Family, Friends and Carers Newsletter April 2021

Welcome to our Family, Friends and Carers Newsletter

Publication date:
01 May 2021
Date range:
April 2021 - ongoing


What’s new?

Introducing your new Family engagement and liaison lead – Hayley Mason.

Hayley joined the Trust in February 2021 and is looking forward to working with everyone to improve the experience for those with loved ones in one of our Forensic Inpatient wards across Maidstone and Dartford.

Hayley’s role is to be a dedicated point of contact for family, friends and carers throughout admission. She can help with support, signposting and providing information as well as acting as a liaison between you, your loved one and the health professionals involved in their care.

Hayley can be contacted by phone or email:

Phone: 07880 473366

Virtual forums

A new date for your diaries!

Moving forwards we will be holding our Monthly Virtual Family, Friends and Carers Drop-In Forums on the 17th of each month from 2-3pm.

These are an informal space for you to drop-in and speak with our Family Engagement and Liaison Lead, one of our Service Managers and other family, friends and carers.

We might share updates as to what’s happening within the Trust and at each site or ask for your thoughts and feedback but it’s also a great space to link up with other families, friends and carers.

We’d love to work together to come up with a plan for how we can move forward and improve the experience of those using our services.

The next few dates for your diary are:

  • Monday 17 May 2-3pm
  • Thursday 17 June 2-3pm
  • Saturday 17 July 2-3pm

COVID-19 – The KMPT road ahead

As you know, it has been essential for us to make some changes to the way we do things in line with Covid-19, the government roadmap and changing guidance over the last year and we thank you for your patience and support during this time.

On a positive note we are now able to begin to open up some opportunities again for our patients and their families, friends and carers.

We will be sharing more information about the KMPT Roadmap and what this means for everyone in due course. In the meantime, one key step forward has been in terms of visiting:

  • At present - Patients can have visitors in courtyards and outside space or indoors in bookable rooms compassionate visiting (i.e. on the ward) - one person per patient.
  • Not before 17 May 2021 - Updated guidance on friends and family social distancing
  • Not before 21 June 2021 - Visits and home visits fully reinstated.

These dates are indicative and are continuously under review and subject to any change in infection rates.

If you’d like to book a visit with your loved one, please contact the relevant ward team.

When visiting, please be aware that:

  • All visitors must always wear a face covering, including when entering and moving through the healthcare setting and for the duration of the visit.
  • Social distancing must be maintained at all times throughout the visit (2 metres).
  • Hands must be washed and/or sanitised before and after all visits.
  • Visitors should bring as few personal belongings as possible with them.
  • All visits must be pre-booked with the ward.
  • Our staff will ask a few questions on booking, for example in relation to any symptoms of Covid-19 and travel.
  • The visit will not proceed if the family, friend, carer or a member of their household has symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 or if there are any suspected or confirmed cases on the ward where the patient resides.

Further advice and/ or updates will be given by our teams on booking.

Thank you again for working with us during this difficult time.

Carers Week 7-13 June 2021

Carers Week is an annual campaign to:

  • raise awareness of caring
  • highlight the challenges unpaid carers face
  • recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK

Carers Week also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

This Carers Week the focus is on Make Caring Visible and Valued.

We will be holding a series of events throughout the week with a view to recognising you and the key role you play.

More details will follow but if you’d like to be involved in any way, please let us know.

You can also find out more about Carers Week at

Carers Assessments

Did you know that if you care for someone, you can have an assessment to see what might help to make your life a little easier?
This type of assessment is called a Carers Assessment.

Carers Assessments are free and anyone over 18 can ask for one.

Carers Assessments are carried out by the local council adult social services team or, in some cases, by a local organisation such as a Carer’s organisation – for example, those detailed on the last page of this newsletter.

The assessment provides an opportunity to discuss how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring.

The assessment might make some recommendations for things that could help.

These might be things that help you directly, such as help with transport costs, support with technology, help with housework or gardening or help to improve and promote your own wellbeing.

