Hertfordshire Community Pharmacy Opening Times- Easter


In preparation for Easter weekend East and North and Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Groups have shared the opening hours for Community Pharmacy.

Please click the links for both sides of the county:

East and North Herts

Herts Valley

Scroll through to see timetable for the Good Friday 19th April, Sunday 21st April and Easter Monday 22nd April.

 Any questions please let us know and we will put you in touch with the appropriate professional.

 This message has been sent from HCPA to support care providers in being aware what is happening across the health and social care system)




CPS Thames and Chiltern Recruiting Volunteers


Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Thames and Chiltern Recruiting Volunteers to Join Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel

Are you situated in any of the following counties?

Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire or Oxfordshire? Are you interested in making a difference to your community? Do you have a passion for fairness and justice?

Do you represent any of these communities: Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME), Disabled, Faith, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), Older People, Women, Young People? Would you like to help us improve the way that we deliver our prosecution services? Do you have some time, experience and knowledge that would support our business in dealing with crime and disorder? Then apply to join the CPS Thames and Chiltern Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel

For more details please click this link

Spectrum (CGL) Now on Care Opinion

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Tell us and others about your experience of our services on CareOpinion.org.uk!

Care Opinion is a place where you can share your experience of health or care services, and help make them better for everyone.

They will read your story and show it on their website. It’s totally anonymous and no confidential information will be shared.

Your story might be about you, or someone close to you. You can say what happened, what was good, and what could have been better.

Care Opinion tells us when you post a story so a staff member at Spectrum CGL can let you know what changes we will make in response to your feedback.

Click here to view the poster

NSUN Bulletin Monday 08 April 2019

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Table of Contents


Selected blogs and articles

The Dragon Cafe: Lore of the Land with Horniman Studio Collective

Red Earth Collective presents Revealed and StereoHype

Rain Dance: Break The Silence

Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “The Value of Unity”

User-led Women's Mental Health Network - turn up the volume!

More than 4,000 women with mental health problems to benefit from peer support

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week

Research: Are you interested in physical health in mental health?

Healthwatch survey on the NHS Long Term Plan: What would you do?

Co-produced community general advocacy course

Refocus On Recovery 2019: international conference

In the news

Dates for your calendar

GOV.UK news

Welcome to the Monday 08 April 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin.

This week's edition features lots of creative news from events, theatre productions, concerts, art projects and some great collaborations.

There's also a focus on women's mental health initiatives with the development of the user-led Women's Mental Health Network, announcements from Mind, Agenda, NHS England and UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week coming up at the end of the month. 

If you don't receive this bulletin directly from us but would like to, you can become a member and sign up for it here.

Remember to  email us any news or information that you would like to share.  Previous bulletins can be viewed here.

Donations to NSUN are gratefully received for this free service.

You can donate directly here.

We have a variety of ways you can support NSUN, including a few that will not cost you an extra penny, such as:

Shopping with the Giving Machine

Shopping with Smile Amazon 

The Big Give

NSUN News  

Reigniting the Space

The Reigniting the Space project is led by a group of BME user/survivors, including some of the original steering group members of Catch-a-Fiya, in collaboration with NSUN. The aim is to recreate a national platform for a collective political voice. 

Since the project started in early 2018, a steering group has been set up and regional researchers for the East Midlands and London have been recruited. The researchers will start mapping the current work mental health service users and survivors from racialised groups are involved in around the country.

While welfare cuts and the changes to the benefits system have affected mental health service users across the board, people from racialised groups have been doubly hit by its effects. We hope that this project will reignite the space for collective action, advocacy and influence.


NSUN reflects on the Mental Health Act Review at "After the MHA Review" event

This “After the MHA Review” event was organised by the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit to discuss the research programme which accompanied the Mental Health Act Review.

Researchers from the Policy Research Unit and a number of external speakers, including Dorothy Gould, NSUN's MHA policy lead, reflected on the Mental Health Act review and future research needs. Speakers and delegates also discussed the programme of research conducted by the Policy Research Unit to support the MHA Review.

You can listen to the podcasts, watch the presentations on the live video streaming link and download the slide presentations here.


Co-production guidance and tips

The Win-Win Alliance (Shaping Our Lives, Disability Rights UK, Change and NSUN) have produced some guidance outlining the simple, practical things you can do to provide inclusive and accessible involvement activities. You can read and download the Co-production guidance and tips papers here.


The Value of User Led Groups - 2019 campaign UPDATE

Thank you to all of you who have completed our survey We are now in the process of collating responses and will publish our findings at the end of this month.

 Following yet more announcements of impending closures we were encouraged to learn of a new major project that aims to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations in public services. 

‘ Collaborative work between NCVOACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, will explore how voluntary organisations of different sizes can work better together in bidding for and delivering public services. 

The move follows concern that smaller organisations are being squeezed out of public service delivery, in part by the practices of larger organisations as well as by commissioning and procurement processes. 

There are also concerns that, as a result, smaller organisations are struggling to survive with many facing closure. The project will explore the extent to which this is the case and any drivers behind it by listening to large and small voluntary organisations. 

 The project, known as ‘Rebalancing the Relationship’, will ‘look under the bonnet’ of current bidding and commissioning practices. A call for evidence to be launched in coming weeks will seek views from the sector. This evidence, combined with further desk-based and qualitative research, will form the basis of a research report expected in the autumn.'

 Visit our website for further updates on the campaign.


A short video and the Soap Boxes from our Members' Event in October 2018 is now available. You can also browse our Annual Report 2017-2018 here.

