heads of Profession
    Valuing Diversity      4 Me About Me Group - Bronwen Carless and Sally Gardner 
    Best Supporting Colleague     Amanda Wheatstone-Price 
    Best Supporting Manager      Hazel May
    CEO Award for Innovation     Sophia Hall

    Nominations for the 2012 ROSCAs are now open!

    To find out about the award categories and how you can nominate a team or an individual, please click here

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/exceptional-work-of-local-mental-health-staff-celebrated http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/exceptional-work-of-local-mental-health-staff-celebrated Thu, 24 Nov 11 12:20:28 +0000
    Local nurse celebrating after winning national Nursing Times award

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating with one of our community nurses who has won one of the professions most prestigious award.

    Penny Shewell, Community Nurse in the Cotswolds (above, centre) has won the Nursing Times Learning Disability Nurse Award for her entry ‘Prescriber nurse-led clinics – a community model for people with learning disabilities and epilepsy’.

    The award ceremony took place on Wednesday 2 November 2011 at the Hilton Park Lane, London.

    More information and quotes from Penny about her win to come soon.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/local-nurse-celebrating-after-winning-national-nursing-times-award http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/local-nurse-celebrating-after-winning-national-nursing-times-award Thu, 03 Nov 11 15:53:02 +0000
    2gether celebrates Make a Difference Day at Charlton Lane 29 October 2011 is Make a Difference Day, the UK’s largest single day of volunteering.

    A team of volunteers known as ‘Health Champions’ from across the county will be joining forces with staff at 2gether’s Charlton Lane Hospital to take part in activities with a floral theme to hospital residents.

    Patients will be invited to participate in activities including bulb planting, flower arranging, the art of decorating flower pots and singing songs with a floral theme. Cream teas will also be on offer.

    Hazel May, Occupational Therapy Manager at Charlton Lane Hospital said: “Severe mental health issues can disrupt every aspect of our own and our family’s lives. Being in hospital can also feel lonely so engaging in normal and enjoyable human activities is one way we seek to make our patients feel more comfortable and is an extremely important way to sustain a sense of hope and self worth.

    “Make a Difference Day will provide a comfortable and safe opportunity for patients, staff, volunteers and relatives to spend enjoyable time together doing things that we all like to do, getting to know each other and having some fun.”

    Make a Difference Day is organised by Community Service Volunteers (CSV), the UK’s leading volunteering and training charity.  Event organiser, Camilla Bassett-Smith said: “We are thrilled to be working with staff and patients at Charlton Lane Hospital and are very much looking forward to the afternoon.

    “We are also very grateful to Blooms Cheltenham Garden Centre who has supplied bulbs and compost for the event.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-celebrates-make-a-difference-day-at-charlton-lane http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-celebrates-make-a-difference-day-at-charlton-lane Thu, 27 Oct 11 13:27:59 +0000
    Top marks again for local mental health trust Gloucestershire’s Greyfriars Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) inpatient Unit has received official Accreditation of Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) from the Royal Collage of Psychiatrists and the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive care Units for their high standards of care.

    The hospital, which is run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, achieved the highest AIMS accreditation of “excellent” after a 12-month assessment period.

    James Wright, Unit Manager for Greyfriars PICU said: “It is fantastic to receive national recognition for the excellent care provided by staff working on the ward. The accreditation provides our service users additional reassurance on the quality of care we provide."

    Out of the 31 PICU wards nationally, Greyfriars is one of only six to achieve the Excellent rating from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and NAPICU.

    Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance at 2gether said: “Our Greyfriars team should be very proud of their achievement of AIMS accreditation. They have done a great job in securing this highly sought after Unit and to be one of the few Units to receive an Excellent rating is a true reflection on the quality of care the team provides.

    “We will keep up this good work and make sure our service users continue to receive excellent, person centred care and support at all times.”

    The application for AIMS accreditation includes service users and family carers checking progress against a number of care and organisational standards. Accreditation is only granted following a visit from the Royal College of Psychiatrists assessors, who check current practice within the Unit.

    AIMS was set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to identify and acknowledge services with high standards of organisation and care, and with a view to helping other healthcare providers to achieve these standards.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-marks-again-for-local-mental-health-trust- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/top-marks-again-for-local-mental-health-trust- Thu, 27 Oct 11 13:18:09 +0000
    Gloucestershire to become pilot for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for children and young people Children and Young People in Gloucestershire are set to benefit from a new NHS service which will see those struggling with stress, anxiety or depression receive help.

    The Department of Health has today (25 October) announced a £32 million investment in psychological therapies, including talking therapies, for children and young people with mental health problems.

    This announcement will see 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire linking with the University of Reading as part of one of three partnerships across the country. The partnership has come about after a successful bid with a consortium in Oxford to improve talking therapies and test out new ways of providing earlier intervention that will improve the mental health and life chances of our young people in Gloucestershire.

    The Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service will offer information, guidance and talking therapy for children and young people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

    Adopting elements of the already successful adult Let’s Talk IAPT programme the service is all about getting help early and quickly. 

    Sue Morgan, Lead Commissioning Director for Mental Health Services in Gloucestershire, said:

    "We are one of only a few trail blazer consortiums in the country to have been awarded the opportunity to develop this project for the benefit of our young people and it will build on our principles of providing accessible health services which are known to work.

    “With one in ten children aged 5-16 years in the country having a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, giving children the right help early on can help improve their childhood and provide them with the right tools as an adult.”

    The children and young people IAPT project is going to be part of the recently redesigned Children and Young People Service provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by NHS Gloucestershire.

    Mathew Page, Children and Young People Service Director, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said:

    “Our new service model is based on providing a wider range of services with more focus on outreach. We are integrating a lot more with primary and social care as well as other children services across Gloucestershire to ensure every child and young person has the same access to our services.

    “Being part of this new partnership will enable us to enhance our services even further.”

    Existing staff are being trained in targeted and specialist services in an agreed, standardised curriculum of National Institute Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved and best evidenced based therapies.

    Children and young people will be involved in the development of the project and in the planning and local evaluation to ensure that services maximise the methods by which children and young people access services, including the times and locations at which appointments are available.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-to-become-pilot-for-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-(iapt)-for-children-and-young-people http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-to-become-pilot-for-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-(iapt)-for-children-and-young-people Tue, 25 Oct 11 16:35:58 +0000
    Working 2gether to promote emotional wellbeing in schools Events are being organised with schools by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, who provides mental and social healthcare including learning disability services across our county.

    They include an interactive lesson that shares ways we can all stay happy and healthy. Children are also invited to take part in a big green balloon launch in the school yard. Each of the balloons released will contain a written message suggesting ways we can lift our mood and make life better.

    The first event was held on Monday 10 October, with children and staff at Stow-on-the-Wold Primary School.

    Mrs Rebecca Scutt, Head teacher said: “We are delighted to be the first school in Gloucestershire to work alongside our local NHS mental health services to raise awareness of emotional wellbeing.

    "This is such an important subject and we must all be aware of the impact emotional wellbeing has on parents and their children’s education and life chances.”

    Research shows that 20% of children have a mental health problem in any given year and about 10% of children at any one time1. Most mental ill-health first occurs in childhood and a young person who suffers anxiety in childhood is 3.5 times more likely than others to suffer depression or anxiety disorders in adulthood2.

    The school events are part of a programme of activities planned by 2gether to help promote a good understanding of emotional wellbeing and challenge the stigma so often associated with mental ill health.

    Shaun Clee, 2gether’s Chief Executive said: “Working with forward thinking schools, our aim is to help school children, their families and guardians to understand emotional wellbeing better and learn new ways to lead healthy and happier lives.”

    Mrs Scutt continued: “We all really enjoyed learning more about being happy and healthy in such a fun, informative and innovative lesson.”

    In partnership with local company Ballooning in the Cotswold, everyone who releases a 2gether green balloon and everyone who finds a 2gether green balloon can register to win a trip for two across our beautiful countryside. People can also join in online, leaving their message on a virtual balloon.

    Full Terms and Conditions for the prize draw are on the trust website at www.2gether.nhs.uk/balloon-race

    1 Lifetime Impacts: Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health, Understanding the Lifetime Impacts, Mental Health Foundation, 2005. 2 NHS Children and Young People Positive Practice Guide, 2008

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-2gether-to-promote-emotional-wellbeing-in-schools http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/working-2gether-to-promote-emotional-wellbeing-in-schools Wed, 12 Oct 11 11:31:01 +0000
    Caring for Carers – Pledge Launched on World Mental Health Day 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has worked with carers throughout the Trust to develop our new Carers Charter.

