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.

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

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

Spot the Signs Newsletter February 2019

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Newsletter - February 2019

Welcome to the February edition of the Spot the Signs and Save a Life suicide prevention campaign news bulletin.

We are pleased to announce that we will be launching the suicide prevention app 'Stay Alive' in the county. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to encourage help seeking behaviours.

Our senior project coordinator attended the National Suicide Prevention Alliance Conference at the start of this month. It was a great opportunity for professionals to come together to share valuable learning's and celebrate successful projects that have taken place to reduce suicide rates in the UK. We will be using key things from the conference to inform our strategy.

We released our first 5 training sessions of the year which are already fully booked. 3 more sessions have been released below with more to come which we will announced on here first.

Jackie Doyle Price (suicide prevention minister) has been working with Social Media outlets to look at what can be done to ensure the safety of those online. We are pleased to see that this issue is being taken seriously and we look forward to seeing the progress that will be made.

There is also the latest headlines and mental health training opportunities.

Spot the Signs Suicide Prevention Training Dates 2019


Fully funded one-day training dates for voluntary and public sector employees working with adults in Hertfordshire.

The training will:
· Increase awareness and knowledge
· Make you feel more confident in spotting the signs of someone feeling suicidal
· Introduce practical steps about what actions you may take if you notice someone is distressed

 To book your place visit Eventbrite http://bit.ly/2ElxHc7

The training is very popular so there is a cancellation fee for no-shows of £25

For any questions email:


Training dates for professionals working with young people as well as additional adult training dates will be announced via the newsletter as they are released.

Stay Alive Suicide Prevention App

Spot the Signs are working with Grass Roots and the Eastern Academic Health Alliance to launch the 'Stay Alive' suicide prevention app in Hertfordshire. The app provides self-help resources, national and local crisis numbers as well as safety plans that people can put in to keep themselves safe.

This will be launched in the next coming months so watch this space... launch event invite to follow.

If your organisation would like to get involved with the promotion of the app please email hpft.spotthesigns@nhs.net

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Hertford Open Day March 28th

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Throughout the year we hold public open days at all our Hertfordshire services to give everyone a chance to find out what we do to help support those with drug or alcohol problems. Visitors will be treated to a presentation on everything their local service offers, be given a tour of our one-to-one, group and clinical rooms, and staff will be on hand to answer any questions they may have. All open day sessions run from 2-4pm.

For more information or to confirm attendance at your local event please email sam.larkin@cgl.org.uk.

28/03/19 - Hertford - Yeomans Court, Ware Road, Hertford, SG13 7HJ

27/06/19 - Watford - 18 Station Road, Watford, WD17 1JU

26/09/19 - Stevenage - Armstrong House, Norton Road, Stevenage, SG1 2LX

28/11/19 - Hatfield - St Martins House, 14 The Common, Hatfield, AL10 0UR 

Find out more here https://www.changegrowlive.org/content/spectrum-hertfordshire-drug-alcohol-services-hertford/open-days

Universal Credit

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Universal credit is a new means-tested benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is gradually replacing the majority of means-tested benefits and tax credits (known as legacy benefits) currently paid to people under pension age (pension age was equalised at 65 for both men and women in 2018 and is rising to 66 by 2020).

An area where UC has been fully introduced is known as a full service area. The national rollout of ‘full service’ is now complete except for:

  • families with more than two children who will be redirected to the benefits that universal credit is replacing until 1 February 2019; and

  • from 16 January 2019, claimants who receive the severe disability premium in their legacy benefits are unable to claim UC

All areas of Hertfordshire are now ‘full service’ . View the links below for further details and to see how this affects you:

Universal Credit Factsheet

Advice News Latest Information

Spot the Signs Suicide Prevention Training Dates 2019

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'Spot the signs' Suicide prevention training dates 2019

'Spot the signs' is a suicide prevention campaign, helping to remove the stigma of talking openly about suicide, providing training courses and signposting those in need to mental health services available in Hertfordshire..

This is a fully-funded one-day training course for voluntary and public sector employees working with adults in Hertfordshire.

This training will: 

  • Increase awareness and knowledge

  • Make you feel more confident in spotting the signs of someone feeling suicidal

  • Introduce practical steps about what actions you may take if you notice that someone is distressed

Please see available dates and locations below.
All sessions run from 10:00 - 16:00 

Friday 15th February - Hatfield

Thursday 28th February - Hemel Hempstead

Thursday 14th March - St. Albans

Friday 29th March - Watford

Click here to book your place

Please note: This training is very popular, therefore there will be a cancellation fee of £25 for those who do not attend once booking a place.

