e-connect January 2021

Welcome to e-connect, our monthly Trust e-bulletin with the intention of helping to keep you connected with us, update you on the service improvements we are making and share the work we are doing to improve access to our services across the county.

Publication date:
29 January 2021
Date range:
January 2021 - ongoing



We are officially in 2021. The new year has brought new challenges for everyone with a third national lockdown being announced and the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

As a Trust, we continue to work together to maintain safety on our sites and to make sure that everyone is receiving the support and help they need. If you do visit one of our sites, please ensure that you;

  • wear a face covering
  • maintain 2m social distancing where possible
  • use the hand sanitiser that is available on arrival and exit

Our staff will continue to be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when looking after our patients to protect them and themselves.

We know this is a tough time for many. It is incredibly difficult not seeing our friends and families as we would like, but to help us all stay safe we must adhere to the government guidelines. KMPT, like our fellow NHS Trusts in Kent, is incredibly busy and in order to help those who are in need we must work together as a community to support one another and help to save lives.

We have had to adapt how our services are accessed (see below) to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, all the time continuing to provide brilliant care throughout the county.

The new year does bring some positives to the Trust with the introduction of a new pilot programme for maternal mental health and one of our incredible staff members receiving an MBE!

We hope 2021 will bring more positives and we cannot wait to share them with you.

Keep in touch via e-connect and don’t forget to share the good news with your colleagues.

Receiving treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the pandemic we are having to adapt the way we offer our services to make sure we can continue to support those who need our care and support in the best possible way during this time.

Don’t worry we are still here for all those who need us. This may be via:

  • By telephone
  • Through a secure video conference system or
  • Face- to-face (where possible).

We are all working together to ensure our services are impacted as little as possible due to COVID-19 but you may see some changes to our services.

Please get in touch if you have any concerns. Either contact the team responsible for your care or contact us via our website to answer your questions.

Dr Jackie Craissati appointed as Chair of KMPT

We are pleased to announce that Dr Jackie Craissati has been appointed as substantive Chair of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT), and will hold the position until 31 March 2023.

Jackie first joined KMPT’s Board in May 2016 and is a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist by profession, having previously been appointed as Clinical director of the forensic and prisons’ directorate at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. Jackie is also an Independent Governor on the Board of the University of East London.

Following 26 years in the NHS, she left in January 2016 to set up her own not-for-profit community interest company, Psychological Approaches CIC, offering consultancy and training to those working with complex mental health and offending behaviour.

Jackie retains a role as consultant advisor to the national Offender Personality Disorder Pathway and as an independent investigator of serious incidents for NHS England. She is a strong advocate of evidence-based practice and is a researcher and author in the field of criminal justice. Jackie also has a special interest in developing innovative and evidence based partnerships for the community reintegration of individuals with complex psychological difficulties who may otherwise suffer social exclusion and poor outcomes.

Jackie is delighted to be appointed as substantive chair for KMPT and said: “KMPT is a wonderful organisation to be part of, and I am excited to be appointed as Chair. Everyone on the Board is so proud of how the staff are working during these challenging times, and I know that this team spirit runs through the organisation’s core and  is one of its very great strengths. It will be an honour to lead the Board over the next few years.”

Thrive - Psychological support for birth trauma and loss

Looking after the mental health of pregnant women, new mothers and those who have experienced birth loss or birth trauma is a top priority of the NHS, who are now launching new Maternal Mental Health Services throughout England.

We are delighted to announce that we (KMPT) have been selected to be an Early Implementer site for the new service, as part of a testing phase taking place in all regions of England through 2021/22.

‘Thrive – Psychological Support for Birth Trauma and Loss’ is being piloted during 2021 in east Kent, as a joint partnership between KMPT's specialist psychologists in the Mother and infant mental health service (MIMHS), specialist mental health midwives at the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) and peer support workers: women with lived experience of birth trauma and birth loss.

The service will provide psychological therapy, advice and support to women with moderate to complex mental health difficulties resulting from their maternity experience.

For more information about the new service, please email: kmpt.thrivemhsupport@nhs.net

New Year Honours recognise mental health Occupational therapist Justine Norris MBE

Justine Norris, an Occupational therapist from Deal, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list with an MBE for her contribution to mental health services, in particular during COVID-19.