    The Charter recognises and values the important work of family and friends caring for people who use our services. It is our pledge to how we will work together to help make life better.

    Christine Greathead has been crucial in helping the Trust develop the Charter. She said: “My involvement with the drafting of the Carers Charter has been very close to my heart. From personal experience, my family and I know all too well how vital the care of a loved one with mental illness is to their recovery.”

    Carers are family, friends, young or old and play a significant and important role within our communities in helping people in their recovery and general wellbeing.

    Christine continued “The launch of The Carers Charter is the first step in acknowledging the role of Carers. It establishes important principles for guiding clinicians as they work with family and friends of the patients they are treating.”

    Dr. Jane Melton, Clinical Director at 2gether said: “It was essential that our Carers Charter was developed with the input and advice of carers. This has helped make sure that our pledge to each other truly reflects and values both the needs of our carers and the important work we do for and with the people who use our services.

    Launching today (10 October) on World Mental Health Day, the Charter is based on our core values that represent our commitment to the people we serve:

    Seeing from a service user perspective Excelling and improving Responsive Valuing and respectful Inclusive, open and honest Can do Efficient, effective, economic and equitable

    The Charter was officially launched by Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether, Shaun Clee, Chief Executive and Christine Greathead.

    To view the Carers Charter please click here.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-launches-pledge-to-carers-on-world-mental-health-day- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/trust-launches-pledge-to-carers-on-world-mental-health-day- Mon, 10 Oct 11 11:31:36 +0000
    Leading the way on patient safety 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) has taken the regional lead on an innovative new patient safety programme for mental health services in England.

    Sir Ian Carruthers, the recently appointed chief executive of the new NHS South of England Strategic Health Authority, has asked Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of the Trust, to lead the programme.

    The Trust is currently piloting the initiative, which is in collaboration with the Institute of Health Innovation, the US health improvement organisation.

    The programme focuses on giving staff the tools and techniques to identify gaps in safety before any incidents occur.

    Staff are using an approach of ‘plan, do, study, act’ which enables them to try out and test practical ways of improving safety and measure the difference they’ve made.

    The programme has a range of goals, from reducing the number of falls, to ensuring 95% of service users have a check up with a member of staff within 48 hours of leaving hospital.

    Initiatives include using specialist new equipment such as pressure sensitive mats which alert staff when older adult patients are trying to get out of bed. Safety Walkrounds allow members of the Trust Executive team to meet clinical colleagues in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to speak directly with staff about safety in clinical area and how it can be improved.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, says: “I am delighted that we are to lead on this ambitious new national programme. The safety of the people who use our services is the highest priority, not just for me, but all our staff at 2gether.”

    Dr Paul Winterbottom, Medical Director for the Trust says: “People living in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire must be able to rely on us offering safe, effective care to them, their families and friends.

    “Organisations collect data which highlights what works well and what has not gone to plan. But this is after an incident has happened – we want to also get in there and stop the incident occurring in the first place.

    “It’s national Patient Safety Week this week, which is all about eliminating avoidable harm. I’m very pleased that this new programme will be giving our staff the tools and approaches they need to achieve this.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-leads-the-way-on-patient-safety http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-nhs-foundation-trust-leads-the-way-on-patient-safety Wed, 21 Sep 11 12:27:02 +0000
    Join us at 2gether's NHS Foundation Trust Annual General Meeting Service users, Carers, local organisations and the public are invited to add a date to their diary and attend 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

    Date:   Wednesday 21 September 2011
    Venue:  The Cory Room, Coots, Gloucester Docks, GL1 2EH
    Time:   5.00pm – 7.00pm

    Tea and coffee will be available from 4.30pm.

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides our local mental and social healthcare services including learning disability and substance misuse services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.  In addition, Let’s Talk our award winning service for common mental health problems such as stress and depression is also provided in South Gloucestershire.

    The meeting will reflect on the Trust’s activities, challenges and achievements over the 2010/11 financial year. The Trust will also outline plans for the year ahead that seek to continue to improve services and the quality of care we provide.

    Baroness Fritchie DBE, Chair of 2gether, said “As a Foundation Trust, we are accountable to local people. Our AGM is a chance for everyone to hear a report from our Governors - who are public members of the Trust; for us to share our outline plans for the coming year; and importantly, for us to listen and answer any questions.”

    The Trust’s 2010/11 Annual Report and Accounts is available to download from our website at www.2gether.nhs.uk.  You will also receive a copy by attending the AGM or on request from writing to Communications Team, Rikenel, Gloucester, GL1 1LY or email 2gether.comms@glos.nhs.uk

    If you would like to attend the AGM or would like any further information, please contact Anna Hilditch, Assistant Trust Secretary on 01452 891165 or anna.hilditch@glos.nhs.uk 

    Click here to view our AGM flyer.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-2gethers-nhs-foundation-trust-annual-general-meeting http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-2gethers-nhs-foundation-trust-annual-general-meeting Wed, 07 Sep 11 13:48:46 +0000
    Quality Risk Profiles - July 2011 We are required under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, to declare our compliance against a set of 16 essential standards of quality and safety outcomes. We do this through the Quality Risk Profile which brings together a wide range of information.

    The Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England, use this information to help monitor our compliance with the essential standards of quality and safety.

    Our Quality Risk Profile updates are available by clicking here which also contains further information about Quality Risk Profiles.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-risk-profiles---july-2011 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/quality-risk-profiles---july-2011 Tue, 06 Sep 11 12:32:41 +0000
    Users of community mental health services say 2gether are doing a good job The results of the 2011 survey of people who use 2gether NHS Foundation Trust community mental health services was published yesterday (9 August) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

    The experiences of nearly 300 people who have used 2gether’s community services during the past 12 months show that the Trust is continuing to deliver good quality and personalised services. Including those offered by outpatient clinics and local teams providing crisis home treatment, assertive outreach, early intervention for psychosis, and generic community mental health services.

    All 65 NHS mental health trusts in England were surveyed.

    Respondents scored 2gether better than the national average on service users knowing the lead professional responsible for their care, having a copy of their NHS care plan, and meeting regularly to discuss their care.

    Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance at the Trust, said: “The results from the survey are very encouraging. They show that we are achieving comparable results with other mental health providers nationally and in some important areas, our service users are telling us that we are doing significantly better. However, we are not complacent and will continue to work hard to help ensure that those in our care receive the highest quality of outcomes, safety and experience.”

    Cynthia Bower, CQC chief executive, said: “The new cross-government strategy for mental health outcomes, No health without mental health, was launched in February. One of its overall aims is to improve outcomes for people through high-quality services that are accessible to all.

    “The results of the community mental health survey this year and in the future have been identified in the strategy as one of the key sources of information to assess progress in improving people’s experience of care and support.”

    Trish continued, “It is so important that our services users and their carers continue to give us feedback on their local services. We can then continue to improve our services based on their experiences and priorities.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/users-of-community-mental-health-services-say-2gether-are-doing-a-good-job- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/users-of-community-mental-health-services-say-2gether-are-doing-a-good-job- Wed, 10 Aug 11 14:35:11 +0000
    Annual Report 2010-11 now available

    2gethers latest Annual Report for 2010/11 is now available.  Introduced by Shaun Clee, Chief Executive and Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair, this years report explains:

                  • What we achieved in the last financial year
                  • How we value our staff and colleagues across the trust
                  • What we are planning to achieve in 2011-12
                  • How we seek to innovate the way care and services are delivered
                  • Our performance during the year

    The Annual Report also contains the statutory information that we have to publish including how we delivered on our key objectives throughout the year and our financial accounts.

    Click here to read the full report.

     

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/annual-report-2010--11 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/annual-report-2010--11 Tue, 26 Jul 11 17:02:20 +0000
    Public Board Meeting 27 June When: Monday 27th June 2011

    Time: 2.00pm

    Where: Committee Room 1, Shire Hall, St Peter’s Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

    2gether is a specialist NHS Trust that provides mental and social health care for people with mental ill health, a learning disability or substance misuse problem.

    From 1 April, we started to provide services in Herefordshire as well as Gloucestershire.

    We are holding our first public Board meeting in Herefordshire next week.

    You can find a copy of the agenda for the meeting by clicking here, along with our Public Questions Protocol setting out the process for people to ask questions here.