You can view the Principles of Peer Support Charter here.

Selected blogs and articles 

 Hypomanic in Prague, September 1991

 ''As time passes, the events in Prague become distant memories. But, during the cold winter months, my right shoulder seizes up and the dull aching pain reminds me of the imprint left by a wooden truncheon wielded by a Czech policeman.''

 A blog about the importance of being able to challenge what others 'officially' write about you.

 Public Participation in Health and Social Care: Exploring the Co-production of Knowledge

 "My background has particularly encouraged me to adopt an historical perspective and highlighted its benefits in trying to understand participation. There seem to be few such discussions of public participation."

 Peter Beresford identifies four key 'historical' stages in the development of public participation in health and social care.

The Dragon Cafe: Lore of the Land with Horniman Studio Collective 

 Date: Monday 08 April 

Time: 12pm - 8pm

Venue: The Crypt of St George the Martyr Church,  Borough High Street, SE1 1JA

This Monday we have a very special day connecting with the Horniman Museum and Gardens' new exhibition space and engagement programme - The Studio.  The Horniman is working in collaboration with artists and local community partners, in response to its anthropology collections, to create thought-provoking artworks, exhibitions and event programmes.

The Collective is a group of community members involved in local creative support programmes (including our very own Lu Firth and Phil Baird), a commissioned artist and Horniman staff. 
The Collective have collaboratively curated the first Studio exhibition: The Lore of the Land as well as an accompanying events programme . 

Read the full programme of Studio Samples alongside a day of wellbeing activities and ta Folk Music Finale. 

Red Earth Collective presents Revealed and StereoHype 


Revealed - Acclaimed play challenging the ‘strong black man’ stereotype is back by popular demand for its second run after securing Arts Council funding to showcase two performances . 

Date:  Friday 19th April

Time: 2pm - 4.30pm & 7pm - 9.30pm

Venue: Midlands Art Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

Revealed, which debuted with a sell-out show in February 2018, is the first production from the new Menologues platform, founded by The Red Earth Collective, to highlight diverse stories of  the mental well being of  racialised and marginalised men  through the arts. The play is inspired by the worrying fact that black men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental health illness than white men.

 Written by Rites of Passage Productions co-founder Daniel Anderson, the production explores three black men from the same family: Malcolm, a restaurant owner, his son Luther and Malcolm’s father Sidney, who are in the family restaurant  while a violent protest at yet another death in custody rages on the streets. What follows is a passionate unravelling of emotions, where three generations of anger are revealed.

Revealed plans to tour in theatres and community settings across the country to create a social movement where black men are encouraged to talk more openly when in emotional distress.

Media and Tour Contact

If you would like to interview Sandra Griffiths, Daniel Anderson, Jay Crutchley or any of the cast and contributors, contact Sandra Griffiths. 

E: redearth52@gmail.com  Mb: 07745 392 318 Follow #RevealedthePlay 


StereoHype - A one-day festival celebrating mental health and well-being of African and Caribbean Communities. Challenging stigma, inspiring change!

Date:  Saturday 27th April

Time: 12pm - 9pm

Venue: Midlands Art Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

SteroeHype free day time event includes live performances, well-being workshops, African and Caribbean craft market and food and information stalls.

 The evening event from 5.30pm includes:

  • Black Men on the Couch - with Vanley Burke, Godfather of Black British Photography and Award-winning Rapper, Trade Mark Blud in conversation with therapist Rotimi Akinsete explore the dynamic and creative relationship that exist between mental health and the arts.

  • NHS and Me Performance- Renaissance One presents a brand new-show written by internationally renowned Jamaican poet Jean BintaBreeze, featuring music, and spoken-word performances to celebrate 70 years of the NHS and the everyday and hidden stories of its Caribbean staff.

Tickets £10 Concessions £7 here.

Download the flyer here.

Rain Dance: Break The Silence 

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The Sapphire Community Group seeks to help young people (13-30 year olds) find out what they are meant to do in life. They aim to do this through mentoring, coaching, publishing literature, film and media, through multiple events technological development and hosting workshops.

Sapphire is holding its first mental health concert at Chelsea Academy. The event is free. There will be free food, drinks, music, poetry, film, fashion and drama. The showcase is all about breaking mental health stigma and bringing community together. 


Date: Saturday 13 April

Time: 6pm - 10pm

Venue: Chelsea Academy, Lots Road , London , SW10 0AB 

A night of poetry, music, fashion, film, drama, speakers and dance. A night not to be missed.

 CEO Jasmine Cannon--Ikurusi says:

'This is a night like no other. A night where we use the beauty of art to heal wounds. A night where we go deeper and remove every mask that has held us bound from being free. They say that showing emotion is a state of weakness, but I know that there is power in being vulnerable. For years, we have lost our young! Today in the 20th century, we are losing many to the hands of mental health issues. We can no longer sit back and do nothing. It is time we speak up. It is time we heal from our pains. It is time we let go of all the pain. It is time we put to bed every shackle that has held us bound.

This event, is aimed at pushing through the obstacles and dancing in the rain. This event is aimed at not giving a care if anyone is looking at you or calling you weird. The time to be who you are is now. Even in the midst of the storms, we will rise. We will keep fighting. We will keep living. We will keep pushing. We will not be silent. We will speak. We will breakthrough! No more losing the war the mental health issues. This is rain dance.'

 Book tickets here.

Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “The Value of Unity”  

Call for art work

Becky Inkster and Vanessa from Soul Relics Museum are jointly curating the art exhibition for the digital mental health conference, Value of Unity, in the summer, which will feature the work of Dolly Sen.