For any questions please email: hpft.spotthesigns@nhs.net

Patient and Public Voice Partners needed for Quality of Life after Cancer Treatment Project

NHS England is seeking to recruit Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners to join the Steering Group for the Quality of Life after cancer treatment project. The group has been established to support NHS England to deliver a pilot project. The aim of the pilot project is to test whether collecting data about Quality of Life from cancer patients can help us to better understand quality of life after cancer.

The role of  PPV Partners on the committee will be to:

  • Represent a range of people affected by cancer who use health services in England.

  • Use their experience and knowledge to provide advice on how proposals may impact on people with cancer.

  • Draw on the views and experience of other cancer support or community groups (if they are a member), so that the work is informed by a broad range of perspectives.

  • Constructively challenge the thinking of healthcare professionals where/when necessary.

PPV Partners can receive an involvement payment of £150 per day (more than four hours) or £75 per half day (four hours or less) for an estimated commitment of six days per year. NHS England will reimburse standard rate travel expenses and subsistence in line with the NHS England Patient and Public Voice Expenses policy. Membership of the group is for 12 months initially, at which point membership will be reviewed.

For more information: https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/opportunities/

To request an application pack, please contact Bijal.Purohit@nhs.net

NSUN Bulletin 14th January

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Table of Contents

  • NSUN News - Peer Support

  • Article by Peter Beresford: Austerity is denying patients and care service users a voice

  • Selected blogs

  • Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted

  • Mental Health Act Review update

  • The NHS long term plan for mental health put to the test

  • Service user / carer opportunity (London)

  • #HardlyHardToReach at REAP conference - London

  • Online panel experts wanted

  • 'Crystal's Vardo' - the origins & history of Romani Gypsies

  • Petition: Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services

  • Discount offer on UC-UK mental health conferences

  • Transformation, Illness and Identity - Derby

  • Service users and clinicians co-produce resources in East Suffolk

  • Bid writing workshops

  • Mental Capacity Action Day 2019

  • Free mental health first aid training (Wandsworth / Richmond)

  • Get set for Emerging Proud Day international party

  • GOV.UK news

Welcome to the Monday 14 January 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin, our first of the year. 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 - Peer Support 

 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.


The value of peer support and user-led organisations and the role they play in prevention

 We are producing a briefing paper to create a better understanding of the current mental health prevention and the important role that user-led groups and mutual (peer) support plays. As we've previously highlighted user-led groups and initiatives are finding it hard to survive in an increasingly competitive tendering environment. We need to promote just how important the work of user/peer led groups are in helping people stay connected to their community, feel better and stay better.

 We are collecting case studies from individuals and groups and any evidence that demonstrates value.

 Please email info@nsun.org.uk for more information or with anything you would like to share.


 Peer Support: New Roles for Mental Health Task and Finish Groups

 The New Roles Task and Finish Groups have been established as subgroups of the New Roles in Mental Health Board to support delivery of Chapter 7 of Stepping Forward: New skills, roles and ways of working, the Mental health Workforce Plan for England. NSUN is a member of the Peer Support Worker Task & Finish group.

 There are eight New Roles for Mental Health Task and Finish Groups

  1. Chair of the Pharmacy Professions and Teams Task & Finish group – Trevor Beswick & Peter Pratt

  2. Chair of the Psychological Professions Task & Finish group – Kevin Mullins & Adrian Whittington

  3. Chair of the Social Work Task & Finish group - Mark Trewin

  4. Chair of the Nursing Associate Task & Finish Group – Avril Devaney

  5. Chair of the PAs Task & Finish Group – Wendy Burn & Julian Ryder (co-Chair)

  6. Chair the Peer Support Worker Task & Finish group– Sarah Hughes & Simon Hough (co-Chair)

  7. Chair of the Nursing Task & Finish Group – Paul Reeves

  8. Chair of the AHP Task & Finish Group – Thomas Kearney

Health Education England continues to work with system partners to invest and implement a range of initiatives to support workforce transformation and expansion in the Mental Health workforce. The New Roles Task and Finish Groups aim to advance and build on the commitments set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2017).


UPDATED 'Get to know NSUN in 3 minutes'

You can view the video here, updated with our new logo and website. Please do share!