    We hope that you will join us to hear what we will discuss, listen to answers to your questions and meet members of the Board.

    If you would like to attend the meeting or would like more information about the work of the Board, please contact John McIlveen, Trust Secretary: 01452 891187 john.mcIlveen@glos.nhs.uk

    Trust Headquarters,
    Rikenel,
    Montpellier,
    Gloucester,
    GL1 1LY

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting-27-june http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/public-board-meeting-27-june Mon, 20 Jun 11 11:52:26 +0000
    Reluctant men urged to seek help

    Tackle mental health stigma and get the help you need.

    That is the message from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) during National Men’s Health Week (13-19 June). 

    Despite the fact that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem, men are less likely to seek help than women and common conditions such as stress and depression may go undiagnosed causing long term problems.

    2gether says that it is vital men can access the information and help they need to help manage the tension and frustration we may experience in our day to day lives.

    Dr Chris Fear, Consultant Psychiatrist at 2gether says “Men often think that seeking support when they are feeling low is a sign of weakness. However without the right information and help men often self medicate with alcohol and drugs which makes their physical and mental health worse.”

    This year’s national campaign by the Men’s Health Forum highlights how technology should be used to provide additional sources of health information and advice.

    Dr Chris continued: “We want to make it as easy as possible for men to get information on managing their mental health. If you have concerns about your health or fitness, speak with your GP.

    “We have also developed an iPhone app called the Moodometer. It is free to download and offers a confidential and interactive tool that suggests advice and ongoing support when people need it most.” 

    Thousands of men could be suffering unnecessarily because they are reluctant to get the help they need.  New ways of getting information from the NHS, like using the Moodometer app, may help men and women take the first step to get the support they need.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reluctant-men-urged-to-seek-help http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/reluctant-men-urged-to-seek-help Mon, 13 Jun 11 16:02:49 +0000
    Notice of Election Notice of Election For the Council of Governors of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust

    The Trust gives notice that it will hold elections to the Council of Governors of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    Elections are to be held for the following positions:

    5 Public Governors in the following constituencies:

      • Cheltenham (1 vacancy)
      • Cotswolds (2 vacancies)
      • Gloucester (2 vacancies)

    Nomination forms to stand for election to these positions can be obtained from the Returning Officer at the address shown below.

    All Nomination papers should be received by the Returning Officer, Christy Gerould, at the address below by 12 noon on Tuesday 21st June 2011.

    Electoral Reform Services Limited       
    The Election Centre    
    33 Clarendon Road    
    London 
    N8 0NW
      
    Tel: 0208 889 9203
    Email: christy.gerould@electoralreform.co.uk

    Faxed or emailed nominations will not be accepted.

    Should any nominee wish to withdraw their nomination, they must put this in writing to the returning officer by 5pm on Friday 24th June 2011.

    Ballot papers will be distributed to qualifying members on Monday 11th July 2011. 

    Completed ballot papers must be received by the Independent Scrutineer by 12 noon on Friday 29th July 2011.

    The regulations governing this election can be obtained from Electoral Reform Services Ltd (address as above).

    The Independent Scrutineer for these elections is Electoral Reform Services Ltd (address as above).

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election-for-the-council-of-governors-of-2gether-nhs-foundation-trust http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/notice-of-election-for-the-council-of-governors-of-2gether-nhs-foundation-trust Mon, 06 Jun 11 15:11:09 +0000
    Your NHS: Right Care, Right Time, Right Place

    The NHS in Gloucestershire will today (24 May) publicly set out a number of options and proposals related to hospital based specialist stroke care, the first outpatient breast care appointment for symptomatic patients and emergency paediatric assessment. The Health Community is also seeking views on Trauma Care although options are at an earlier stage.   

    A new booklet called: ‘Your NHS: Right Care, Right Time, Right Place’ is available on our intranet site and highlights our health community’s approach to care. 

    It describes a range of developments in community based services and a number of options and proposals for engaging patients, carers and a range of community partners about the options and proposals and listen to views. The emphasis is on helping people to receive on-going care in the local community or return home with support as quickly as it is safe to do so.

    Over 1,000 people got involved in the last Your NHS conversations. Feedback showed support for the continued development of community based services, including reducing the length of hospital stays where appropriate, and looking at how some specialist hospital services are provided in the future.

    To participate in this listening exercise, please read the short guide, booklet and feedback form on the NHS Gloucestershire website by clicking here.

    In addition, NHS Gloucestershire will be holding a series of community partner and service user events during the engagement period.

     

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/your-nhs:-right-care,-right-time,-right-place http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/your-nhs:-right-care,-right-time,-right-place Tue, 24 May 11 11:04:17 +0000
    International Nurses Day

    image312 May is International Nurses Day.  This marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and an opportunity to highlight the excellent work of all nurses.

    We are very lucky to have some of the most dedicated and caring mental health nurses in 2gether.  Men and women providing quality care across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and working in partnership with fellow nurses who are caring for people with physical problems.

    Mental health nursing is one of the most demanding and complex areas of nursing.

    At 2gether, mental health nurses work in an integrated team that includes psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, arts therapists, healthcare assistants and other professionals.  

    They care for people of all ages with a wide variety of problems including learning disabilities, substance misuse, learning or behavioural issues and Alzheimer’s.  Users of our services may also have conditions such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and dementia.

    Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance said: “Nursing is such a rewarding role; no two days are ever the same.  The role can be demanding but also provides the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the people in our care.”

    Trish added “Colleagues within the trust do such a fantastic job and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to the communities we serve.”

    Roland Dix, Consultant Nurse within 2gether said: “International Nurses Day is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the developments in nursing and its contribution to healthcare over the centuries. Mental health nursing is one of the most privileged and rewarding roles available in the amongst the huge diversity of nursing specialities.”

    For more information about becoming a nurse, please take a look at Nursing Careers by clicking here.  The website includes a personality quiz to help you explore your suitability for different areas of nursing, view video interviews with exisiting nurses and look at some of the misconceptions about pay, progression and status.

    Watch the RCN's fil about key nursing skills for mental health nursing staff.

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/international-nurses-day1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/international-nurses-day1 Fri, 20 May 11 11:16:56 +0000
    New Non-Executive Directors work 2gether

    2gether NHS Foundation has appointed two new Non-Executives.

    Charlotte Hitchings has been a senior manager in large organisations for more than 20 years. She has held roles within marketing, business development, product development and community investment.

    Richard Szadziewski has held Finance Director roles in seven public sector organisations and was Director of Corporate Services in South Gloucestershire Council.

    Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘I’m very pleased to welcome Charlotte and Richard to the Trust. This is an important and challenging time for us and their community involvement, commercial and financial experience will help strengthen our already strong Board.

    “I look forward to working with them so that their contributions make sure that we continue to deliver high quality, local mental health services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.’

    Charlotte said of her appointment: ‘I am very pleased to be joining 2gether and look forward to contributing to the work of the Trust. I am particularly keen that we continue to focus on the delivery of services and facilities that are responsive to people’s needs during a time of significant change in the NHS.’

    Richard said: ‘I am delighted to join the Board of the Trust. I have been impressed by the energy of everyone in the Trust to provide the best quality services for service users, carers and the taxpayer. I am confident that we can work together as a Board to ensure we provide the best possible services with our partners in what will be an unprecedented and difficult financial climate for essential public services.’

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is public benefit corporation. Members of the public, service users, staff and partner organisations can influence the strategic planning of the organisation by being a member and standing for election to the Council of Governors.

    To be a member you must live in England and be over 11 years old. To join, please complete the online form by clicking here, or call Anna Hilditch on 01452 891165.

     

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-work-2gether1 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-work-2gether1 Tue, 03 May 11 12:14:40 +0000
    NHS Chief Executive Officially Opens Charlton Lane Hospital

     

    Sir David Nicholson, KCB CBE (pictured above far left) joined staff and members of the local community on 14 April to officially open Gloucestershire's newest hospital for dementia and older people with mental health problems.

    Charlton Lane Hospital offers a modern, specialist assessment and treatment centre for people in our communities who need greater help. It is also the new base for the trust’s Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswolds mental health community teams.

    The new hospital opened its doors to patients in October 2010. Each patient has an en suite bedroom in male and female specific areas. Communal rooms are air conditioned, full of light and open on to a courtyard and external gardens.  A physiotherapy gym, art room and assessment kitchen, internet access and a visitor suite are available.