They are currently seeking proposals for art work to be added to the digital collection for the Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “Unity” is the theme of this summer’s conference, as observed from different stakeholders’ perspectives.

 The theme of the art work will address any of the questions:

  • Digital Psychiatry

  • Ethics, Policy and the Public Sphere

  • Methodologies & Statistics

  • Social Media

  • Global Digital Mental Health, Society and Culture

  • Neuroscience & Biotechnology

  • Financial Health & Technology

Other topics welcomed are themed around isolation, connectedness, intergenerational initiatives etc

Their aims are to acknowledge, understand, and celebrate different perspectives in the field of digital culture of mental health, and to provide a platform for people to showcase their work to an audience from different disciplines. They are keen to embrace any art form that can be exhibited including but not limited to, written word, fine art, digital, music, medical humanities, narrative medicine, installations

Contributors will be invited to the conference social event in the evening. 

Contributions will be featured on the digital mental health conference website and up to 20 artists work will be selected to be exhibited on the actual conference in London in August, 2019.


A proposal or expression of interest of up to 250 words (with photos) of your work, as well as a brief biography and why you think the work fits with the theme of the conference should be sent to art@beckyinkster.com by 11:55pm on 30 April, 2019.

The conference is taking place 13 - 14 August in London.

User-led Women's Mental Health Network - turn up the volume! 

The Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) is the latest project from Wish, a women’s user-led mental health charity.

A partnership of voluntary organisations working across sectors, the WMHN aims to provide a user-led, campaigning platform to give women with mental health needs a voice, and drive forward change.

The network’s focus is to improve women’s experience of using statutory services in a range of settings, such as hospitals, prisons, drugs and alcohol, housing, social services, by influencing them to become more gender-specific.

We are currently consulting with women who have experience of the mental health and/or criminal justice system, to find out what changes in service provision they would like to see.

Please complete the survey to help shape the network.

If you would like this questionnaire to be sent to you in a different format or language please email womensmhnetwork@gmail.com.


Mind Logo.gif

More than 4,000 women with mental health problems to benefit from peer support

'Women across England and Wales will get vital mental health support as part of a major new programme launched by mental health charity Mind and Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk.'

Led by Mind and Agenda, the £1.8m initiative, which is called Women Side by Side, has set up five new hubs (four in England and one in Wales). The hubs, run by women’s organisations, are using their specialist expertise and links to community organisations to make sure all services understand and respond to women’s specific needs, including their experiences of trauma and abuse. It is hoped that women will be able to find community-based peer support set up through around 70 projects.

Read the press release here.

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 29th April until 5th May 2019.

What is it? A week long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness while pregnant or after having a baby. The Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP) are dedicated to signposting to support for all mums and advocating for mums affected by Maternal Mental Health, to access the information and help they require to enable recovery.

 Who is it organised by? In 2014, a small group of 10 individuals including women with lived experience , from charities and health care professionals , came together with the dream of creating an awareness campaign for maternal mental health. They formed and created the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP) and in 2017, falling within the week that World Maternal Mental Health Day ran, they launched the first ever UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week . The second week ran last year, with the theme ‘Support For All’.

This year's theme for the third annual UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week , 29th April until 5th May 2019 , is Mums Matter.

Throughout the week, they will be using  the hashtag #maternalmhmatters on social media.

 You can find out more on the PMHP Facebook page.

Research: Are you interested in physical health in mental health?  

CARDIOPHITNESS: Cardiometabolic health and Pharmacists in Severe Mental Illness study 

 An opportunity has arisen to share experiences of physical healthcare (and pharmacy) through Aston University and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

  • Do you have a severe mental illness (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder or any other form of non-organic psychosis) or are you a carer or care professional providing care for someone with a severe mental illness?

  • Would you like to share your views and opinions on physical activity, smoking, nutrition, heart disease, diabetes, obesity/overweight and what pharmacy  and pharmacists can do to help?

If so, please contact Dolly Sud at sudd@aston.ac.uk for more information.

Healthwatch survey on the NHS Long Term Plan: What would you do? 

Healthwatch wants to know what you think the NHS can do to help you and your community stay well. 

Healthwatch is running a national survey to ask people’s views on how local NHS services could be improved through the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Government is investing £billions a year in the NHS as part of the Long Term Plan. Local services have been asked to work together to develop their own plans, which will set out how the national plan will work across local areas.

You can access the surveys here. Alternative formats available here.

Co-produced community general advocacy course 

This course will only go ahead if enough learners book to attend.

The organisers are hoping to get enough expressions of interest to run this course again, following the success of a first installment, which was co-produced with the help of NSUN and others.

Potential date: June 2019

Location: Richmond, London

The course aims to support learners to understand, what independent advocacy is, how to use the principles which underpin good practice in advocacy and the different models of advocacy.

To express interest, please email: info@advocacytraining.org.ukwmicklewright@yahoo.co.uk

Or call 0330 440 9000 ext 210

Refocus On Recovery 2019: international conference 

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Date: 3-5 September 2019

Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU

This is the fifth Recovery Research conference. This year's event will be addressing:

  • Mental health and human rights

  • Supporting recovery through services

  • Supporting recovery through communities

  • Recovery and power

Alison Faulkner and David Crepaz-Keay will be keynote speakers. You can see the full list of speakers here.

ImROC Dinner (evening of 2 September 2019) - Meet colleagues and global thought leaders over an enjoyable dinner. (Venue: to be confirmed)

Expert Workshops (0900-1200 on 3 September 2019) - Spend the morning before the international conference learning skills from international leaders. (Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre). Click here to register for an expert workshop.