Events - already advertised

If you haven't booked your place on already advertised events, we have collected some 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.

Article by Peter Beresford: Austerity is denying patients and care service users a voice  

Peter Beresford highlights how decades of progress on public participation are being lost as grassroots organisations face financial problems and closures.

Early in 2017, NSUN reported that over 150 of our membership groups had closed. This number continued to rise over the last year.

Read the full article here.

Selected blogs 

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Speak up, lived experience need to be valued

 Dani Chadderton, Peer Recovery Worker in Sheffield, encourages peer workers to stand up for the voice of experience.

Read Dani's blog here

 Why I had a year out of school for my mental health

 When Luke got diagnosed with PTSD, going to school became a task that filled him with anxiety. In this blog, Luke shares how he found alternative ways to finish his education, whilst also looking after his mental health.

 Are you a radical now? Reflecting on the Situation of Social Research(ers) in the Context of Service-User Activism in Mental Health

 Cristian R. Montenegro reflects on the relationship between activism and social research - the tensions, boundaries, expectations, context and conflict. Published in the Journal of social and Polictical Psychology (2018).

Read the full paper here.

Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted 

Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted - Mental Health Act Code of Practice 2015

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has responsibility for monitoring implementation of the Mental Health Act (MHA), is reviewing the 2015 Code of Practice for the Act. This follows the Mental Health Act Review.

 NSUN members are invited to supply evidence relevant to chapter three of the Code (pages 29-33); chapter three provides guidance about the use of a human rights and equality approach under the MHA.

Evidence is particularly wanted about issues for people made subject to the Act who face additional disadvantage(s), related, for instance, to:

  • Ethnicity

  • Age (as a young person, or older person)

  • Gender/gender identity

  • Sexual orientation

  • Physical disabilities

  • Learning difficulties/disabilities and/or autism

  • A visual impairment

  • Being a D/deaf person

  • Living with dementia.

CQC will take this evidence into account as it:

  • Analyses the current fit between (i) the human rights and equality approach set out in the Code of Practice and (ii) approaches being taken to people made subject to the MHA

  • Considers improvements that are needed.

We have been given assurances that:

  1. CQC will also put an emphasis on people facing more than one type of disadvantage under the MHA, whether such disadvantages have had a focus in the final MHA Review report or not. (As you will know, NSUN has raised concerns about the report’s shortfalls in addressing additional discrimination)

  2. Attention will be paid to any human rights and equality shortfalls within the Code itself if one considers it against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, not just against the European Convention of Human Rights (EHRC) and the Human Rights Act which stems from the EHRC.

How you can help

 If you’re able to help, please can you send:

  1. Personal accounts of human rights and equality breaches which you have faced under the MHA, related to your experience of more than one type of disadvantage. (I would, of course remove your name before sending this on to CQC)

  2. Literature/reports about human rights and equality breaches for people made subject to the MHA who face more than one form of disadvantage. (Please forward electronic copies of these, or the web links for them.)

Please send your evidence by Sunday 27 January, by email to: 

Dorothy Gould: NSUN’s policy lead for issues related to the Mental Health Act. gould.dorothy@gmail.com

Mental Health Act Review update 

 Contacts made with politicians and TUC members about human rights issues and the Mental Health Act Review

Many thanks to all those of you who have contacted your MP in support of NSUN’s campaign about the Mental Health Act Review. You can now read about the variety of opportunities we have had to input both to political leaders and to the TUC on NSUN’s behalf. 

Please read the full update here.

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: What next?

 You can also read charted breakdown we produced of:

  • Key recommendations from the report

  • What they will mean for people with lived experience if they are implemented

  • Whether they resolve the human rights concerns raised by NSUN and co-signatories to NSUN’s two letters.

You can download as a pdf here or visit the website

These have been re-formatted to make them really easy and clear to read. 

The NHS long term plan for mental health put to the test 

National Voices have devised 5 tests to put the NHS long term plan through.

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Don Redding, Director of Policy and Partnerships at National Voices, wrote an article for the HSJ (£) highlighting that whilst the Plan has some warm words for the voluntary and community sector, there is no clarity about how to direct commissioning pounds this way.

You can’t have community engagement in governance, codesign of new models, support to tackle health inequalities, delivery of self management support, and provision of social prescribing, all for free.

