Family, Friends and Carers Newsletter July 2021

Welcome to our Family, Friends and Carers Newsletter

Publication date:
30 July 2021
Date range:
July 2021 - ongoing


Welcome to the latest Family, Friends and Carers Newsletter...

It’s been a busy few months across our sites and across the country as a whole as we have
moved ever closer to (and finally out of) the lockdown restrictions.

This has been and will continue to be a time of great adjustment for all of us. We are
working hard to make sure that we can safely ease back into a more ‘normal’ way of
working and we will be continuing to share updates as to what is now possible via our
teams and also our coronavirus page

What do the changes mean for visits and leave right now?

Public Health England has announced that its infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors. That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals. 

In line with this advice, we will be asking all visitors to KMPT sites to continue to:

  • Wear a face covering at all times as appropriate – if you are exempt due to health concerns, please let a member of our staff know
  • Maintain 2 metre social distancing at all times where possible
  • Wash/sanitise their hands regularly as appropriate

When it comes to leave, we are pleased to have been able to re-introduce home visits, community leave and other leaves that our teams deem to be appropriate and suitable.

Please speak to your loved one’s team if you have any specific queries around visiting and leave arrangements

Carers Week - 7 to 13 June 2021

Carers Week took place from 7-13 June 2021 and we celebrated by holding a programme of events inviting families, friends and carers to take some time out to take care of themselves through our daily ‘Elevenses’ sessions.
Each day we had a different theme, from music and mediation, to thankful thoughts and seek support. We hope that you found those 11 minutes each day a good opportunity to take some time for yourself.
We also offered some chances to Meet our Managers and teams and we thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
It is so important that we hear from you about how you are feeling and your views on how we might be able to improve both you and your loved one’s experiences whilst in our care. 

If any of the above would be helpful or if you have any other ideas or questions relating to how we work with families, friends and carers, please speak to your Family Engagement and Liaison Lead.

Spotlight on... Kent and Medway Recovery & Wellbeing College

The Recovery & Wellbeing college offers educational courses to support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing in shared learning environments in the community. We support people to identify and build on their own strengths and make sense of their experiences. We provide a safe space where students take back control of their lives, feel hopeful and become experts in their own wellbeing and recovery.

Whether you are experiencing health challenges yourself, are a family member, friend or carer, or work in associated services, all are welcome. We know that coming together and learning more about health and wellbeing enables us all to make the most of our strengths, talents and resources and helps people to do things that matter to them.

The college is open to every resident of Kent over the age of 18.
To access the latest prospectus and find out more about the Recovery & Wellbeing College visit the website or you can call the enrolment line on 07787 266 421.

Virtual Forums 

Why not drop in and join us from 2-3pm on:

  • 17 August 2021
  • 17 September 2021
  • 17 October 2021

The forums are a great opportunity to: speak with the team, hear updates as to what’s happening within the Trust and at each site, to share ideas and feedback, to work together and to link up with other families, friends and carers.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some thoughts from a family member who came along to a recent forum: 

“Prior to our loved one entering the Trevor Gibbens unit we felt really helpless, on the outside of their care provision. To feel involved and part of a team helping our son on his road to recovery has been huge to us, extended family and friends. We all feel like we can do something, that we are really valued and trusted. Joining the forum is a large part of that inclusivity. Despite feeling anxious and imagining I couldn’t contribute much I was made to feel so welcome and that we were all working towards the same goals.”

Feedback from the Forums…

We know that not everyone is able to join the forums so we thought we’d share some of the topics that have come up over the last 3 months here:

  • the frequency and time available for families, friends and carers to be in contact with their loved one
  • the possibility of joint activities during visits
  • the importance of clear dialogue with families, friends and carers around admission (including sharing information packs early on), diagnosis, symptoms etc.
  • the possibility of offering courses for patients as well as families, friends and cares to help support around discharge, such as Mental Health First Aid courses
  • making contact more personalised.

We are always happy to hear your experiences, ideas and suggestions and moving forwards we will keep sharing feedback from the forums and also any updates on how we are working on some of these via the newsletter.

Thank you!