Refocus on Recovery 2019 (1300 on 3 September until 1300 on 5 September 2019) - Join our 5th international recovery research conference. (Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre). Click here to register for the conference or to apply for a bursary place please complete the registration form which can be found here and email to refocusonrecovery2019@nottingham.ac.uk.

Register here.

Follow on Twitter #RonR19 @institutemh

In the news 


The Guardian

Six in 10 Britons say Brexit uncertainty bad for mental healthPoll finds large majority bored with hearing about Brexit and unimpressed by politicians

Social media firms to be penalised for not removing child abuse

Senior executives could be held liable for not taking down harmful content from platform

 BBC News

 A charity in charge of a mental health home in London where a teenager was found hanged is being investigated. Read more here.

Family of suicide father felt 'abandoned' by NHS before tragedy. A woman has told the Scottish Parliament she felt "turned away and abandoned" after being refused help eight times in the week before her partner took his own life.

Disability News Service

User-led advice centre set to close its doors after NHS funding blow. Possability People has been running the advice centre for 30 years, but it was told by Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that it was going to stop all its annual funding from this month. Read the full article here.

Campaigner pledges to devote his last months to saving independent living. John Evans, one of the country’s best-known and most-respected disabled campaigners has pledged to devote the last months of his life to trying to save the independent living movement.

Dates for your calendar 

29 April in London: one day course on the impact of welfare reforms - For more information and to book a place please call 020 7354 6433 or email training@centralcare.co.uk

03 May in York: 'A Disorder for Everyone!' - book your place please click here

12 May internationally: Emerging Proud Day - Click here for more information

13-19 May Mental Health Awareness Week Download the resources pack and add your own event to the activity map, please click here.

03 June in London Creative Strategies for Peer support Engagement interactive workshop. Click here for more information.

08 June in Manchester: Extreme experiences - mental illnesses or danger gifts? 

Please email catonneil1009@gmail.com with any questions.

This is an ISPS UK event in association with Asylum Magazine and CCrAMHP

17 June in London: I is for insult, questionning ''borderline personality disorder'' - for more information please click here

01 to 05 July in England: National Co-production Week - For more information please click here

14 to 16 July in Norfolk: Sacred Space Weekend Retreat for mental health professionals with lived experience - Limited spaces; Shared Room: £249, Single Room £299, Fully inclusive of all meals - Email Katie at: mendthegap@hotmail.com - Find out more about the outstanding retreat venue in the beautiful Norfolk Broads here.

GOV.UK news 

NHS England press release 04.04.19


New and expectant mothers across the country can now access specialist mental health care in the area where they live, NHS England announced today.

The landmark rollout of specialist perinatal community services across the whole of England, means that mums and mums-to-be who are experiencing anxiety, depression or other forms of mental ill health should be able to access high quality care much closer to home.

Five years ago two in five parts of the country had no access to specialist community perinatal mental health treatment, but there is now full geographical coverage for the first time, with services in every one of the 44 local NHS areas, and plans to develop them further.

The expansion comes alongside the opening of four new mother and baby units, which mean that the most seriously ill women can receive residential care without being separated from their babies in every region.

Claire Murdoch, NHS national mental health director said: “Mental ill health during pregnancy or that affects bonding with a new baby can be devastating, which is why the NHS has invested in better care for expectant and new mums, with at least 9,000 extra women getting treatment last year.

“As well as expanding access to world-leading talking therapy for anyone who needs it – the NHS Long Term Plan is further ramping up specialist perinatal care for every part of the country, offering tailored support to dads and partners and extending care to cover the first two years of a child’s life.”

Specialist community perinatal mental health teams can offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and care for women with complex or severe mental health problems during the perinatal period. They can also provide pre-conception advice for women with a current or past severe mental illness who are planning a pregnancy.

Teams can be made up of doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, nursery nurses and administrative staff, who all work together to provide a comprehensive service to mums, depending on what their individual needs are. They also work closely with partners across the health and care system, including in maternity, health visiting, and other mental health services.

The expansion to the community teams is a key plank of wider plans to transform perinatal services. By 2023/4 an additional 54,000 women each year with moderate and complex, to severe mental health difficulties should get the right care, at the right time and as close to home as possible.

The NHS Long Term Plan also sets out a raft of new measures to improve care for new and expectant mums and their families, including:

  • Making specialist community-based care available from pre-conception to two years after birth rather than one. Evidence suggests this is the most critical time in a child’s development and the period when infant separation anxiety can peak and may trigger a relapse of mental health difficulties, along with other changes in women and children’s lives.

  • If a new mum is suffering from mental ill health, the NHS will automatically offer comprehensive assessment to her partner if they are suffering from mental ill health too and sign-post them to professional support if needed.

  • Expanding access to evidence-based psychological therapies within specialist perinatal mental health services so that they also include parent-infant, couple, co-parenting and family interventions.

  • Increasing access to evidence-based psychological support and therapy, including digital options.

  • Maternity outreach clinics will join up maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts“We know from conversations on Mumsnet that the effects of mental ill-health in the perinatal period can ricochet; illness that goes untreated has impacts on mothers' self-confidence in their own parenting, sometimes for years afterwards, with a knock-on effect for children and the wider family. Our users have talked movingly about the difficulty of accessing support, so it's fantastic to see these specialist services being rolled out nationwide.”

