e-connect July 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:
31 July 2021
Date range:
July 2021 - ongoing


Summer has arrived and hasn't it been lovely to have some sunshine? It's made the lifting of restrictions in England even more enjoyable for many.

Although we too are excited by the "freedom" we have now been given, KMPT like all other NHS Trusts will not be changing our infection prevention and control measures and they will remain in line with the NHS England and NHS Improvement guidelines. This means that we are asking our visitors to continue to wear a face covering at all times when on KMPT sites, to maintain a 2 metre social distancing at all times where possible (1:1 clinical care is the only exception), and wash/sanitise their hands regularly. Our staff will also continue to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and undertake lateral flow tests.

We hope that you understand that these measures are continuing so we can ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff, especially those who are more vulnerable to infection.

Of course the lifting of restrictions, although positive for many, is also quite a daunting prospect and after living in states of lockdown for the last year and a half, we know that many of you might have feelings of anxiety or worry about the restrictions being lifted. Every Mind Matters has a list of top tips for anyone who is struggling with managing their feelings about lockdown lifting - which is a really useful read.

We hope that you all continue to stay safe and enjoy the summer holidays - whether you are having a holiday or being reunited with loved ones after such a long time, enjoy whatever you are doing, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine.

New name for the Mother and infant mental health service

The Mother and infant mental health service (MIMHS) is changing its name to the Perinatal mental health community service (PMHCS) from 1 September 2021.

In line with the NHS Long Term Plan we are broadening the remit of our specialist perinatal mental health community service. This includes:

  • Increasing access to evidence-based care for women with moderate to severe perinatal mental health difficulties, including improving access to evidence-based psychological therapies
  • Increasing the availability of specialist perinatal mental health community care for women who need ongoing support from 12 months after birth to 24 months
  • Developing maternal mental health services with our specialist mental health midwives to provide therapy for those who have experienced birth trauma and loss (currently piloting in east Kent).

Our updated service literature and website will be live from 1 September 2021 and this will include information on the service we provide.

  • We specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and short-term treatment of women who are affected by a moderate to severe perinatal mental health illness in the preconception, antenatal and postnatal period
  • We are a multi-professional team consisting of consultant perinatal psychiatrists, perinatal mental health nurses, psychologists, therapists and assistant psychologists, perinatal nursery nurses, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, social workers and pharmacists. Peer support workers with lived experience of perinatal mental health difficulties work within the service and share their own personal experiences of perinatal mental health issues and using services
  • We can provide education and training to other services within primary and secondary mental health to ensure perinatal mental health needs and risks are recognised, prioritised and managed.

Self-referrals can be made, as well as referrals by any health or social care professional. Contact us at KAMNASCPT.mimhs@nhs.net (until 31 August 2021) or KAMNASCPT.pmhcs@nhs.net (from 1 September 2021) or call us on 01622 722321.

Next Steps support for those awaiting a memory assessment

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the waiting times for people requiring a memory assessments have increased.

We know that this may be a very uncertain and challenging time for you and your loved ones so while waiting for your memory assessment appointment you can visit Next Steps’ online information to help you get the right support and advice, at the right time.

Next Steps has been created by the Dementia Change Action Network, a collaboration between Alzheimer’s Society, NHS England and Improvement, and the Coalition for Personalised Care.

Their website will provide you with immediate access to information about what to expect at your. memory assessment and organisations who can help, including steps you can take right now.

These include:

  • what to expect from the memory assessment process
  • taking care of your wellbeing
  • exploring available support
  • support if you are diagnosed with a form of dementia.

We want to hear from you to improve our complaints system

As an organisation we are committed to improving the way we learn from complaints. Complaints can provide a rich source of information to help us understand an individual's experience, help us shape and develop services, and to identify areas of concern. The busy working world leads us to often experience complaints as a burden that we don’t have time for, rather than an opportunity to explore and learn.

That is why our Patient advice and liaison service (PALS) and complaints have been working in collaboration with our Quality improvement team to change the complaints procedure at KMPT so that the process is seen as less of a burden on staff, service users, carers, family members and volunteers and more of a positive opportunity to reflect on our practices and improve our services.

In order to understand your views we have developed a set of short surveys to understand the experience of those who have been involved in each of these areas:

These surveys are anonymous and will help us develop better procedures to improve our services for you and others in the future. Please complete the section relevant to you. If you have any questions regarding the surveys  or work that we are proposing, please email the QI team: kmpt.transformationteam@nhs.net

Safety pods arrive on Heather ward

The Safety pods project at KMPT is gathering momentum with the latest stage seeing the roll out of pods across identified wards. A number of pods are already being used in the organisation and are producing great results for our patients and staff alike, but we want to introduce them to far more areas.

Safety pods are a fantastic medical device that can be used as another option during the use of physical interventions. The intention is to reduce risk while maintaining a patient’s safety through the good practice of positive change.

Safety pods are unique as they provide head and neck support individual to the patient.

When the patient enters the pod it’s ergonomically driven to respond to the patient’s body giving an optimum seating angle and reducing the risk of trauma.

We have been introducing training in how to use the pods to the staff in the wards across the Trust that will be using them. A huge congratulations to Heather ward who have engaged fantastically with the training and have become the first area to reach enough staff trained to safely deploy the pods, with two already delivered to the ward on Monday 12 July.

The staff are already loving the new pods and can’t wait to get using them and experiencing the benefits as part of both the therapeutic environment and as a physical intervention apparatus.

Rose Reed, Ward manager said: “I think it will be a nice addition to the de-escalation room as it doesn’t look so formal, we are hopeful that they will make a positive addition to Heather ward's therapeutic environment."

Safety pods training is on-going for those areas involved in the current roll out, so watch this space for more wards to launch soon.

Try the NHS App

You can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

You can use the NHS App to get health advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP health record and more.

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp

SBRI Healthcare’s competition – ‘Delivering a Net Zero NHS’

The Greener NHS programme, in collaboration with the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare, AHSN Network and the Accelerated Access Collaborative, is pleased to announce the launch of a new competition on ‘Delivering a Net Zero NHS’.

As the UK’s largest employer, the NHS is responsible for four per cent of the nation’s carbon emissions and has committed to reaching net zero by 2040.

The competition, launched on 13 July, seeks to address NHS net zero ambitions through innovations, as low carbon health care innovations will support the improvement of health now and for future generations.

The competition is particularly suited to small and medium-sized organisations, this includes commercial organisations and charities, as well as NHS Trusts. The deadline for applications is 24 August, 1pm, with shortlisting scheduled for September and contracts awarded in November 2021.

For further details, including the challenge brief, application guidance and the application form, please visit the SBRI Healthcare website