Do you have experience of Adult Care Services?

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Could you help us improve what we do?

We are looking for people who have received adult care services, or their carers/family members, to help us shape how you contact social care in the future.

This is about you being involved every step of the way, planning things together as equal partners to shape how you receive:

  • information

  • support

  • advice

We are passionate about working with people who use our services, their carers and the organisations who represent them.

For more information and to register your interest please email or call 01438 843513 before 31st August 2019

Click here to view the flyer or click here for the easy read version

HwH Mental Health Carers Discharge Project

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Carers’ needs and involvement in mental health inpatient service discharge

Healthwatch Hertfordshire is looking to gather the carer’s and service user’s views and experiences of inpatient mental health services that are delivered by Herts Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT). We would like to find out what you think about how carers are involved and supported when the person they care for is being discharged from a mental health inpatient service.

As well as seeking the views of carers, we also want to hear from you if you have used a mental health inpatient service yourself. So, if you or someone you care for has used a mental health inpatient service in the last two years, and would like be involved in this work, please get in touch.

The first part of this project is to hold a reference group. This means you will be involved in a group discussion with other carers and service users who have used HPFT mental health inpatient services. The anonymous feedback the group provides will help us to design a research project about carers views and experiences which we can feedback to HPFT, making recommendations to make sure that carers are involved and supported in a way that is meaningful to them.

We are planning on holding the reference group session on the 11th July, 11:0014:30 in Welwyn Garden City. Travel expenses, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, and/or would like to take part in the reference group, please get in touch by the 28th June via the contact details below.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Priya Vaithilingam, Head of Research & Engagement 01707 275978

For more information on Healthwatch Hertfordshire, please visit or click here for the flyer

Carewaves Newsletter - Issue 1 of 2019

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Read all about it! The latest edition of Carewaves has arrived and is available for download now on our website via this link – Carewaves issue 1 of 2019.

Carewaves is full of articles about what we and other organisations have been doing to support unpaid carers. You can also find out about funding we have secured from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue and develop our Carer Support Hubs and volunteer run Mentoring Service.

As always there are details about our free courses, workshops and forums. There is also information about our plans for Carers Week 2019 (10th – 16th June).

You can also read about:

Our Home Care and Advocacy Services – what they involve and how we support unpaid carers;

  • Changes to dementia services in Hertfordshire; and

  • Our work with young carers including a review of our 2019 Young Carers’ Conference. You can also find out about a contract Hertfordshire County Council has awarded us that will enable us to build on the support we provide to young carers and their families.

Given the ongoing pressure on public money, our Trustees have decided to refresh our Fundraising Strategy with the aim of raising £150,000 per annum. This extra money will make the charity more resilient and allow us to continue developing innovative services. We already have some very committed volunteers who help us with fundraising and we recognise the hard work they put in. However, we know that we need to do more and plan for the future. The Trustees want to make sure that the refreshed Strategy and accompanying Action Plan are co-produced by carers, staff and volunteers. They also want to develop guidance to make sure that all our fundraising activities support and complement our values. We would really like to hear from any carers who are willing to be involved – if you are interested then please email with the subject title Fundraising.

 If you need advice or support about your caring role, please contact our Carer Support Advisors on 01992 58 69 69 or email and someone will help you.


Steve Delaney, Interim Chief Executive

'Getting Carers Connected’ Events in Hertfordshire


Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust are planning to deliver 3 separate events ahead of the Carers Week 10 -16 June.

  • 4 June at Waverley Road St Albans AL3 5TK (6.30 pm to 9.30 pm) for Community Mental Health Service (Adults)

  • 7 June at The Colonnades Beaconsfield Road Hatfield AL10 8YE. The 10 am to 1 pm session for CATT/RAID Services

  • 7 June at The Colonnades Beaconsfield Road Hatfield AL10 8YE. The 2 pm to 5 pm session for CAMHS Services

Click here for the flyer to find out more

Shaping the Future: Keeping Connected

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2019 is going to be a very busy year for us at Herts County Council and we would like your thoughts on how we can continue to improve services in a number of areas,

1. Breaks for carers

2. Carers support

3. Community meals (formerly meals on wheels)

4. Older people’s lunch club

In order to include the views of people who use these services (or may be affected by them in the future) we would like to invite members of the public, carers and representative groups to attend an event to hear about the current services and to consider in round table discussions how they think they can best be delivered in future. The events will be held on 2 separate dates so please select only one event.