Dr Trudi Seneviratne, chair of the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: "This is fantastic news for all new and expectant mums, and for their families. 1 in 5 new mothers will experience some form of mental health difficulty and if left untreated, perinatal mental health problems can be devastating.

“A previous lack of specialist services has not only meant that some women couldn’t access the treatment they needed, but it also lead to mothers and babies often being separated at a key time in their child’s development. Providing everyone with access to the right care in the right place has always been our hope, and it’s now finally being realised in England. Hopefully this will cause a tipping point for other nations too.

“We now need to focus on building the perinatal mental health workforce whose job it will be to deliver these vital services.”

Emily Slater, Campaign Director at the Maternal Mental Health Alliance
said: “The Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA) Everyone’s Business campaign welcomes the opening of specialist perinatal mental health services in the remaining areas of England, meaning women should now be able to access life-saving care in their local area. We look forward to working closely with NHS England to ensure these services are of the highest quality and sustainable across the whole country to meet the needs of women and families.”

As many as one in four women will experience mental ill health during pregnancy or in the two years after birth, covering a wide range of conditions and different degrees of severity. It is estimated that as many as one in five hundred women may experience postpartum psychosis, one of the most severe forms of mental ill health affecting women in the perinatal period.

NHS England has already funded four new Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in areas of the country which historically struggled to access specialist inpatient services close to home.

Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) support women who are experiencing the most severe forms of mental ill health to stay with their babies, helping them to bond at a critical time, while receiving around the clock care, treatment and support.

All four new MBUs are now offering care – three eight bedded units have opened in Kent, Lancashire and in East Anglia, with a further unit in Devon open.

NHS England plans to increase the national capacity further to more than 160 beds - providing specialist inpatient care and treatment to mums, without separation from their babies.

HealthWatch Headlines - 5th April 2019

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Hello there,

 I know there’s been a bit of a break, but here are your headlines. We’ll also be sending out another headlines update next Friday, so look out for that one!

 Just a reminder about the purpose of these emails. This is to outline the broad facts and themes around certain issues, and to provide the organisation’s position on those issues. As ever, if you want any more information about these areas please get in touch and, just as importantly, if we’re not covering concerns or issues you’re hearing about, please let me know.

MSK Services
Co-Production Board
Long Term Plan: #WhatWouldYouDo

Musculoskeletal Services


  • Following on from our last update, Priya will now be meeting with the provider Connect on 15th April.

KEY POINTS: This meeting with Connect is another opportunity for us to ensure the patient voice is heard in the delivery of new services. It also highlights how vital proper engagement and communication with services users is to avoid misunderstanding of the way services are being delivered.



  • At the end of January HCC held a engagement workshop looking at how co-production is carried out across the county council

    • We were involved in the facilitation of the day

    • The workshop was attended by service users, VCS, and professionals

  • On 28th March a general summary of the event was discussed with the most pertinent point being the complexity of the current process for service users and carers to engage with councillors, commissioners, and service providers

    • This has led to the recommendation of a restructuring of groups and boards with a reduction of meetings in some areas felt to be over provisioned (EG: Learning Disabilities) and the creation of new meeting in others (EG: Older People)

Further Information

  • The co-production board will be putting out a draft proposal based on these recommendations shortly

  • This is being seen as an opportunity to integrate our service watch groups into a more formalised structure within HCC

    • Were this to happen, these groups would still be independent, with us playing a facilitative role

Key Messages: This is an opportunity to ensure that the people who use these services have a real chance to have a say in their own support, commissioning, and delivery. We will continue to support the ideal of co-production, whilst ensuring that any decisions made are representative of the views of the people of Hertfordshire.


West Herts Hospital Trust: Options Evaluation for Redevelopment


  • Following on from previous updates, Meg has been a member of the Options Panel to explore the different possibilities for the future of acute care in the west of the county

  • Meg and also attended an event with a broader range of attendees, including members of the general public and clinicians to further discuss the shortlisted options

    • Although it was good to have an opportunity to be involved, we have raised a concern that the event was dominated by clinicians and there was insufficient time to evaluate all the options

  • We have attached a copy of the full presentation to this email

  • It is important to note that NHS England has said that the whole budget for this work should it be awarded is £350mil

Further Information

  • There will now be another Options Panel held in May

KEY POINTS: The engagement process must take account of the views and needs of service users and communities across West Hertfordshire. Engagement events are an opportunity to explain plans to communities, but also to hear concerns and ideas.


Long Term Plan: #WhatWouldYouDo


Further Information

  • The results will be used by us locally to support work being done by the STP and other commissioners

  • They will also feed into a national project

KEY POINTS: This is a chance for the people of Hertfordshire to have their voice heard within a national piece of work. We need as many people as possible to fill in the surveys, especially if they are part of a hard to reach group or might face different issues accessing NHS services. EG: BME, Homeless, Frail etc.

Read about the future of hospital services in west Hertfordshire here

Research Involvement

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Two of the NIHR national coordinating centres, Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) and NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) are currently looking for members of the public to join a number of national and regional committees. We are looking for patients, carers, service users and members of the public who have never had a professional role in health and social care services or research.

 We would very much appreciate your help in circulating the following link to anyone who might be interested in the role:


 A PDF copy of our advert is also available as a download. The deadline for applications is 1pm on Friday 26 April 2019

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview. The Information Pack and Application Form will have full details of the application process, including interview dates and locations.

Giving people a voice on the future of the NHS in Hertfordshire today

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The NHS in Hertfordshire is changing, and it needs your help.

The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Now you can help your local NHS invest in the right support by sharing your ideas with us.