For all the good stuff in the Plan to succeed – for it to make a real difference to patients, carers and service users – the NHS must make genuine, equal, respectful and coproductive partnerships with other sectors, including the voluntary sector.

In his latest blog, Don puts the Plan through the five tests National voices has set for it to PROVE the NHS is moving in the right direction.

Service user / carer opportunity (London) 

An opportunity has arisen for one service user or carer to be part of an interview panel for recruitment of a Deputy Head of Therapies for the Acute & Urgent Care Service Line at South West London and St Georges mental health NHS trust

 The interviews will take place at Springfield on Friday, 18 January between 9.00am – 3.30pm on both days and the timetable will run as follows: 

9.00am:                       Pre-meet with panel

10.00am:                     Interviews start

3pm:                            Interviews finish

3pm – 3.30pm             Post meet


PLEASE NOTE: If you have applied for the post which is being interviewed, please do not put your name forward for this panel. 

 This is a paid opportunity at the usual trust rate of £10/hour. 

 Please register your interest by emailing involvement@swlstg.nhs.uk by Wednesday 16 January 12pm.

 Successful applicants will be informed by email on Thursday 17 January with the venue.

#HardlyHardToReach at REAP conference - London 

 Date: Wednesday 30 January 

Following REAP's annual refugee rights networking event HEAR, ROTA, TCC, CAIA, CSO and others will feedback and build on recent campaigning in West London to improve commissioning and services for BAMER people with mental health support needs.

 Join us to learn about the #HardlyHardToReach campaign, and help plan future goals, activities and actions.

 For more information please email mhairi@reap.org.uk

Online panel experts wanted 

Researchers from Nottingham University Business School in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre are looking to form an online panel of experts to gather opinions and vote on items concerning discharge from an acute mental health unit. 

 They are interested in finding out which items people think are important to ensure discharge is safe.

 The group will include service-users, carers, researchers, end-users of research (NHS managers, commissioners, charities, etc.) and mental health professionals (of all cadres).

 If you consider yourself to be from any of these groups and would be willing to complete a series of short, online questionnaires (3-4) over the next two to three months, read more below for details of how to participate.

Panel members that complete all of the questionnaires will receive a £20 amazon voucher for their time and an option to be named in academic publications. 

The questionnaires can be completed on a mobile device and will each take 5 to 20 minutes. The total duration should be no more than one hour.

 If you would like to complete the first questionnaire please click here

 For more information please contact Dr Natasha Tyler: natasha.tyler@nottingham.ac.uk

'Crystal's Vardo' - the origins & history of Romani Gypsies 

 'Crystal's Vardo' is showing in a special performance at the Ovalhouse in Kennington on 24th January! This is a great way to find out more about the origins and history of Romani Gypsies.

The play is a lively and entertaining story of a young girl's journey through Romani history in a quest to piece together the shards of her ancestry. Interwoven with humour, music and storytelling, this is a story that will both shock and delight.

Crystal's Vardo aims to raise awareness of Gypsy and Traveller issues and in turn help tackle the problems of racist bullying in schools and elsewhere. 

There will be a glass of wine and snacks included in the ticket cost.

Book tickets here.

Petition: Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services 

 NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHs) are so poorly funded that young people are often left to suicide before they get the help they need. CAMHs are having to turn away children with complex psychological conditions. No child should be told they are not ill enough to get help.

To support this petition, please click here

Discount offer on UC-UK mental health conferences 

HC-UK's mental health conferences and masterclasses focus on a number of topics helping those working in mental health or with mental health service users have an increased understanding of the service user experience and look at issues such as capacity and consent, co-morbidity and psychological therapies.

HC-UK offer NSUN members 20% discount by quoting ref: HCUK20NSUN when booking.(*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.  Full T&Cs available upon request.)

 For a list of upcoming conferences please click here

Transformation, Illness and Identity - Derby 

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This event will present a selection of academic papers in the day session, following by an evening of poetry/prose recitals in the evening (the evening event will be co-curated with Derby based poet and writer Pippa Nayer). Academic paper submissions for talks of around 30 minutes, should be in a 300-500 word abstract, with accompanying bio.

Those wishing to submit poetry or prose should send a brief synopsis of their work, with one piece and an accompanying bio. Please send all submissions to Hannah via compassion_well@hotmail.co.uk before the 4 February 2019.