    Patients, local groups, commissioners and the Health Community and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, were involved in the planning of the hospital and students from the University of Gloucestershire will soon begin to help transform the wider gardens.

    Commenting on the visit, Sir David said: “Charlton Lane is a great example of how services are at their best for patients when they truly integrate around individual needs.  When health professionals, patients, the public and local community groups work together to design services we achieve the best outcomes and quality improvements for our patients and citizens.”

    Charlton Lane Hospital is a £6.8m investment.  The hospital uses the latest assistive technology to help ensure both the safety and privacy of patients. This includes pressure mats in every bed that trigger ceiling lights when a patient gets out of bed during the night.  This helps to reduce the likelihood of falls.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive (pictured above with Sir David) said: “It is really important that inpatient care is readily available when it is needed.  We also know that an appropriate stay in hospital with focused treatment and support increases the chances of a return to living independently.

    “Ensuring that the move from home to hospital and back again is co-ordinated and supported appropriately is vital Charlton Lane Hospital is part of an overall service including community teams, primary care and social care.  This co-ordinated approach has already enabled more people stay at home in familiar surroundings with the care they need.  We have one of the lowest readmission rates in England”. 

    Baroness Fritchie, Chair (pictured above with Shaun and Sir David) said: "Many people have worked extremely hard to thoughtfully plan and design Charlton Lane Hospital. It is testimony to the foresight and support of NHS Gloucestershire, public and staff commitment, that we are now able to provide such an excellent hospital that patients tell us is welcoming and where staff take pleasure in working.  Everyone should be proud of what we have achieved for our communities."

     

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-chief-executive-officially-opens-charlton-lane-hospital http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-chief-executive-officially-opens-charlton-lane-hospital Fri, 15 Apr 11 09:50:10 +0000
    Baroness Fritchie reappointed as Trust Chair

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust's Council of Governors has re-appointed Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE as Chair to the Board and Chair to the Council.

    Rennie has had a long career specialising in learning and development. She was educated in Ribston Hall, Gloucester and has worked as a senior executive for over 20 years including Chair of Gloucester Health Authority and the South and West Regional Health Authority; Commissioner for Public Appointments; and Deputy Chair, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Audit Advisory Board 2007. She is also President of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition; Patron of Pied Piper Appeal; and Ambassador for Winston's Wish a grief support charity for children.

    Rennie was first appointed Chair of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in 2008. She has been re-appointed for a further three years.

    The Trust's Council of Governors include elected and nominated individuals who represent the views of staff, members of the public and local partner agencies.

    Julie Garnham, Deputy Chair of the Council of Governors said: “The governors are extremely pleased that Baroness Fritchie has been reappointed as Chair of the Trust for another term of office.

    “Baroness Fritchie‟s strategic management skills and vision for the future has already led the Trust to great success. In these challenging times facing all public bodies, her commitment and enthusiasm for continued improvements in patient care and outcomes, together with her business skills and professionalism, will mean the Trust is in good hands for the future.”

    Rennie Fritchie said:  "I am delighted to continue in my role as Chair for the Trust. A great deal has been achieved by the Trust over the last few years. We are delivering more services in Gloucestershire and we were successful in our bid to provide services in Herefordshire from 1 April. However, I know there is more work to do.

    “This is a challenging time for the NHS. By listening to the people in our communities, our Governors and members, I am committed to working with colleagues to further improve the services we are commissioned to provide.”

     

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/baroness-fritchie-reappointed-as-trust-chair http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/baroness-fritchie-reappointed-as-trust-chair Tue, 05 Apr 11 16:13:22 +0000
    2gether appoint new Director of Quality and Performance 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has announced the appointment of Trish Jay as Director of Quality and Performance.
    Trish is a Registered Nurse and has worked in a wide range of clinical, managerial and director positions over the past 30 years. She has worked in NHS Gloucestershire as Acting Director of Care Services and more recently as Managing Director of NHS Herefordshire’s provider services.

    As Director of Quality and Performance, Trish will join the Trust’s Board as an Executive Director. She will provide proactive professional leadership at Board level for nursing, allied health professionals and social care. She will also make sure that 2gether maintains the standards required for Care Quality Commission registration and will lead the Trust’s Quality Accounts, focusing on patient outcomes, safety and experience.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether, said: “I am delighted that Trish is joining us. Her expertise, knowledge and leadership qualities will help us deliver further improvements for service users, carers and their families.

    Trish said: “This is an exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with all colleagues to build on the significant progress that has already taken place across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire to make sure we continue improvements and provide high quality, local services for our communities.”

    ]]>
    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-appoint-new-director-of-quality-and-performance http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-appoint-new-director-of-quality-and-performance Tue, 29 Mar 11 17:39:38 +0000
    Get involved at the Big Health Check day!

     

     

    NHS Gloucestershire, in partnership with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, is holding its Third Big Health Check day on 31st March (morning or afternoon sessions) at the National Star College, Ullenwood.

    The event will focus on the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities in the county and is open to individuals with learning disabilities and their family and Carers. Participants will be able to find out more about local services and get involved in a number of fun and informative sessions on Exercise, Diabetes/Diet and Healthy Ageing/Podiatry.

    The GUiDE and PALS information bus will also be on hand to provide information and advice.

    Kevin Elliott from NHS Gloucestershire said: ‘We’re really excited about our third Big Health Check day, and we’d encourage people to come along and join us on the day.  It’s a great opportunity to bring together people with learning disabilities and their Carers to find out more about local services, share ideas and have some fun’.

    The Big Health Check Day is part of the implementation of the ‘The Big Plan’ – a joint action plan between NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council setting out what is to be achieved within the county’s Learning Disability Services over the next 5 years.

    For further information about the event, and to book a place, please contact Karen Taylor, Commissioning Support Manager, at NHS Gloucestershire on 08454 221503 or email Karen.taylor@glos.nhs.uk.

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-involved-at-the-big-health-check-day! http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/get-involved-at-the-big-health-check-day! Fri, 25 Mar 11 16:13:11 +0000
    New Non-Executive Directors work 2gether

    2gether NHS Foundation has appointed two new Non-Executives.

    Charlotte Hitchings has been a senior manager in large organisations for more than 20 years. She has held roles within marketing, business development, product development and community investment.

    Richard Szadziewski has held Finance Director roles in seven public sector organisations and was Director of Corporate Services in South Gloucestershire Council.

    Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘I’m very pleased to welcome Charlotte and Richard to the Trust This is an important and challenging time for us and their community involvement, commercial and financial experience will help strengthen our already strong Board.

    “I look forward to working with them so that their contributions make sure that we continue to deliver high quality, local mental health services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.’

    Charlotte said of her appointment: ‘I am very pleased to be joining 2gether and look forward to contributing to the work of the Trust. I am particularly keen that we continue to focus on the delivery of services and facilities that are responsive to people’s needs during a time of significant change in the NHS.’

    Richard said: ‘I am delighted to join the Board of the Trust. I have been impressed by the energy of everyone in the Trust to provide the best quality services for service users, carers and the taxpayer. I am confident that we can work together as a Board to ensure we provide the best possible services with our partners in what will be an unprecedented and difficult financial climate for essential public services.’

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust is public benefit corporation. Members of the public, service users, staff and partner organisations can influence the strategic planning of the organisation by being a member and standing for election to the Council of Governors.

    To be a member you must live in England and be over 11 years old. To join, please complete the online form at www.2gether.nhs.uk/membership-form or call Anna Hilditch on 01452 891165.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-work-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-non-executive-directors-work-2gether Thu, 24 Mar 11 15:56:26 +0000
    2gether drum up support for Comic Relief

    More than 30 hospital staff and inpatients drummed up support for Comic Relief earlier today by taking part in an enthusiastic and therapeutic drumming session.

    The Trust’s Occupational Therapy team organised the special Red Nose Day drumming session at 2gether’s Wotton Lawn hospital in Gloucester.

    Therapeutic Drum Circle sessions are now held regularly in the hospital’s gym to help the recovery of inpatients with mental health problems – and staff seized the chance to enjoy the benefits too.

    Jayne Robinson, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to see so many staff taking part in the Drum Circle and it was a great way to kick off our Red Nose Day fundraising activities at Wotton Lawn.

    Research shows that drum therapy can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote overall emotional and physical wellbeing. Drumming sessions in the workplace have also shown to improve mood by 46%, rising to over 60% six weeks after the session1.