Healthwatch Hertfordshire has launched ‘What Would You Do?’ to gather feedback from the public on ways to improve local NHS services.

 Your views matter.


 Take part in a short survey here and share your views about what would make health services in Hertfordshire better.

 (If the link doesn’t work, open http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/what-would-you-do in your browser)

 Focus Group

We are also running a focus group. The aim of this group is to find out about your experiences of personalised care across different services.

 Details for this focus group are:

Time: 10:00-13:30

Date: April 30th

Address: Healthwatch Hertfordshire, 1 Silver Court, Watchmead, WGC, AL7 1LT


If you would like to attend please email Priya, our Head of Research and Engagement to express your interest, or call us and ask for her on 01707 275 978.

Reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed, and lunch will also be provided.

Thank you

 Paul Regan

Communication & Engagement Officer

Tel: 01707 275978, Mob: 07964 560 304

Healthwatch Hertfordshire
1 Silver Court
Welwyn Garden City


 Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England, Charity number 1158089.

Registered Office 1 Silver Court, Watchmead, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1LT

NSUN Bulletin Monday 01 April 2019

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 NSUN Bulletin Monday 01 April 2019

Table of Contents

  • NSUN News

  • Selected blogs

  • NSUN member looking for legal support

  • Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) protest

  • Coming up: Mental Health Awareness Week in May

  • Help improve mental health crisis services

  • WHO mental health and rights consultation

  • After the Mental Health Act Review: Research priorities

  • Shaping Our Lives - A Reguge for All project report launched

  • Stop the DWP sending misleading letters to GPs

  • Ask for an inquiry into DWP deaths

  • New frontiers: the social sector in post brexit Britain

  • Peer Support Specialist (Barnet)

  • Creative strategies for peer support engagement

  • Help Mind improve their info on personality disorders and mental wellbeing

  • Opportunities with a new mental health charity in London

  • Co-produced community general advocacy course

  • The Big Draw Festival 2019

  • In the news

  • Dates for your calendar

  • King's Fund report: Outcomes for mental health services: what really matters?

  • GOV.UK news

Welcome to the Monday 01 April 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin. As usual it contains lots of news, views and updates. 

If you don't receive this bulletin directly from us but would like to, you can become a member and sign up for it here.

Do email us if you have any news or information that you would like included in a future bulletin. Previous bulletins can be viewed here.

Donations to NSUN are gratefully received for this free service.

You can donate directly here.

 We have a variety of ways you can support NSUN, including a few that will not cost you an extra penny, such as:

Shopping with the Giving Machine

Shopping with Smile Amazon 

The Big Give

NSUN News  

 Ebulletin editor moves on to consultancy role

 After seven years as part of NSUN's core team, Stephanie Taylor King, whose duties involved producing the e-bulletin and editing the website, is moving on to a consultancy role. Whilst NSUN's core team has to shrink due to funding difficulties, Stephanie remains on board as a consultant, leading the APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence project.

 NSUN  joins the panel for the NHS long-term plan and mental health event

 NSUN Chair Mark Wood joined the expert panel for the King's Fund online event, 'The NHS long-term plan and mental health - a positive way forward' on 28 March. Over 1000 people registered for the event. You can catch up and watch the event if you register here.

Co-production guidance and tips

 The Win-Win Alliance (Shaping Our Lives, Disability Rights UK, Change and NSUN) have produced some guidance outlining the simple, practical things you can do to provide inclusive and accessible involvement activities.

 The use of the term 'co-production' is now in common (too common some would say) use. Some regard it as completely separate to good involvement practice, but good and meaningful involvement practice is essential if co-production is to be truly realised. There are also some fundamental power issues that need to be addresses and often our experience of co-production is no different from frustrating and poor involvement practice of the past.

 You can read and download the Co-production guidance and tips papers here.

 The Value of User Led Groups - 2019 campaign UPDATE

 Thank you to all of you who have completed our survey We will now collate responses and publish our findings at the end of this month.

 Along with Shaping Our Lives and Lankelly Chase we will be bringing together user-led groups at the end of May to look at what is happening to user-led groups, what is their role and value and what can be done to protect the future of user-led groups. The meeting is being held 21 May  in London.  If any of our user-led groups are interested in attending please contact us info@nsun.org.uk.

 The first stage of the campaign was to raise awareness of the current situation. Since launching our campaign we have heard that more user-led groups around the country are closing or under threat of closure. Possability People,in Brighton and Hove, Liverpool Mental Health Consortium and Voices for All in Rochdale. 

 You can read the article published in February where NSUN and Shaping Our Lives warned that user-led organisations are continuing to close, putting the sector at real risk of extinction. Read the full article by John Pring (Disability News Service) here.

A short video and the Soap Boxes from our Members' Event in October 2018 is now available. You can also browse our Annual Report 2017-2018 here.

You can view the Principles of Peer Support Charter here.

Jobs and involvement opportunities - already shared

If there is still time to apply or get involved, you can find previously shared opportunities on this page.

Selected blogs 

 People with personal mental health experiences are more qualified to work with patients, not less

 ''Employers can either see lived experiences as liabilities, or as an employee’s greatest asset. And if they adopt the latter approach, the employee, as well as the whole organisation, will feel the benefits''

 A blog about valuing lived experience

 Are sexual abuse victims being diagnosed with a mental disorder they don't have?

 ''Suppose, for the sake of a thought experiment, that a new psychological disorder was discovered. It is supported by dozens of studies and recognized by some of the world’s leading psychiatrists and psychologists, but not by the North American psychiatric establishment. And let’s say the refusal to accept this new disorder had devastating consequences for #MeToo survivors.'' 