 Date: 6 July 2019

Venue: Holiday Inn Riverlights, Derby

Time: Day Session (9-5) TBC, Derby - Evening Session (7.30-10.00)

 CALL FOR PAPERS (Day Session) POETRY/PROSE (Evening Session)

 Topics might include:
Soul journeying, shamanism and the self
Archetypal explorations of self
Connection with the natural world
Recovery and transformation
Spiritual emergency; unexpected spiritual experiences
Religious conversion or loss of faith following an illness
Suffering and transformation
Transformation of the self through treatment for mental illness
Spirituality in psychotherapeutic engagement and approach
Pastoral healthcare
Voice hearing
Ritual and illness 

 Please send all submissions to Hannah via compassion_well@hotmail.co.uk before the 4th February 2019 compassionatewellbeingconferences.weebly.com

Service users and clinicians co-produce resources in East Suffolk 

 Service users and clinicians in east Suffolk have joined forces to create a suite of new resources to further improve the care available to people reaching crisis point.

 The ‘Listen’ project has seen people with first-hand experience of services work alongside clinical staff to develop posters and badges which act as a reminder for anyone working with someone in a high state of distress. They carry the acronym:

  • Listen and look

  • Involve and inform

  • Share understanding

  • Time and availability

  • Empathise, encourage and evaluate

  • Next steps in treatment

Read more here

Bid writing workshops 

NFP offer bid writing worshops, basics and advanced, held at several locations across the country, between January and March.

 Who can attend?

Staff members, volunteers, trustees or board members of charities, schools, not for profit or public sector organisations who intend to submit grant funding applications to charitable grant making trusts and foundations. People who provide advice to these organisations are also welcome.

 A full list of workshops is available here.

Mental Capacity Action Day 2019 

This year’s Mental Capacity Action Day will take place on Friday 15 March 2019 at the Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0RN.

If you'd like to attend, please get in touch with Maya Sooben, Mental Capacity Policy Department, Ministry of Justice. 

Tel - 0203 334 3127, Email - NMCF1@justice.gov.uk

Free mental health first aid training (Wandsworth / Richmond) 

 Upcoming Free Mental Health First Aid Training- Limited spaces are available.

 Lifetimes have been commissioned by Wandsworth and Richmond Borough Council to run further MHFA two-day training courses for early 2019.

 There are a few spaces available for individuals who either work, live, study or volunteer in Wandsworth or Richmond.

 The spaces are limited and book up very quickly so please book your place as soon as you are able, by clicking on the dates below. 

23rd & 30th January 10.00am- 17.00pm

24th & 31st January 10.00am- 17.00pm

6th & 7th February 10.00am- 17.00pm


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an Internationally Accredited educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health problem.

In the same way as we learn physical first aid, mental health first aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

Get set for Emerging Proud Day international party  

 Emerging Proud is a campaign that reframes mental distress as a tranformation progress.

 #Emerging Proud day on 12 May 2019 is set to be extra special; not only will the team be launching the Kinda Proud  book, spearheaded by the inspirational Dr Nicole Gruel, but hosting an online event and encouraging worldwide conversations around the topic of NOTEs (Non- ordinary transcendent experiences)… except we know they are actually quite ‘normal’!

 Will you join in and help to bring voices to the collective? 

Click here for more information.

GOV.UK news 

 Partners of new mums with mental illness set to get targeted support on the NHS

New and expectant fathers will be offered mental health checks and treatment under radical action to support families, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens announced on 02 December 2018. Read more here.

 LGBT national advisor role

The Government LGBT Action Plan, sets out how it will advance the rights of LGBT people and improve the way that public services work for them.

The Plan committed Government to improving the health and social care of LGBT people, and their experience of healthcare. To deliver this, they are now recruiting a National Adviser post.

The Adviser will work across the NHS to ensure that the needs of LGBT people are considered throughout the health system; and work to improve healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues so they can provide better patient care.

The National Adviser will work as part of a dynamic team in NHS England to deliver this work. The post is now advertised here.

Deadline for applications is 3 February 2019

 Women's Mental Health Taskforce report

The Women's Mental Health Taskforce – co-chaired by Jackie Doyle-Price, Minister for Mental Health, Inequalities and Suicide Prevention, and Katharine Sacks-Jones, Chief Executive of Agenda, – has set out its key principles for gender and trauma-informed care in its final report, published December 2017. 