    One in four people experience mental health issues at some stage in their lives and the Drum Circle is just one of the many therapeutic activities used by the trust to raise patient’s self esteem, increase confidence and promote long term mental wellbeing.

    Comic Relief has given £4 million to the national Time to Change campaign, which aims to raise awareness of mental health problems in England and tackle the stigma, discrimination and social exclusion that exists.

    “We’re so glad Comic Relief has a focus on mental illness because it is one of society’s last taboos. It is so often the subject of stigma and discrimination,” added Jayne. “We are always looking for new ways to help our service users and the Drum Circle has proved very popular and successful. It was great to see staff enjoying the benefits too.”

    You can join the trust free and show your support for people facing stigma and social exclusion locally, by clicking here.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-drum-up-support-for-comic-relief http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-drum-up-support-for-comic-relief Fri, 18 Mar 11 16:20:51 +0000
    2gether lead the way with smoke free support group for everyone

    2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Honeybourne Recovery Unit, Cheltenham, is the first unit to set up and run a support group for residents, carers and members of staff. The Group offers help and advice on how to become smoke free.

     

    Facilitated by Annette Edmunds Smoking Cessation Clinical Specialist from Gloucestershire Stop Smoking Service, a nurse specifically trained in the area of going smoke free. The group meets every Wednesday from 10am – 12 noon and provides a sharing and educative environment with an emphasis on health promotion in an encouraging atmosphere. Annette provides information and support. She also provides vouchers for Nicotine Replacement Therapy appropriate for the individual.

     

    Annette Edmunds, facilitator of the group, said: ‘This is the only group that I facilitate which is available to everyone in contact with the unit.  To me this is a brilliant idea as everyone needs help and support when making the decision to give up smoking. To have this available from the people you spend the most time with and who can understand what you’re going through just makes sense.

     

    The group is currently attended by and open to residents, clinical and non clinical staff, carers of residents and volunteers who want to find out more about quitting smoking and the different resources available to help them achieve this.  Between each meeting there are also opportunities for residents to meet up with staff to provide 1:1 additional support when needed.

     

     Annette continued: "Research has shown that people with mental health problems tend to smoke heavily and therefore suffer physical ill health at an early age. Staff actively encourage and promote the different resources available to services users to help them give up smoking and lead a healthy lifestyle, so why shouldn’t these be available to staff as well.

     

    "I think the reason the Honeybourne group works so well is that regardless of whether you are a service user, a member of staff or a carer everyone is equal in the group and as a result the working and professional relationships between service users, staff and carers have benefited."

     

    2gether are currently providing information, smoke free champions and support to all members of staff across all of its sites on the resources available to help them quit smoking.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-lead-the-way-with-smoke-free-support-group-for-everyone http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-lead-the-way-with-smoke-free-support-group-for-everyone Tue, 08 Mar 11 18:49:55 +0000
    Join us at our Board Listening Event - 22 March

    Click to enlarge

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-our-board-listening-event---22-march http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/join-us-at-our-board-listening-event---22-march Wed, 02 Mar 11 14:58:57 +0000
    New Adult Eating Disorders Service for Gloucestershire

    A new Day treatment Eating Disorders service for people living with an Eating Disorder in Gloucestershire is being launched by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

    The new Adult Day Treatment Team, which opens on 28 February 2011, will provide county-wide support, individual therapy and support during meal time to help people living with an Eating Disorder. The team will also provide group therapy for family members and carers.

    The new Day Treatment Service enhances 2gether’s existing Eating Disorder services which in August launched an intensive Home treatment Service for children and adolescents with an eating disorder.

    Ian Milsom, Senior Clinician in the new Day Treatment Service said: “The aim of our new Eating Disorders Service is to ensure people are identified as early as possible and are helped to recover in the community with their friends and family around them.
    It provides extra help close to home reducing the need for out of county hospital admission which can cause disruption to service users and their family’s lives. Where appropriate, intensive therapy is provided to help facilitate recovery. Our aim is to ensure people living with an eating disorder are able to lead a normal life again.”

    The Day Treatment Service will offer support to service users, their families and carers at the Brownhills Centre, Cheltenham between 10am and 6:30pm weekdays.

    Ian continued: "It can often take a long time for people with eating disorders to accept or even recognise there may be a problem. Treatment and support is often required over a period of months and years. This is why a high quality community-based service is essential.”

    Referrals into the new service is through a family GP. People can also call the service direct and working with the GP, the Eating Disorder team will work with you to determine the most appropriate service for your needs.

    The new service also runs support groups for people affected by eating disorders where clinicians from the Eating Disorders Service are on hand to help and offer advice and will answer any questions and provide helpful information about topics as they arise.

    The adults and carers support group meet alternate Tuesdays 7.30pm – 9.00pm
    The adolescents and carers support group meet alternate Thursdays 7.30pm – 9.00pm

    To join either of the groups and for meeting dates please call 01242 634 242.

    For more information about eating disorders please click here.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-adult-eating-disorders-service-for-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-adult-eating-disorders-service-for-gloucestershire Tue, 22 Feb 11 09:22:51 +0000
    2gether support Heart of Gloucestershire Awards 2011
    2
    gether NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to announce that they are supporting the 2011 Heart of Gloucestershire Awards.

    Supporting the Community Project Award for a second year, Gavin Davies, Assistant Director of Communications said: “We are delighted to be part of the awards and to again support the Community Project Award.”

    “There are so many great examples of inspirational projects that are making life better for people across Gloucestershire, like last year’s winner, Chris Evans, of the Butterfly Garden Project.”

    “His skills, enthusiasm and dedication have successfully engaged volunteers and created a therapeutic environment where people enjoy meeting up with friends and have the opportunity to learn new skills to perhaps change their life completely.”

    The Heart of Gloucestershire Awards honours individuals who make a real difference to people’s lives and deserve recognition.  They celebrate the unsung heroes of the county.

    Chris Evans, of the Butterfly Garden, deservedly won last year’s Community Project Award   said: “The award provided a springboard for the raising of public awareness in a very big way,”

    “From total anonymity we found ourselves being a recognised organisation with people coming to us to volunteer their time or helping out in other ways by donating gifts or money.”

    The Butterfly Garden is based at Dundry Garden Centre and help people with any kind of disability enjoy activities ranging from gardening and woodwork to music.

    The project had run under the radar until this time last year when Chris was nominated for the Community Project Award.

    For more information on the Butterfly Garden project, call 01452 713 068 or visit http://www.thebutterflygarden.org/

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-support-heart-of-gloucestershire-awards-2011 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-support-heart-of-gloucestershire-awards-2011 Thu, 17 Feb 11 17:41:29 +0000
    Herefordshire plans world-class mental health service

    NHS Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council are set to appoint a specialist trust to provide mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services to people in Herefordshire.

    Following a competitive tendering process, that started in July 2009 and attracted interest from organisations across England, the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) is awarded preferred bidder status. The trust is the main provider of mental and social healthcare in neighbouring Gloucestershire and will begin providing services in Herefordshire from 1 April 2011.

    “We want to ensure that local people receive a modern, accessible, world-class service which is designed around their needs and their families now and in the future”, said Chris Bull, chief executive of Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire. “We are confident that people will receive the best possible care that we can commission and will have an increased choice and voice in how services are planned and delivered”.

    Shaun Clee, 2gether’s chief executive, added: “We are delighted and very much look forward to working with our colleagues in Herefordshire and we are committed to providing local services. Our plans build on the already strong services that exist across Herefordshire and include additional approaches and technologies to help enhance patient care and treatment. Our aim is to deliver the same high quality care and standards that we would expect for a member of our own family.”

    The move, which supports a national commitment to separate how health services are commissioned and provided, is subject to contract negotiations and the approval of the NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel.

    The trust was one of the first mental health trusts to received foundation trust status in 2007 and is at the cutting edge of the government's commitment to the decentralisation of public services and the creation of a patient-led NHS that is more responsive to the needs and wishes of local people. Soon after the new service becomes operation, 2gether will invite the people of Herefordshire to join the foundation trust as members to help shape services and ensure local involvement and accountability.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-plans-world-class-mental-health-service http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/herefordshire-plans-world-class-mental-health-service Mon, 07 Feb 11 17:15:50 +0000
    Lets Talk and get ready to stress down

    Stress is something we all encounter in our day to day lives but you don’t have to suffer alone.

    That is the message from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Let’s Talk service.