On both occasions the event will commence with coffee and registration from 10am, with the sessions from 10.30 to 1pm followed by a light sandwich lunch. We will have forms available at the events so that members of the public and carers will be able to apply for reimbursement of travel costs and replacement care.

To reserve a place at one of the events please book here:

16th May, The View, Panshanger Golf Course, Old Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City AL7 2ED

20th May, Stanborough Centre, 609 St Albans Rd, Watford WD25 9JL

Alternatively if you are not confident using an electronic booking system please contact our support team on 01438 845016 who will take your booking over the phone.

Please let us know if you have particular needs or dietary requirements:

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)



A call for help from Lin Fellows Guideposts Carers Coordinator


A call for help

Dear Colleagues and Friends,   

I have worked as a Mental Health Support Worker based at Guideposts’ Henry Smith House in Watford for 11 years. Recently, I have been tasked with a new role as “Guideposts Carers Coordinator”, giving me time to develop new support for carers locally. My remit is to work primarily with those who are unpaid carers for a loved one with a mental ill health or autism diagnosis.  I'm sure you know that caring for someone with a mental health condition is very different from caring for someone physically ill and can impact on the carer’s physical and emotional wellbeing. The stress and frustration can be overpowering. Therefore, to help our carers, I want to set up groups where they can off load and be given helpful information.
I have run a successful Guideposts Carers Group for 10 years now and am planning in the future to run more new groups in the Watford, Hertsmere, South Oxhey and Rickmansworth areas. Having worked supporting mental health service users, I feel I have empathy for both the carer and the cared for. Knowing that carers must visit their GP’s, I wondered if I can work with your organisation to help carers? I need to communicate my plans and information to these new carers. Therefore, I would be grateful if you would please consider placing our poster, self-referral forms and leaflets in your place of work/centre? Is this acceptable?
Also, is it possible that I could meet with your Carer’s Champion {if you have one} for your organisation? I could then explain in detail my aims and objectives and we could share the possibilities for working together? If you have a Carers Group I would be happy to do a Talk on "Asperger's and Autism" and talk about Caring Issues. Also, if you have an event I would be pleased to attend.

I am aware you are very busy and are short of time, but please can you let me know your response to my request?
 Yours Sincerely,

Lin Fellows                                                                                                                                         

Phone Lin at 01923 223554
Lin Fellows | Guideposts Carers Coordinator and Training Facilitator
01923 223554

Guideposts Community Mental Health Services, Guideposts Trust, Henry Smith House, 3-5 Estcourt Road, Watford, Herts, WD17 2PT

Hope and Opportunity Opening Doors


We would like to welcome people using local services, Carers, members of the public and colleagues, to join us at an opportunity to learn, share and network. 

Hope and Opportunity
Opening Doors….

The Stanborough Centre, Watford Monday 8 October (10.00am – 4.00pm) 

The Colonnades, Hatfield Tuesday 9 October (6.00pm – 8.30pm) 

Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Stevenage Wednesday 10 October (10.00am – 4.00pm) 

Wodson Sports and Leisure Centre, Ware Thursday 11 October (10.00am – 4pm)

Register your place online or call Divya on 01438 730802

View the poster here

National Co-production Week 2018- 2 – 6 July


Co-production Week will again celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services.

This year’s theme is breaking down the barriers to co-production. We want to hear from people about what holds back co-production locally and nationally and how we can break down the barriers.

We also want organisations and individuals to:

  • hold events about co-production
  • tell us about your event and we can promote it
  • tell us about examples of good practice in co-production.
  • tweet about co-production using the hashtag #coproweek.

SCIE's Co-production Week activities will include our annual Co-production Festival on 2 July, co-production training, a webinar, a Twitter event and much more.