The work of the Taskforce was informed by the voices and experiences of women and the report encourages commissioners, providers and practitioners to promote best practice in their organisations while taking into account women’s individual, gender-specific needs. The Association of Mental Health Providers led the work on VCSE sector engagement for the Taskforce to inform the findings of the report and ensured that the essential role of the sector is included in the Principles and commitments going forward. 

 Earlier this year, The Association worked with DHSC to commission Health and Wellbeing Alliance partners, Clinks, National LGB&T Partnership, NSUN, and Race Equality Foundation, to engage with women with lived experience of mental health services through focus groups. 

 NHS Standard Contract 2019/20: Consultation

 NHS England is now consulting on the NHS Standard Contract for 2019/20.

The draft Contract and consultation documents are available on the NHS Standard Contract web page

 Respond to consultation by 1 February 2019 to england.contractsengagement@nhs.net

For any further info, contact NHS Standard Contract Team england.contractsengagement@nhs.net

Crystal's Vardo on Tour this January!


Crystal’s Vardo, a play produced by Friends, Families and Travellers, will be touring venues across the South East of England to mark Holocaust Memorial Day which falls on Sunday 27th January 2019.

The play tells the story of the rich history and culture of Romani Gypsies seen through the eyes of Crystal, a young Gypsy girl who has been bullied at school. Loved by adults and young people alike, the play was written to raise awareness and improve understanding of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

You can see Crystal's Vardo at one of these locations:

The Ovalhouse, London
Thursday 24th January at 7pm
£10/£8 concession
Get tickets
Suitable for ages 10+

Northolt Library, Ealing, London
Saturday 26th January at 2pm
Contact details
Suitable for ages 8+

All Saints Art Centre, Lewes
Thursday 31st January at 1pm
Book your place
Suitable for ages 8+

"This performance is an enormously important achievement. It remains entertaining while also raising awareness about the racism and injustice faced by Gypsies and Travellers today."

The Source, Brighton - 2018

Crystal's Vardo is the perfect way to celebrate GRTHM in June. 
If you would like to book a performance, contact suzanna@gypsy-traveller.org

Spectrum Quarterly Briefing December 2018

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It's been a packed year...

New treatment options! New groups! New ways of working! A whole new service on the horizon! At Spectrum CGL we've had a busy 2018. 

We've been pleased to see more signs of visible recovery than ever in our hubs, with ex-clients going on to play a massive role in service user involvement, volunteering and employment with us.

In September, we were delighted to be awarded the contract to deliver the new all-ages substance misuse service in Hertfordshire and in October we put the finishing touches on our service-wide redesign we started back in 2017 with the opening of a new satellite service in Cheshunt

Elsewhere we've been determined to fight drug-related harms and improve health outcomes for people in Hertfordshire, with the expanded roll-out of take-home naloxone to 28 community pharmacies, the delivery of Hepatitis C treatment within our hubs and the launch of our national Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) toolkit.  

Read on for more from the last 3 months.

International Men's Day - November 19th
Our Stevenage staff handed out 30+ wellbeing packs (yorkie bars, deodorant, men's health advice) and flyers to help highlight some of the specific issues men can face and encourage open dialogue between our male service users.

Alcohol awareness week 2018
During alcohol awareness week, our teams took the opportunity to engage in alcohol mythbusting with service users, motivation-mapping and learning how to mix alternative alcohol-free mocktails to prepare for the potential difficulties of staying sober during the upcoming holidays.

Hatfield open day - November 29th
This year we were joined by 40+ visitors at our Hatfield service for our annual open day.
Professionals and the wider public got the opportunity to meet the team, get advice for themselves or their clients on how to treat substance addiction and hear from recent carers about their treatment experience.

Professor Schifano delivers opiate lecture
Spectrum Hatfield doctor and NPS expert Fabrizio Schifano delivered a patient-focused lecture around the desired effects of opiates, implications of "on top" use and the future of substitute prescribing to staff, local GPs and other clinicians on December 12th. You can read his presentation here.

Christmas & New Years opening times 
Our opening times this year are available to download here. Our hubs are only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New year's Day.

However, we're still operating our out-of-hours contact number during these times in case of emergencies: 0800 652 3169

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Family Safeguarding Team in 2018
The Family Safeguarding Team (which our recovery workers are a part of) continues to succeed after the praise it received in The Guardian at the end of last year. They recently earned a shout-out for the high "quality of partner working" and for "improving outcomes and reducing risks" in Ofsted's October 2018 report.  