    It is important that you recognise when you are under stress and that it may be harmful. Most of us recognise the symptoms of stress as feeling anxious, worrying more than usual, not being able to concentrate, and not sleeping well but we don't always take our feelings of stress that seriously, assuming either that it is part and parcel of life or that it will pass.

    To help people struggling with stress, anxiety or depression in Gloucestershire 2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides a Let’s Talk service for people across the county.

    Let’s Talk is Gloucestershire’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service and offers information, guidance and talking therapy for people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

    Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, Clinical Lead for the IAPT service, said: “Let’s Talk is all about getting help early and quickly. You are not alone if you are struggling with anxiety or depression – one in four of us will experience these problems at any one time.

    “We all go through difficult times and sometimes our problems can start to affect our day to day lives. You may find yourself crying a lot, getting snappy, not being able to concentrate or avoiding things you used to find easy. You may find it difficult to work or take no pleasure from everyday activities.

    “It is important to recognise early signs that you are not yourself and seek help. Talking therapies can help you feel more positive and in control.”

    Anyone over 18 years old with depression and/or anxiety disorders and living in Gloucestershire, can access Let’s Talk. This may include panic attacks, agoraphobia or other phobias, feeling overly anxious or stressed about being in social situations or about your health. You may think you need some help to cope after a traumatic event or that you have recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviours (compulsions).

    The service delivers National Institute Clinical Excellence (NICE) compliant interventions, primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Information and low intensity guidance is offered over the phone, via home computer or through attendance at a local college course.

    Reading material is available through libraries and the Let’s Talk website http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/ and you can now download a unique mobile app to monitor your mood – the Moodometer.

    Service users can be referred by their GPs or refer themselves to Let’s Talk on 0800 073 2200. You can access the service by:

      • Talking with your GP or another primary healthcare professional such as a practice nurse, district nurse, health visitor or midwife
      • Telephoning 0800 073 2200, 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Friday. Please have your NHS Number ready when you call
      • Logging on to http://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/
      • Writing to: Let’s Talk IAPT Services, 121-131 Eastgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1PX
      • The Moodometer can be downloaded free of charge from the AppStore

    Why not take the first step and access the Let’s Talk service on this year’s Stress down Day on 4 February 2011.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/lets-talk-and-get-ready-to-stress-down http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/lets-talk-and-get-ready-to-stress-down Mon, 07 Feb 11 17:11:19 +0000
    2gether sign up to Get it Right for people with a learning disability 2gether NHS Foundation Trust has signed up to Mencap’s ‘Getting it Right’ charter to show their commitment to ensuring that people with a learning disability get the healthcare they have a right to.

    By signing up to the nine-point charter, 2gether is pledging to improve health services for people with a learning disability, including support in hospitals, access to an annual health check, awareness training for staff, providing accessible information and treating patients with dignity and respect.

    Alongside the nine point charter Mencap will give 2gether practical guidance and advice on any adjustments that could be made to working practices when treating someone with a learning disability to ensure fair and equal healthcare.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust said: “By signing up to the Mencap charter we are showing a real commitment to improving local services for people with learning disabilities.

    “We are working hard to help ensure people with learning disabilities across Gloucestershire have access to high quality healthcare.” 

    The Trust has developed a countywide ‘Traffic Light Assessment’ scheme and we continue to work with our partner organisations to provide specialist learning disability awareness training to both improve individual care and help ensure people with learning disabilities have appropriate access to mainstream services.

    2gether’s dedicated and award winning learning disability community support team are enhancing the way services are delivered within the home.

    Shaun Clee continued: “Signing the charter highlights our commitment to continue this work to ensure people with a learning disability are heard and their views listened to as we plan services to meet their future healthcare needs.” 

    David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy, said: “Our charter sets out a standard of practice and will make health trusts accountable to people with a learning disability, their families and carers. We welcome 2gether’s commitment to constantly strive to uphold these standards and help end indifference in the NHS.”

    For more information on the Getting it Right campaign and charter, and to show your support visit: www.mencap.org.uk/gettingitright  

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-sign-up-to-get-it-right-for-people-with-a-learning-disability http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-sign-up-to-get-it-right-for-people-with-a-learning-disability Thu, 09 Dec 10 15:12:20 +0000
    New Mood App to help the people of Gloucestershire  

     

     

    In a first for the UK and in mental health, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust have released the first version of a new, innovative and unique mobile app that everyone can download for free and use to monitor their mood – the Moodometer.

    Emotional wellbeing is as important as our physical health and the more we are aware of how we feel - be it happy or sad - the more we can start to take control of our own health.

    The Moodometer app is discrete and enables user to:

              • Rate their mood using mood icons
              • Record comments in a confidential mood diary
              • Receive instant top tips
              • Access self help information
              • Track their mood through weekly and monthly interactive mood graphs
              • View how people are feeling nationally and locally to them

    If you’re feeling down for longer periods, the app gives you options on how and where to get further help. For users of the app within the Gloucestershire region these include access to short films and questionnaires on the Trust’s Let’s Talk website and more direct help from 2gether’s Let’s Talk NHS therapists. For users outside the region they will be directed to national help from organisations like the Samaritans.

    The emphasis on directing people to self help information encourages early intervention. This can help reduce the risk of more serious mental illness in the future.

    To help ensure that the app meets the needs of our communities, the Moodometer was developed with the Trust’s Children’s Board from Action for Children and our Let’s Talk - Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service.

    With millions of people updating Twitter and Facebook statuses with their feelings and moods everyday, the Moodometer allows the people of Gloucestershire to do the same but on a more personal level.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether said: “We use technology to give our communities greater choice and more ways to access information and local NHS and national services. The app can help us know ourselves better so we can then decide how to take control of our own emotional wellbeing”.

    Technology is part of everybody’s life and more and more people are going online for health information. Last year alone there were over 100 million visits to the NHS Choices website. The development and availability of apps is the natural next step of the technology evolution.

    2gether’s Moodometer is leading the way by giving people the information they want and need at a time and place suitable for them. In the first week of release, hundreds of people have already downloaded the application and are saying how it will help them.

    An important function of the app is how it can help tackle the stigma that so often surrounds mental health. This is an important area of work for the Trust and we have worked closely with Time to Change, the national mental health anti stigma campaign, to promote understanding both locally and nationally.

    Sue Baker, Director of the national mental health anti stigma campaign Time to Change said: “Measuring and tracking our mood each day can help us to understand the causes of our highs and lows and aid our emotional wellbeing. By sharing this information with an online community, other people can help us to feel supported through the bad days.

    Mental health discrimination is a huge problem throughout society, with nine out of 10 people who experience mental health problems saying that stigma is one of the biggest barriers to recovery, wellbeing and being able to lead an active life.”

    The application is available to download free of charge on the App Store for the iPhone and iPod. The Trust will develop the application on other mobile platforms if the current version proves popular.

    2gether hopes that other mental health trusts will see the benefit of the application and want to use the technical infrastructure already in place that supports the app and signpost users, according to their location, to Trust specific local NHS therapists and services.

    You can download the app and view the on-line Moodometer by clicking here.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-mood-app-to-help-the-people-of-gloucestershire http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-mood-app-to-help-the-people-of-gloucestershire Wed, 01 Dec 10 14:46:47 +0000
    NHS Staff and Volunteers Celebrate Outstanding Achievements

    Outstanding achievements of NHS staff and the dedicated work of volunteers were recognised in a ceremony held in Cheltenham on Friday, 22 October.

    The 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s (2gether) Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCA) ceremony celebrates dedicated and loyal work within our county’s NHS mental and social healthcare services.  The event was attended by 150 staff, volunteers, service users and carers.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether said: “This is our fourth annual ROSCAs – our way of highlighting the very best in innovation, compassion and continued contribution of service users, volunteers and staff within Gloucestershire’s NHS mental health and learning disability services.

    He continued: “All nominees demonstrate one or more of our values in action.  Either seeing things from a service user perspective, excelling and improving, being valuing and respectful of others or responsive in the services we provide.”

    The winners were:

    Unsung Hero – Fred Neville

    Valuing Diversity – Forest of Dean Community Learning Disability Team

    Clinical Team of the Year – Honeybourne Recovery Inpatient Unit

    Service Users and Carers Choice – Gemma Piper-Griffiths

    Carer and Service Involvement – Service Users in Recruitment Team

    Non-Clinical Team of the Year – Older People Service Community Secretarial Team

    CEO Award for Innovation – Intensive Health Outreach Team

    Best Supporting Manager – Jo Denney, Better2Work Vocational Service

    Best Supporting Colleague – Nicky Partridge, Learning Disability Service

    The Forest of Dean Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT) were nominated as forerunners in advocating for people with learning disabilities to have meaningful and fulfilling employment opportunities.