On the first night of lockdown in March 2020, Justine recognised that the necessary government restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, would have a considerable negative impact on mental health service users in Kent and Medway. Justine swiftly pulled together a range of resources to be shared across Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) to support patients who needed to stay at home or whose community programmes had to temporarily stop because of the restrictions.

The resource pack was quickly recognised as an essential tool that would benefit people in KMPT and beyond. Justine and her colleagues shared her resource pack across social media platforms and she was quickly contacted by people from across the world asking permission to use her resources.

So far Justine has received more than 500 requests to use the documents from Bangladesh, Canada, Hawaii, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, France and Spain (not an exhaustive list).

Justine’s resources were also acknowledged by Natalie Elphicke OBE MP for Dover and Deal in the House of Commons Official Report of Parliamentary Debates.

The resources include tips covering diet, routine, activity and staying connected. Sections also include mood, anxiety management, stress relief, sleep and exercise.

Justine Norris has worked as an Occupational therapist for six years and started with KMPT on an inpatient ward before joining one of KMPT’s crisis teams. She started training at University to become an Occupational therapist after her mother passed away following a battle with cancer. “I was caring for mum for some time when an Occupational therapist came to see her. She was incredible and thought about mum’s needs outside of medication. I instantly knew this was something I would love to do. A friend of mine decided to go back to University to train as an Occupational therapist and asked if I would join her. I immediately thought there would be no way I could get into University at the age of 43! But we did it; we both completed University and are now practising occupational therapists.

I absolutely love going to work (with my amazing team) and am positively thrilled to receive this recognition - although I still say I was just doing my job!”

Chief Executive Helen Greatorex said: “We could not be more proud of Justine. She has made an enormously positive difference to the people who use our services, to her colleagues and now to others around the world. She is a shining example of outstanding practice in mental health and the accolade of an MBE is rightful recognition of her exceptional contribution.”

Justine is a lifelong Deal resident. She is proud to share her outstanding skills with her daughter who will be following in her footsteps by training as an Occupational therapist at University in September 2021.

KMPT Awards 2020 round-up

Last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to hold our KMPT Awards as a group celebration and had to (like with everything else) adapt to the situation we found ourselves in and hold the event virtually.

From Monday 14 December to Friday 18 December 2020, we hosted our awards, with the winner and highly commended from each category receiving their trophy or certificate in a pre-recorded ceremony that our Communications team organised. In order to keep everyone safe, we had to adhere to social distancing rules, have only a certain number of people in the room at any one time and wear masks for the duration of the event.

Throughout the week our Executive management team headed out to present the winners with their  awards - they went to Maidstone, Dartford and Canterbury. We invited the winners and highly commended nominees from five categories to receive their awards each day and then shared the results of those awards and the pictures of the winner's with their trophies with staff via our website.

The awards culminated on Friday 18 December with a live broadcast of the final awards presentations including Year of the Nurse, Lifelong Achivement, the Chair's Award and the Unsung Hero Award.

You can find all of our winners and highly commended members of staff on the KMPT Awards page. 

The week went really smoothly and all our winner were incredibly happy that we found a way to still recognise and celebrate their achievements. A big shout out to everyone who was involved. It was certainly a different way of celebrating and who knows how we’ll be celebrating this year!

Join our KMPT family

If you are looking for a new direction in your career, there are a number of clinical and non-clinical roles currently available at the Trust.

Before the global pandemic arrived, we were already very supportive of flexible working and the use of technology to help deliver services. Our recruitment team is committed to helping support a work/life balance, so if you are interested in any of our roles, please read the job description and then we can chat about how the personal needs in your life can be supported.

If you join KMPT, you will be working for an organisation who values our colleagues health and wellbeing. We know that in order for us to deliver excellent care to our patients, we need to take care of ourselves and so we champion lots of initiatives and groups that everyone can join to help both professionally and personally.

You can browse the vacancies here and please do pass on to your family, friends and contacts who might be interested in joining KMPT.

We look forward to welcoming new members of staff to our KMPT family in the near future.