 A blog about how traumatised women often get mis-diagnosed. 

Click here to read the rest of the bulletin

Is Addiction Causing you Pain?

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Contact us directly to find out how we can support you to live free from addiction 0300 365 0304

Has your addiction taken over your life? Do you use drugs or alcohol to escape from emotional pain? Is someone else’s addiction affecting your quality of life?

Our facilitated group therapy treatment is a free, daytime abstinence-based programme for adults affected by alcohol, substance or behavioural addictions. We will give you time to examine your feelings, tools to help you stay away from your addiction and the opportunity to regain control of your life.

Our open access service is available to adults living in Hertfordshire who are determined to achieve sustained recovery. Clients can self-refer or do so with professional support. Family and carers may also self-refer to access support for themselves.

For more information, click here to view the poster

NHS England Health and Social Care Information - Short Survey

Using Health and Social Care Information – Short Survey

The Department of Health and Social Care would like to find out more about people’s experiences of using health and social care information.  They would be very grateful if people could complete a short survey – consisting of just five questions; and the option to be included in a future webinar.  The survey should take no more than approximately 5-10 minutes, and can be accessed here:



Please note that the survey will be open until midnight, Monday 15 April 2019.

Viewpoint Ballyhoo Spring Newsletter


Spring is in the air…

…although being Britain this may not last for long!

Traditionally spring is the time for new beginnings and clean starts and at Viewpoint we will be making what we hope will be some positive and exciting new changes to the way we work.

As Viewpoint Chief Executive, Leslie Billy, explains:

“Viewpoint has been reviewing its services in a variety of ways, as we want to work even more closely with our members, both to better understand people’s views and concerns and to benefit from the great variety of skills and talents our members can offer.

One of the ways we hope to achieve this is with the development of a User Council for those with lived experience to help guide and shape how we do things going forward.

We also very much enjoyed the Dragons Den event we held on the 18th of January - people told us what services they would like Viewpoint to provide and where there were gaps in services for people with mental health and addiction challenges. There were some great ideas pitched and we would like to take them all forward in some way. We’ll be sure to update you as things develop…

Spectrum All Ages Drug and Alcohol Service Launch - April 1st 2019


We are pleased to share with you the details of our new All Ages Drug and Alcohol Service, launching April 1st 2019.

 We will now be delivering support for both adults and under-18s and we have created a dedicated microsite detailing some of the changes and improvements we are making as part of our relaunch: https://www.changegrowlive.org/spectrum-drug-alcohol-recovery-service-hertfordshire

 Here you can find sections aimed at specific teams and stakeholders, which we will be updating monthly, and bulletins you can read and share with your colleagues and service users.

 You can contact the implementation team by email via: Hertsstaff.info@cgl.org.uk

 Alternatively, you can still reach us via the countywide email Herts@cgl.org.uk

 Any questions we receive will be added to the next batch of updates so please don’t hesitate to contact us at any stage during this process.

Pre-Peer Mentoring Course (PPM)

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Monday March 25th, April 1st, 8th, & 15th, 2019

10.30 am – 2.30 pm

Do you or have you had experience of addiction issues?

Have you heard of Peer Mentoring?

Want to know more about it?

Mentoring can be defined as a 'one-to-one, non-judgemental relationship in which an individual, the mentor, gives time to support and encourage another.' It recognises people's need for having somebody there for them as they develop skills and gain the confidence to become independent and lead fulfilled lives.

Our free 4-session course is aimed at giving people the confidence and knowledge to take the first step in peer mentoring or volunteering.

Held at: Yeomans Court, 1 Ware Rd, Hertford SG13 7HJ

If you would like to attend, please call Viewpoint on 01707 386136 or email: Leslie Billy on leslie@hertsviewpoint.co.uk

Reasonable travel expenses, refreshments, are provided

View the flyer here and view the registration form here

Soroptimist Charity Quiz Night

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Soroptimist Charity Quiz Night Sat 23 March 2019

Come and join in the fun at this popular and successful charity quiz night at Homewood Road URC Church Hall, St Albans, AL1 4BH, (Junction of Homewood Road and Sandpit Lane)

Doors open at 7.15pm for 7.45pm start

Fish and chip supper with chicken or veggie option

Cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks (proceeds to the charities)

Tickets adults £12.50, kids under 16 £10.00 (up to 8 in a team)

In aid of the St Albans & Hertsmere and Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuges  plus charities providing learning opportunities for women & girls

For more information please see www.sigbi.org/st-albans/quiz

 View the flyer and booking slip here

HPFT Wellbeing Plan Focus Groups

HPFT Wellbeing Plan focus groups (this is paid Involvement opportunity)

Viewpoint is looking for up 15 people from across the County to attend a Wellbeing Plan focus group on the afternoon March 20th 3 – 5pm at Colonnades in Hatfield, this is being organised by HPFT and the lead is Kate Linhart (Head of Social Work and Safeguarding).

The focus group is being held to gain the views of service users on the Wellbeing Plan which is for people using Adult Mental In-patient and Community services, also those on CPA.

The Wellbeing plan is not for people accessing Wellbeing team / IAPTS / CAMHS and people with dementia and learning disabilities as these groups use other specific care planning tools that are more appropriate.

I have included a survey link below, for you to please complete.

Wellbeing Plan Survey 

If you are interested in participating in the Wellbeing Plan focus group or would like more information please can you reply to info@hertsviewpoint.co.uk; or 01707-3861346 by no later than the Midday 15th March 2019.