A big THANK YOU to the family, friends and patient who dedicated May to improving their well-being whilst raising a fantastic £2000 for the Friends of Mental Health West Kent Charity.

The family have asked that the funds are earmarked for Occupational Therapy at the "fantastic Trevor Gibbens Unit" and we are very grateful for the huge efforts and extremely generous donation which will support and benefit our patients moving forwards.

Get Involved

Including the views and experience of our patients and carers in improving and developing our services helps us to get it right.
We really value the participation and involvement of families, friends and carers along with our patients.
Please see below some of the latest opportunities:

  • Family conversation/awareness training in Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team
  • Moving on leaflet review for acute services
  • Designing and Evaluating an Online Self-Help Version of Cognitive Analytic Therapy: a randomised controlled trial
  • Invitation for people with lived experience to take part in the Induction video for service user, carers and volunteers
  • Focus Group to support the recruitment of our new Nurse Consultant on 28 July
  • Quality Improvement project: KMPT Complaints process - survey

We will keep sharing updates on opportunities to get involved in local, Trustwide and external projects and meetings when available.

Local opportunities with the Forensic and Specialist Care Group

As some of you are aware we are starting a project looking at reviewing (and improving) the current Carer Awareness Training that we provide to staff working across the Forensic and Forensic Learning Disability Inpatient services at Dartford and Maidstone.
Our first focus group took place in July but it’s not too late to get involved. If you’d like to find out more or arrange to come along to the next focus group, please contact your Family Engagement and Liaison Lead or the Engagement Team (details below).

Feedback from recent opportunities…

The Keeping Connected event on Wednesday 9 June provided information about:

  • The Participation and Involvement Strategy 2020-2025 – a new 5-year plan where services users, carers and volunteers will help improve KMPT services
  • The Engagement Council
  • Engagement activities
  • Voluntary services and Partnership working

There was also an opportunity for Questions and Answers and shared ideas.
The next Keeping Connected event will be held on Thursday 2 September 2021 from 10.00am to 11.30am and the main focus will be on the Engagement Council, Training and Support and Care Planning.  

If you are passionate about service improvement, would like to find out more or sign up to the Engagement Pool, please get in touch with:
Kamila Lobuzinska, Patient engagement coordinator, on 07917 513426 or email

What is a CPA meeting?

The term CPA stands for Care Programme Approach. Under the Care Programme Approach your loved one will receive treatment from a dedicated team of professionals who will work to identify their needs and agree appropriate treatment.
Meetings to review the CPA plan are usually held at 3 months following admission and then every 6 months thereafter.
CPA meetings can include your loved one, their multi-disciplinary team and sometimes external professionals who may be involved in their care. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions, be provided with information about the care and treatment your loved one is receiving and plans for the future. You will also be provided with an indication of signs to help you identify if your loved one is relapsing.

Any questions? 

Is there something you’ve been meaning to ask but weren’t sure who to go to or you think other family, friends or carers might also be interested in the answer?

If so, just let us know – any questions can be submitted to your Family Engagement and Liaison Lead, Hayley – and we will do our best to include the answers in the next edition.

What’s coming up?

National Fitness Day - 22 September 2021
National Fitness Day encourages people all across the country to make 22 September the most active day of the year.
It’s a chance to celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity and to highlight the role physical activity plays and to help raise awareness of its importance in helping us lead healthier lifestyles through being physically active.
You can find out more about National Fitness Day here

A time to reflect…

When it comes to the pandemic, there are also some helpful tips and resources available our website too, including a 'looking back to help you move forward' worksheet which encourages us to think about the following questions in order to see what we can take from our experience for the future:

1) What happened?

2) How did it make me feel?

3) What did I do well?

4) What would I do differently next time?

Whatever our experience of the pandemic, we will have adapted, kept ourselves going and we might even have learned more about ourselves, the way we cope and the things that are really important to us.

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 October 2021 so please get in touch between now and then if you’d like to get involved…

Contact us if you have any questions

Your Family Engagement and Liaison Lead is Hayley Mason. 

You can contact her by calling 07880 473366 or emailing