Alternatively, recommendations might also relate to help that can be made available to your loved one, which will in turn help to support you as the carer. These kinds of things include, changes to the home, equipment, support with replacement or respite care, assistance with travel etc.

More information about Carers Assessments can be obtained via your Family Engagement and Liaison Lead or via

Kent and Medway Carers’ Emergency Card

The Carers’ Emergency Card provides Carers with support to plan for the person they care for in the unlikely event of an accident or sudden illness which may mean the Carer is unable to support the cared for person.

The Carers’ Emergency Card enables a First Responder, Health Care Worker, or anyone trying to support the Carer in an urgent
situation, to access the emergency contact information to enable the emergency contact to immediately support the cared for person.

You can apply for the card (which is free of charge) if you:

  • live in Kent or Medway
  • are over 16
  • care for someone else You can apply through your local carers support organisation (details on the last page). Similar schemes are available in other areas of the country too.

Future editions

We hope you enjoy this latest newsletter and would love to hear your feedback and/or ideas for future content.

The next edition will be coming out in July 2021 so please get in touch between now and then if you’d like to get involved…

Spotlight on … Fundraising

One family have decided to make May a Well-Being month –

Family members, and hopefully their loved one too, will be making some small changes to their lifestyles throughout the month of May to raise some money for the The Friends Of Mental Health (West Kent and Medway) – Registered charity: 277712.

The fundraising page will be shared amongst their close friends and family only and the family will be asking that any money raised is earmarked for the ‘amazing’ Trevor Gibbens Unit.

Working together on this is hopefully a way of encouraging their loved one to engage and see his family actively supporting him whilst recognising the importance of well-being for everyone involved.

If you’d like to find out more about fundraising for, or volunteering with The Friends of Mental Health charities (there are separate organisations for West Kent & Medway and East Kent), please go to our Friends of Mental health page

Let’s wish them all the best on their Well-Being quest!

Get Involved (opportunities)

Including the views and experience of our patients and carers in improving and developing our services helps us to get it right.

The new Participation and Involvement Strategy and work plan has been co-produced to offer a wide-range of activities to help you engage and supports us to make the changes most important to you.

By helping to shape our services, you will have even more opportunities to participate in other future work too and develop new skills both personally and professionally.

If you want to keep you up-to-date with the very latest KMPT news and events as well as exciting volunteer opportunities and stories, take a look at our monthly newsletters on our website, where you can also sign up to receive them on our newsletters page

If you are passionate about service improvement, please get in touch with:

Kamila Lobuzinska, Patient engagement coordinator, on 07917 513426 or email

Below are a few examples of the types of projects that KMPT have taking place at the moment that would really benefit from your help:

  • A review of the physical healthcare provided to inpatients in mental health hospitals. If someone you care for has had an inpatient admission to a mental health hospital and also has a long-term physical health condition or received physical health care whilst an inpatient, please complete this short survey of the care they received.
  • We are looking for people who have a genuine interest in technology to become part of an ongoing focus group of patient and carers we can call upon when required. The Digital Services focus group will support KMPT services and teams in getting the best out of new and existing technologies, in particular how it is developed, to provide digitally enabled care and to help improve care and the experience of using our services.
  • The Improving Mental Health Services Capital Projects (IMHS-CP) project has been established to oversee the design and build of a number of high quality, modern mental health facilities at KMPT’s Maidstone site, next to Maidstone Hospital, within a programme of redevelopment on the site. The new-build projects covered within the programme include a women’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and High Dependency Rehabilitation Unit/s (HDRU). The project starts in June 2021.

We also have some local projects coming up, for example, would you like to be involved in creating future newsletters?

We’d love to be able to work on this together with family, friends and carers so we can make sure that it’s interesting, informative and most importantly, what you want it to be!

We can get you linked up with our Patient Engagement Team as a first step and can support with advice and guidance around the project as needed.

Just let us know if you’d like to get involved.