Gendered Intelligence Lite Bite Training

Opportunity to Access Gendered Intelligence Lite Bite Training in Stevenage, Hertfordshire – 5th April 2019

 Amanda de Courcy, Andrew Dix and I would like to offer you the opportunity to attend the above lite bites in order to raise awareness of the trans community within your organisations and services.  We are subsidising the events in order to make it cost effective for all through our charitable organisation.  The cost per person is £21.55, which is our cost of £20.00 and £1.55 which goes to Eventbrite. 

 There are two slots available on the 5th April –

9.30 am start

1.00 pm start

 They last 2.5 hours in length and the link is public so can be shared with other colleagues. 

 We hope to see you there!  Please follow the link to book your place on:




If you want to know more about the Synestra Community Interest Company, please follow the link to www.synestra.co.uk.


Thank you. 

CQC Inspection Results for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust


Trust recognised as ‘good’ for caring as long term improvement journey continues

Care, commitment and the dedication of hardworking staff have led to West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust more than doubling the number of ‘good’ ratings since its first Care Quality Commission inspection in 2015.

The trust, which manages Watford General Hospital, Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans City Hospital, now has 45 ‘good’ ratings compared with 20 in 2015 showing how dramatically the balance has tipped towards improvement.

Last autumn’s partial inspection covered urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery and maternity at Watford General Hospital. The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at St Albans City Hospital and the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Hemel Hempstead Hospital were also inspected.

Inspectors noted that staff cared for patients with “compassion, kindness and respect” and were quick to commend examples of outstanding practice in the children’s emergency department, medical care and maternity at Watford General Hospital.

Bereavement care and support, multidisciplinary working in the dementia and stroke units and the ISeeU initiative in the maternity department (which enables mothers to stay connected to their newborns receiving care in the neonatal intensive care unit) were all praised.

The biggest uplift was in the emergency department (ED) at Watford General Hospital which has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’. And its assessment against the ‘well led’ domain has risen significantly by two ratings to ‘good’. The inspectors noted a “strong, supportive and visible leadership” reflecting the determined efforts of staff to make changes. They also commented on “an improvement in culture”.

In spite of a lower rating in the ‘safety’ domain for maternity, overall the picture at Watford General is extremely positive with a trend of continuous improvement and strengthening of services since 2015.

Feedback for the MIU at St Albans City Hospital has led to an ‘inadequate’ rating for this service and this has resulted in an overall ‘inadequate’ rating for St Albans City Hospital. The trust acted immediately to rectify issues raised by inspectors and has implemented an action plan for further improvements. The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Hemel Hempstead Hospital was rated ‘requires improvement’ but inspectors observed “excellent multidisciplinary working” and the compassion of staff.

Surgery and outpatient services at St Albans are rated ‘good’ and these services care for the majority of patients who visit the hospital. Surgical staff were commended for “creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care would flourish”.

Trust chair Professor Steve Barnett said: “We have achieved these positive results in spite of the challenges raised by operating in buildings across three sites that are past their best. I’m immensely proud of the dedication of our staff who continue to deliver the very best care for our patients in a far from ideal environment. I’m delighted that the funding is almost within reach to help us make progress with our redevelopment plans which are gathering pace. The strength of West Herts lies in its people and on my last day as trust chair, I can confidently say that I’m leaving the trust in safe hands and that a bright future beckons for staff and patients.”

Acting chief executive Helen Brown said: “I’m delighted that the inspectors have recognised the work of our hard working and compassionate staff. Congratulations to staff in our children and young people’s service at Watford, and the surgery team at St Albans for achieving ‘good’ for all aspects of their services. And praise must go to the emergency department team at Watford for jumping up two ratings to achieve ‘good’ for leadership. This is remarkable given the pressures they work under.

“I fully recognise that our improvement journey has a long path. Naturally, we’re hugely disappointed with the ratings for our Minor Injuries Unit and the Urgent Treatment Centre and our teams are working hard to make improvements. Local residents should still feel confident that they will receive appropriate care from the two services.”

Read the full report here

East of England Citizens Senate Recruiting Now!

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Are you:

• Good at speaking and listening to people?
• Passionate about people having a voice?
• Interested in improving health and social care services?
• Connected with community/service user groups?
• Able to travel within the East of England?

If so, why not join our new team of Patient & Public Voice Partners?

We are looking for friendly, non-judgemental people who can connect with their local community and service user groups in the East of England. We will give you free training and support to run workshops to gather the views of community members on a range of health and social care issues. Their views will then be used to help to improve local services.

Click here to find out more

Treasurer and Trustees Urgently Needed

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Viewpoint is a small charity based in Welwyn Garden City. We provide advice and support to promote mental wellbeing to anyone experiencing a mental health and/or addiction challenge.

Our vision
We will work together with people with mental health and/or addiction challenges to influence change

Our mission
We provide advice and support to promote mental wellbeing to anyone experiencing a mental health and/or addiction challenge. We involve people and provide information and a voice to improve services

We are seeking people with the skills to support the governance of the charity and ensure that it remains guided by its constitution and service level agreements.

We need Trustees with the following skills:

  • Managing finances / accounting

  • Business and strategic planning

  • Marketing and communications

  • Project and risk management

  • Partnership working

  • Fundraising experience

If you feel you have the skills and time to help a charity during this difficult financial climate please call Leslie Billy to discuss on 01707 386136 or e-mail leslie@hertsviewpoint.co.uk . The Board meets every 3 months on a Weds eve 5.30-7.30pm

Click here to view the poster