For further information about National Co-production Week and support with co-production in your organisation please email

SCIE's Co-production Festival

This year’s Co-production Festival will be on Tuesday 3 July, 10.30 – 4.00 at the Arlington, Camden, London.

The theme will be breaking down the barriers to co-production. There will be workshop groups and a panel of high profile speakers from the co-production field, including keynote speak Paul Burstow, chair of SCIE.

But as with previous years, the Festival is about celebrating the success of co-production with –

Comedy from Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley) – winner of the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014 and has worked with comedians including  Ross Noble, Patrick Kielty, and Jason Manford. For more information see:

Music from Emily Maguire - singer-songwriter, composer, poet, multi-instrumentalist and mental health advocate. Emily is an artist like no other, her remarkable story of recovery an inspiration for those who know her music. For more information see:

Book your place at the Festival here:

Lifegeta Emotional Support Group Monthly Meeting (Hitchin Based)


Lifegeta is a support network for all types’ people with life changing acquired conditions + friends, family & carers.

Addressing the emotional effects of finding yourself in a body that doesn’t do what it used to do because of a life changing condition or disability (like head injury or stroke) or diagnosis (like MS or Fibromyalgia).

2018 Dates

  • Wed 4th April
    Exploring the emotional effects of a Fibromyalgia diagnosis TBC
  • Wed 2nd May
    Fatigue & The Spoon Theory TBC
  • Wed 6th June
    Brain Fog
  • Wed 4th July
    Assuming – Not every disability is visible
  • Wed 1st August
    Listening Skills
  • Wed 5th September
  • Wed 3rd October
  • Wed 7th November
  • Wed 5th December

Times: 7pm till 9pm ~ Cost: £2 (to cover outgoings non-profit)

Held at The Canary Club (@ Hitchin Town Football Club opposite the Swimming Pool)

Fishponds Rd, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1NU

The 1st Wednesday in every month

For more details Contact: Sue Ross -  Tel 07715 707488

Peer Support Service

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The Peer Support Service is for adults recovering from mental ill health and their carers. Support Workers with a lived experience of mental ill health, work in collaboration with you and provide individually tailored support to help you create new beginnings and achieve your goals. This one to one service is free with a number of sessions offered, depending on individual need. 

Our Peer Support Service is very successful with 9 out 10 clients being very satisfied with this service.

For more information call us on 02037 273600 or via email 

For more information click here

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act - Information

GOV.UK: Mental Health Act Review - Service user and Carer survey

We want to listen to views from people with experience of being sectioned or of caring for someone who has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act as part of the review.

Our survey will enable us to take account of their views when we make recommendations for change.

You can complete the survey online or you can download the survey relevant to you and post it to the following address by Wednesday, 28 February 2018:

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act
39 Victoria Street

Click to download the Carer Survey

Click to download the Service User Survey

Further information on the Mental Health Act Review can be found via the links below:

Royal College of Psychiatrist

 Centre for Mental Health

 MIND – Mental Health Act Review

Contact details:



This year Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) would like to bring its Recovery Conference experience closer to our services users and carers and will be holding events in Watford, Stevenage, Bishops Stortford and Hatfield during the week of 9 October 2017.

The theme for 2017 is focused on ‘Personal Development for all and Making Decisions Together’ and we hope to promote the support that's available within the local community; engage people using local services, and carers, in the process of developing that support further, and empower them to truly co-produce their Recovery.  

We are particularly keen to encourage attendance from people with lived experiences; whether that is from directly using of services or as a carer, as well as a range of professionals.  We are encouraging people to attend the event at their closest location.  We are planning to offer free return transport for service users or carers, depending on the level of demand.

Register your place online now or call us on 01727 804016

Niland Conference Centre, Watford – Mon 9 October (10.30-3.30)

Rhodes Arts Complex, Bishops Stortford – Tues 10 October (10.30-3.30)

Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Stevenage – Wed 11October (10.30-3.30)

The Colonnades, Hatfield – Thurs 12 October (6.00-9.00pm)