    Ree Jefferies, Community Services Team Leader CLDT said: “The team are thrilled. The award is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the fantastic work that people with a learning disability can bring to a team, which then reflects into the community as a whole.”

    Jo Denney, Better2Work Vocational Service Team Manager won the Best Supporting Manager.  Jo said: “I’m delighted. Being in work can help people regain independence and learn key skills. Our service is successful because of the support of both small and large local organisations such as GlosMedia who appreciate the benefits of a diverse workplace.  I’d like to thank them for their continued support.” 

    2gether’s Inpatient Recovery Units were recognised in two awards: shortlisted for the Carer and Service User Involvement Award; and the Honeybourne team who won the Clinical Team of the Year Award.

    Honeybourne were nominated for providing a caring, non-judgemental environment where staff go above and beyond normal expectations to help recovery and rehabilitation.

    Helen Elliott, Matron of the Trust’s Recovery Units said:

    “What makes the award for our Honeybourne team so special is that they are recognised for their exceptional efforts by their own service users and carers.”

    Helen continued: “We have a fantastic team working across the county within the community recovery inpatient units.  Our continued goal is to make a real difference to our service users and carers and we continue to work hard, ensuring that service users and carers are involved in their care and at the heart of our decisions.”

    Fred Neville was announced as this year’s Unsung Hero for his unwavering volunteer work, helping to organise events and activities for people living with dementia.

    On the night, a total of 34 people were also recognised for 20 or 30 years dedicated service within the NHS.

    Shaun Clee Continued: “We have amazing staff and this year we had more nominations than ever from both staff and the public.  It is fantastic to have the opportunity to recognise truly outstanding contributions.  It is through our colleagues and volunteers that we are all able to make a continued difference in how we care and support services our users and carers.”

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-staff-and-volunteers-celebrate-outstanding-achievements- http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/nhs-staff-and-volunteers-celebrate-outstanding-achievements- Thu, 04 Nov 10 15:40:13 +0000
    Celebrating World Mental Health Day 2gether

    Get 2gether in Gloucestershire and celebrate World Mental Health Day.

    That was the invitation from the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust which provides mental health and learning disability services in Gloucestershire.

    World Mental Health Day is held annually on 10th October and the Trust’s Making Life Better campaign visited King’s Square, Gloucester to raise awareness of mental wellbeing; and the need to challenge the discrimination so often associated with mental ill health.

    A Rethink survey shows that 9 out of 10 people with a mental health condition are affected everyday by stigma.

    Dr Jane Melton, Director of Social Inclusion, said “We were confident that the people of Gloucestershire would get behind our campaign and show their support for the people in our communities who regularly face discrimination. They did and the day was a great success.”

    Mental ill health is extremely common. In fact 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some stage in life. Campaign staff were on hand to answer questions and provide information on how to access mental health services.

    Dr Melton continued: “We seek to promote greater public awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing and mental illness throughout the year. One way of showing support is to become a member of the Trust and in doing so, also help shape local NHS services.

    If how you feel is affecting your life, speak with your GP. You can also find further information and support by visiting www.talk2gether.nhs.uk.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/celebrating-world-mental-health-day-2gether http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/celebrating-world-mental-health-day-2gether Mon, 25 Oct 10 12:05:40 +0000
    2gether Trust signs up Cheltenham Robins stars

    Cheltenham Town Football Club players Danny Andrew and Jeff Goulding will be tackling stigma, not opponents, when they support the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust by signing as Public Members on Tuesday 12th October.

    The two local heroes are getting behind the Time to Get Moving campaign by pledging support to 2gether, the NHS provider of mental health and care services across Gloucestershire. The Time to Get Moving campaign promotes wellbeing by encouraging people with and without experience of mental health issues to get active together. Through this, exercise can be used to break down social barriers and stigma. Physical activity is also a great way to improve and protect your mental wellbeing as it releases endorphins, relieves stress and gives the opportunity to socialise with others.

    Ros Taylor, Public Governor for Cheltenham and Chair of the 2gether Membership Committee said: “One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, this makes it everybody’s business. We want to promote a society where a mental health condition is seen as an illness like any other. By joining 2gether as a Public Member you can demonstrate your support to remove stigma.”

    2gether has Foundation Trust Status meaning it is accountable to local people rather than central government. Public Membership of the Trust gives residents across Gloucestershire the chance to influence local NHS Services, pledge support and make a real difference to people with mental health services.

    Membership is completely free and open to anyone living in Gloucestershire over the age of 16. Members can choose how much or how little to be involved from standing as a Public Governor, to feeding back on services or showing simply showing support by signing up.

    For more information and to become a member of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust click here.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-trust-signs-up-cheltenham-robins-stars http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-trust-signs-up-cheltenham-robins-stars Mon, 25 Oct 10 11:49:15 +0000
    Gloucestershires new state-of-the-art hospital for older people

    A £6.8m revamp on a state-of-the-art mental health hospital in Cheltenham have now been completed.

    Charlton Lane Hospital offers modern and class leading assessment and treatment for older people with mental health problems and dementia.

    The hospital helps patients spent less time in hospital and more time with their carers and loved ones. Supported by the Trust’s community team, this helps ensure that patients are cared for in familiar surroundings.

    For those who need greater help, the new hospital provides a high quality environment and specialist assessment and treatment. Every room is single occupancy and en-suite.

    There is a day area on each ward and a gender specific living room to help ensure the dignity and privacy of patients.

    Each ward has access to two garden areas, in addition to wider grounds. We have preserved the Kings Fund gardens, a collaboration between patients and staff and designed new areas to provide a choice of outdoor space for those in our care.

    Support services manager Janie Tucker said: “Patients have felt more at home. They have loved the airy, light conditions and they love their bedrooms.

    “Relatives have been impressed with the modern technology. They say it’s like walking into a hotel, with the same welcoming feel.”
    In consideration of the specialist needs of patients, specific wards are provided for patients with organic illnesses including dementia and those with functional mental health conditions.

    The hospital also benefits from the latest technology, with pressure mats in beds which trigger bedroom and bathroom lights to come on in the night when the patient gets out of bed.

    Matron manager Jez Leat said: “This is the first time we have used this type of equipment in an acute setting. We have tried to take advantage of some of the technologies out there.

    “When people have dementia they can start losing their perceptions of colour. The rooms are decorated differently so people can identify them more easily.

    “On the outside of each bedroom there is also a memory box which patients can put photographs or mementos in to help them identify their room.”

    Mr Leat said: “We had these facilities are much more modern and we are able to carry out a better assessment. All the rooms have been specially designed for their purpose.”

    Patients who were treated at Weavers Croft and Colliers Court are now either supported by the Trust’s community team or receive specialist care in Holly House or elsewhere at the Charlton Lane site.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershires-new-state-of-the-art-hospital-for-older-people http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershires-new-state-of-the-art-hospital-for-older-people Mon, 25 Oct 10 11:38:46 +0000
    Living Well Handbook launched for people in Gloucestershire living with dementia

    Making life easier for people living with dementia in Gloucestershire and those who care for them is the aim of an innovative new project.

    The Living Well Handbook has been developed to allow people living with dementia to communicate their likes, dislikes, medical and lifestyle needs to carers and healthcare staff.

    Containing everything from personal details to current prescriptions, it can be accessed by the different services and professionals who provide care and support, including Community Dementia Nurses, Dementia Advisors, domiciliary care staff and primary care teams.

    It also provides essential information for carers at a time when it’s most needed, this can be anything from advice on council tax benefits to end of life care planning.

    The book can develop with the person as their needs change and their condition progresses, so if their communication skills become impaired, their wishes and needs which have been outlined in the booklet can still be found.

    Designed and developed by NHS Gloucestershire in collaboration with an individual who has dementia and his carer, the Alzheimer’s Society and various other community partners the Living Well Handbook will be rolled out this autumn.

    Jill Crook, NHS Gloucestershire’s Director for Clinical Development and Engagement, said the handbook will prove invaluable for patients and staff.

    She said: “It’s about making life as easy as possible for people living with dementia and those who care for them.
    “Dementia care in Gloucestershire remains a priority with health and voluntary services working together to provide high quality care for local people.