Our recovery workers in the team have also piloted a new 8-week Parenting Recovery Programme catering specifically for those using drugs or alcohol who are on a 'Child in Need' or 'Child Protection' plan.
The initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we will be continuing the programme in the New Year.

Lucy Sheppard talks about Hospital Liaison  
Our team covers a range of different facilities including general hospitals, mental health and acute day treatment units. In Watford General and The Lister, we have one nurse and one brief intervention worker. In the mental health hospitals and facilities we have 2 part-time brief intervention workers.

If a person presents to hospital with alcohol or drug-related symptoms, hospital staff refer the patient to our on-site staff. We will then work with the patient throughout their stay to support them to achieve their treatment goals and organise post-discharge follow-up if needed.

We regularly assess patients who have a dual mental health and substance misuse diagnosis, and in the general hospitals, we have developed a Joint Outpatient Clinic with the hospital mental health team which has been very beneficial to these patients. In addition, we work closely with the hospital to reduce the number of frequent attenders and save bed space.
Working within the Hospital Liaison Service is very rewarding; it allows us to support hospital staff to work with and treat patients with substance issues, and actively reduce the stigma associated with addiction. We support patients to reach their recovery goals, whether that be engaging with the community team, or accessing alternative support. We often see patients in crisis, whether that be physical or mental health crisis, so engagement can be quite challenging but we're able to deliver much-needed harm reduction advice and can fast-track a patient's  referral into the local community services.

Lucy Sheppard is the Team Leader for the Hospital Liaison Service. You can get in touch with her via Lucy.Sheppard@cgl.org.uk


Upcoming - 2019

Text message appointment reminders 
From February 2019 we will be sending automated text message reminders to our service users. 

Messages will be sent confirming that the appointment has been booked and sent again 24 hours before they are due to take place

Fake Percocet tablets containing fentanyl in circulation

The Metropolitan Police have issued an alert regarding the seizure of ’significant’ quantities of fake Percocet tablets that contained fentanyl and no other psychoactive drug.

Click here for harm reduction advice for people who use or may encounter fentanyl.

#EveryLifeMatters campaign
3,756 people in England and Wales tragically lost their lives as a result of drug poisoning in 2017.

Find out about our campaign to fight these deaths.

Letter regarding the numbers in treatment  
Change grow live wrote to The Guardian highlighting the fall in the number of people who were treated for addiction in England last year, which is deeply worrying.

Suicide Prevention Survey

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What’s the survey for?

Public Health and the Local Suicide Prevention Network with Spot the Signs are conducting research to find out how aware people are of suicide in Hertfordshire and what we’re doing about it.

We would find your feedback really helpful to help to inform the suicide prevention strategy. This will help us make improvements to the existing strategy and prioritize ideas. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses will be completely anonymous unless you wish to disclose your email address.


Trainers wanted to deliver new programme for HCF Training and Development

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We are delighted to inform you that, thanks to support from Hertfordshire County Council Adult Care Services, HCF Training and Development will be launching a new programme called Better Boards in 2019.

Better Boards aims to improve the governance practices of trustees and management committees via in-house consultations and training. The workshops will provide practical solutions to help organisations apply the principles of the 2017 Charity Governance Code.

In order to deliver Better Boards, HCF Training and Development will be establishing a team of expert trainers with the relevant experience to engage with trustee boards.

We will be running a Train the Trainer course on Wednesday 6th February 2019.

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please click on the link below for more information about the programme and to download the Train the Trainer application form.



Hertfordshire News

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Free Christmas activities

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but you can enjoy the festive season without breaking the bank with our selection of free events across Hertfordshire.

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Fancy a chat over a cuppa

Our first chatter table will be taking place in the café at the Letchworth branch of Morrisons on Monday 10 December 10am to 12noon. Come along to have a chat and meet new people.

BME Advocacy Worker Job Vacancy

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North Hertfordshire Minority Ethnic Forum is a charity helping the vulnerable Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people. We are looking for a BME Advocacy Worker to provide information, advice and guidance to our clients who have language and communication barriers. Candidates must have previous experience helping BME people with advocacy/counselling, be multi/bi-lingual and have flexible working attitudes according to the need of the organisation.