    “By providing a single document where all these services can find out about the individual they are treating we can provide truly personal care right down to whether they prefer tea or coffee or what name they prefer to be called, little details which can mean a lot to people.

    “NHS Gloucestershire is committed to providing care closer to home and projects such as the Living Well Handbook can help those with dementia stay at home for longer.”

    Kathy Holmes, Project lead for Managing Memory 2gether at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Living Well Handbook is a great example of how by working with people with dementia and their carers we can develop material and information that can be beneficial to them now and in the future to help people to live well with dementia.’

    Vanessa Roberts, Lead Nurse Manager for Old Age Medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the handbook would provide an invaluable tool for staff.

    She said: “For the Hospitals Trust, the book will enable us to engage with the patient and their carers in an informed way. We will be able to identify the needs of the patient more accurately.

    “The Living Well handbook will also help us provide the care the patient wants by encouraging and supporting the participation of patients, their family and carers. Our knowledge and understanding of each patient will be enhanced by this new initiative.”

    You can request a copy of the Living Well Handbook from our Managing Memory 2gether service by calling 0800 694 8800.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/living-well-handbook-launched-for-people-in-gloucestershire-living-with-dementia http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/living-well-handbook-launched-for-people-in-gloucestershire-living-with-dementia Mon, 25 Oct 10 11:25:10 +0000
    New Eating Disorders Support Group

    There is a new support group for young people with an eating disorder and their families. The Gloucestershire Eating Disorders Team is starting the group to bring people together to share experiences. This will give additional support for them to understand, live with and overcome an eating disorder.

    Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and atypical eating disorders affect up to 6% of young women. But they can also occur in men, children and older women. It is estimated that approximately 4,700 people in Gloucestershire could be currently affected.

    When someone in a family experiences difficulties with an eating disorder it impacts on the whole family. The new support group is open to the whole family and particularly welcomes siblings to come along.

    Vanessa Fray-Smith, Senior Nurse Clinician within the team said: “We provide a family-centred approach. When a young person is ill this can have knock on effects to relationships within their whole family. We try to erase any blame culture, and provide the opportunity for open communication”.

    People do not choose to have an eating disorder; it is a mental health issue with physical consequences. Someone can become over concerned with body shape and weight, but have underlying problems of low self esteem. An eating disorder can last for a long time but tends not to go away without help.

    The support group is run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and is for people aged 18 and under, their family and friends. The group will give support and information and bring people with similar experiences together. Clinicians from the Eating Disorders Team will be on hand to answer any questions and provide useful information. The group will run on a drop-in basis so that people can attend as they want to and do not have to commit to come every time.

    Families across Gloucestershire are welcome to join the group. The group meets fortnightly on Thursday evenings at the University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Campus. The first meeting took place on Thursday 16th of September from 7:30pm till 9:00pm. For more information and to join the group please contact the Eating Disorders Support Team on 01242 634242.

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-eating-disorders-support-group http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-eating-disorders-support-group Wed, 22 Sep 10 11:52:13 +0000
    New acute patient facility among the best in the world

    2gether's new acute mental health hospital was officially opened in Gloucestershire on Monday 5 July and is already being described as one of the best in the world.

    The state of art Psychiatric Intensive Care Inpatient Unit (PICU) is a £3M investment for Gloucestershire and is the result of five years dedicated planning and build work.

    The unit, on the Wotton Lawn Hospital site in Gloucester, was named Greyfriars when it was officially opened by Lady Elwes, former Non Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and former Chair of the Gloucestershire Ambulance NHS Trust.

    The centre provides care and treatment for people whose safe management and treatment is not possible on an open acute ward.  It has 10 individual bedrooms with en-suite facilities within a building that uses the very latest technology in green building design including solar power, rainwater harvesting and wind catchers.

    The innovations help to reduce running costs through better use of natural light and ventilation and therefore less energy consumption from lighting and air conditioning.

    Following feedback to the Trust from our service users, the facility includes new technologies developed by the 2gether Trust for use in psychiatric care, including computer assisted security and infrared technology.

    Other features include a state of the art effects area using LED lighting, artwork and music to produce therapeutic effects.  There is also a fitted games room which includes; exercise equipment and a variety of audio visual technology.  The building has already been nominated for several public building awards.

    Lady Elwes is pictured above (left) with Baroness Fritchie DBE, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust Chair 

     

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-acute-patient-facility-among-the-best-in-the-world123 http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/new-acute-patient-facility-among-the-best-in-the-world123 Mon, 13 Sep 10 15:54:14 +0000
    2gether Support Samaritans
    Supporting suicide prevention 2gether

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust today joined dedicated Samaritans volunteers to officially open the charity’s refurbished Gloucester city branch.

    Samaritans provide confidential and emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide.

    The charity based at Park End Road, Gloucester GL1 5AT has provided a valuable service to the people of Gloucestershire and surrounding areas for over 20 years. It receives more than 36,000 telephone calls and face-to-face contacts each year and currently has more than 100 volunteers that provide free emotional support for 2-3 hours per week.

    Shaun said: “Working alongside volunteer groups such as the Samaritans is absolutely key to helping improve people’s emotional health and reduce the risk of suicide across Gloucestershire. It is an integral part of our county’s Suicide Prevention Strategy and I was honoured to participate in the opening ceremony.

    Nigel, a volunteer at Samaritans Gloucester and District, said: “The new surroundings are comfortable, professional and have dedicated visitor rooms and a new call centre area.

    “It helps improve the working environment for our volunteers and will provide better surroundings for us to deliver support to the people who use our services.”

    Shaun continued: “All branches of The Samaritans are set up as their own individual charity so refurbishing the centre has taken a lot of hard work and commitment. It is a real achievement for everyone involved.

    2gether will continue to work with organisations across Gloucestershire to raise awareness of emotional wellbeing.”

     

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-support-samaritans http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/2gether-support-samaritans Mon, 13 Sep 10 15:49:32 +0000
    Gloucestershire's Children and Young People Service launched

    On Thursday 21 July 2011, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and their partners, children’s charity Action for Children, Oxfordshire Health and The Priory Group launched the new Children and Young Peoples Service (CYPS) to help improve the emotional wellbeing of young people in Gloucestershire.

    Attended by colleagues from across the health service, the council and head teachers from local schools, 2gether introduced and explained the new service, how it has been designed and their hopes and ambitions for what the service will provide to children, young people and their families throughout Gloucestershire.

    Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of 2gether explained that “The CYP Service will use an innovative and creative approach to help improve the emotional wellbeing of children and young people across Gloucestershire.  Working in partnership with children and their families the service will help find solutions that will improve their emotional health, wellbeing and help create a positive and productive future for all.”

    Working collaboratively with Action for Children CYPS will provide a more intensive and enhanced level of service reducing the need for hospital admission, or facilitate earlier supported discharge of service users.  There will be a dedicated participation worker from Action for Children whose role is to empower the children and young people who use the CYP Service.

    Mark Kingston, Group Manager at Action for Children said “We are delighted to be working with 2gether to ensure that children and young people in Gloucestershire, and their families can access a service that is community based, solution focused, recognises the strengths of children and young people and has not only been developed but will be delivered by actively involving the service user.

    “We hope that this approach will enable the children and young people of Gloucestershire to access a service they may not otherwise have done so.”

    Also in attendance at the launch were the joint commissioners of the new service, Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire. 

    Helen Ford, Commissioning Manager for children, young people and maternity services, NHS Gloucestershire, said "NHS Gloucestershire, in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council and key stakeholders, has developed a clear vision for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing services. We believe the new service will, amongst other things, allow for early assessment and intervention to help prevent children and young people having more serious difficulties and, where appropriate, provide those who need more specialist help with care within or as close to home as possible, reducing the need for in-patient beds.  It will also prioritise provision for vulnerable children and young people in line with local priorities, providing a more joined up approach.

    "By having 2gether as the lead provider we can ensure that the young person's care is holistic and as smooth as possible."

    Shaun Clee closed the launch with the following statement to all in attendance, “Gloucestershire’s children, young people and their families deserve great services…It is up to all of us here today to work hard at sustaining productive partnerships and collectively move these from good to great.  Our children and young people deserve nothing less.”

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    http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershires-children-and-young-people-service-launched http://www.2gether.nhs.uk/gloucestershires-children-and-young-people-service-launched Mon, 13 Sep 10 15:43:03 +0000