Part-Time: 25 hours p/week

Salary: £12,163 for 25 hours/week, based on £18,000 if a full-time

For information or application pack, please contact 01462-440224 or email: director@nhmef.org.uk

Closing Date: 23.11.2018

Interview: 03.12.2018

www.nhmef.org.uk Charity No. 1077201

Carers in Herts Involvement/Development - Mental Health/Substance Misuse Job Advert

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Carers in Hertfordshire is a well-respected, independent, carer-led charity, established in 1995. The charity works to ensure that all Hertfordshire's unpaid family carers are recognised, valued and supported in their caring role and have the opportunity for a life outside caring and can exercise a collective voice in the county. We support adult carers and young carers and provide information and support. We also arrange a variety of ways for carers to work closely and collaboratively with professional staff in a wide range of voluntary and statutory organisations to link our services and help those organisations to develop a carer friendly focus. 3 in 5 people will be an unpaid carer at some point in their life and 1 in 3 carers will have to give up work to meet the demands of caring. Although this unpaid care saves the NHS billions of pounds a year, it comes at a cost to the unpaid family carer - physically, emotionally and financially.

We have vacancies for a Carer Support Advisor, a Carer Involvement & Development Worker - Mental Health and Substance Misuse, a Registered Manager and Care Support Workers in our Crossroads Care Service.

Click this link http://www.carersinherts.org.uk/home/contact-us/employment to view the current vacancies


Closing Date is 18th November

National Patient Safety Alert Committee

We are recruiting


If you have a desire to ensure that health and care organisations take action in response to identified patient safety risks, we would like to hear from you!


Every year, over 100 messages, instructions, guidance, alerts and other communications are directed at healthcare providers through the Central Alerting System, requiring a variety of types of action, and issued by a number of different bodies and teams, in a range of formats. However, to date, the safety advice and guidance issued to the NHS does not have sufficient impact on the safety of patients, as not all organisations are reliably implementing the required actions.


Improving the response to patient safety alerts

The National Patient Safety Alert Committee (NaPSAC) has been newly set up with a remit to clearly identify which nationally-issued patient safety advice and guidance is safety-critical. To do this, it is putting in place common standards, so that all the organisations which issue patient safety alerts make it clear when action is needed in response to safety-critical communications.

NaPSAC is committed to involving patients, service users, carers and families and the general public in this work. We know that you will bring a wealth of insight, perspectives, expertise and experience that can help to challenge thinking, innovate and improve the way the committee carries out its work.


What does it involve?

As a patient and public voice (PPV) representative you would need to attend the regular NaPSAC meetings, held about every two months, and take an equal part in its deliberations and decision-making.  The committee is currently working to agree the criteria and approach to ‘credentialing’ the organisations which issue patient safety alerts.

Once these are in place, between meetings, all the committee members, including PPV representatives, will be involved in the assessment of applications from organisations looking to become ‘credentialed’. 

It is estimated that attending meetings and carrying out assessments would require up to two days’ involvement per month initially, reducing to up two days quarterly, once assessments of current issuing bodies were complete.  PPV representatives will receive travel expenses and a per-day allowance of £150 per day, or £75 per half day, for the time spent on NaPSAC activities in accordance with NHS Improvement’s agreed rating and terms for patient and public involvement at level four.


How to apply:

If you are interested in getting involved, please see the full role description here and application form here.

Applications should be sent to cindy.taplin@nhs.net by deadline 18th November 2018.

We will be in touch to arrange a short telephone interview for short-listed potential PPV representatives to join NaPSAC as committee members.

The PPV partners recruited will be provided with a full briefing on the work of NaPSAC, the background to how patient safety alerts are drawn up and circulated, the criteria against which bodies wishing to be credentialed will need to meet and the assessment process for this.

NaPSAC is committed to providing the necessary access and support to enable PPV representatives to fully contribute to the work.


If you have difficulty accessing the forms or need to receive them in other formats, please contact cindy.taplin@nhs.net or call on 07710 119361. If you would like to discuss the opportunities before expressing interest, email Cindy using the details above.  

New Positions at Resolve

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Resolve have two new job vacancies

Night Shelter Senior Project Manager

Permanent Night Shift Position – £25,155 p.a.

Closing Date for application: 5.00pm Friday 26th October 2018

Click here to view the vacancy details and information on how to apply

Night Shelter Support Worker

Permanent Night Shift Positions Full-time and Part-time

Starting Salary – £21,216 p.a. and pro-rata for part-time posts

Closing Date for application: 5.00pm Friday 26th October 2018

Click here to view the vacancy details and information on how to apply