e-connect June 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:
30 June 2021
Date range:
June 2021 - ongoing


Welcome to e-connect!

Can you believe we're already in June? The sun is shining, the world is gradually opening up again and here at KMPT we remain committed to providing brilliant care to our patients.

Although the Government's announcement to delay the full restrictions being lifted until the 19 July was disappointing to many of us, it is important that we remain safe so that in the long run we can reach the levels of normality that we all crave. As many of you know, we have developed our own roadmap that is in line with the Government's and so have also delayed the dates for our full opening of services. We hope that you all understand that our staff, patients, carers and volunteers safety is of paramount importance and that is why we have made this decision.

The delay in the lifting of restrictions provides a time for the remainder of the adult population to be offered their first vaccination and for many more people to receive their booster. Everyone over the age of 18 is now able to book a vaccination and you can find out more about the vaccination centres available in Kent and Medway via the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group's website

As we continue to look ahead, in July we will be celebrating system-wide the NHS' 73rd birthday on 5 July 2021. This year NHS Charitites Together have organised 'The Big Tea' - an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the amazing work that NHS staff do every day. All you have to do is take 5 minutes to share a selfie of yourself drinking tea and raising your cup to the NHS. You can find out more about how to get involved here. At KMPT we are providing all of our staff with the time, space and resources to take part in the event and to congratulate and celebrate their colleagues for all of the hard work they do to provide brilliant care.

We look forward to sharing our photos from the event with you. Until then, we hope that you all continue to enjoy the sun, catch up with family and friends and look forward to when everyone can be reunited.

BBC One Show and RHS Garden of Hope 2021 for RHS

Chelsea Flower Show announced!

BBC One Show and the Royal Horticultural Society have joined forces to bring a garden of hope to the Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Here at KMPT, we are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the recipients of the garden which will live on at our Mother and Baby Unit in Dartford creating a sanctuary for our mums who need mental health support and a growing healthy environment for their babies and visitors to the unit.

The design has been developed by award winning designer and TV presenter Arit Anderson and will include a wooden sculpture which will incorporate seating and a child’s swing.

We cannot wait to see it at the Chelsea Flower Show later this year before it arrives at our unit.

Thank you to everyone involved, we couldn’t be more #KMPTProud!

Veterans’ mental health services

KMPT now has a Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS) available which has been developed by working with a number of NHS providers and Veteran’s support charities across the south of England.

The service has been designed by veteran’s for veterans and employs veterans, all of which will help to improve the experience of those using the service, encouraging them to engage with treatment.

Here in Kent and Medway, we are pleased to be working with Nick Parry who is leading the service, alongside fellow veterans and mental health workers who are supporting the development and launch of HIS across the county.

Call us on 023 9438 7924 or email snhs.veteranshis.se@nhs.net and tell us:

  • You are a veteran if you are in need of urgent support - you are a military veteran if you have served for a day or more
  • You are calling on behalf of a veteran – you will need their permission to call the service.
  • You are a relative of a veteran, calling for help for yourself or a member of your close family.

You can also be referred to the High Intensity Service and other veteran mental health services by your GP.

For further information visit our website

Learning Disability Week 2021

From 14 to 21 June was Learning Disabilities Week 2021. This year's theme was art and creativity.

Over the last year in particular, exploring creativity has been a positive way for many people living with learning disabilities to stay connected and positive, which is why this year's theme was chosen.

Here's some of the things we've been up to at KMPT to celebrate.

Our West Kent team launch a booklet of creativity

The West Kent Mental Health of Learning Disability (MHLD) team worked in partnership with a local day service during lockdown to encourage the talented service users to produce pieces of creative writing and art work. This project began before the theme of this year's week was announced but created the perfect opportunity for the team to launch their booklet of creativity.

The purpose of the project is to inform and educate members of the community about learning disabilities and dispel myths that often lead to misinformation and inequality. The second element is to offer insight from those with lived experience, providing an alternative narrative filled with strength and resilience.

To see the full booklet with all the amazing artwork, please download the PDF. You can also sign up to future issues of the e-bulletin from the team.

If you would like to learn more about the project, please email the team.

The pieces that have been created are incredibly powerful and we are so thankful to everyone who has taken part in this extraordinary piece of work.

Moving in Time art exhibition

The Occupational therapy team based in our inpatients Learning Disabilities low secure unit has worked with a very talented service user over many months to help them put together their own photographic exhibition to mark their journey towards final discharge.

The ‘Moving on in Time’ exhibition was displayed at Broadview in Dartford earlier this year and was a combination of emotive prose and poetry as well as art and photographs. It documented their time with the Trust when they were receiving expert care and therapy with the team.

Through this creative outlet they have been able to show the progression they have made during this time and be fully supported to do something that has provided an emotional release and build upon a skill and talent they clearly have cultivated which has been invaluable.

The ability to move forward is a significant part of any person’s recovery and the piece written below which speaks about the exhibition illustrates how in this instance this person was able to do exactly that.

Moving in Time

I have been at the Tarentfort Centre for a long time and I am now moving on.

I have always had an interest in painting and taking photos.

I have entered work in the Koester award and won prizes and sometimes sold my work.

I have also made a calendar of my photos with occupational therapy.

This recent work was taken in the grounds on site and at the back of Tarentfort Centre in the garden.

I took the photos because I liked the shapes and colours.

The art work is a collection of ideas I painted in my own time.

I hope you enjoy the exhibition!

How we're improving learning disability and autism services and support across the system

In January 2020 the Trust made the decision to focus on how it could improve its own services and the support it offers to people with a learning disability or autism. George Matuska became our Lead for learning disability and autism two years ago and we spoke to him about how his exciting work is now taking shape.

George said: “Since my appointment I have been involved in a whole host of conversations across the length and breadth of Kent and Medway health and care services, but most importantly with people who have either accessed support previously or who are still accessing support, as well as those who may need additional help from us in the future.

“What has really struck me is the broad spectrum of people’s experience of the care system currently based on their care. It really has been a very mixed picture, with some people finding the level of support they have received being just what they needed when they needed it, through to talk of large gaps in services, resulting in people having to fight for support that many of us just take for granted.

“KMPT’s vision is to provide ‘brilliant care through brilliant people.’ That, combined with the integrated care system’s vision ‘to help local people live their best life,’ has given us clear scope for the Trust to do even more and support itself and the system so we can work in union to address the health inequalities that some people face.”

The Trust has been working hard to set up an internal board called the Transforming Neurodiversity Support (TNS) Programme Board which aims to empower people with a learning disability and autistic people to become leaders and help guide and shape the direction of services. What makes this so different from previous ways of working is that the majority of its members are autistic people, people with a learning disability and ADHD, it has a chair with lived experience and is empowered to guide and hold the trust to account at all steps along the journey of transformation.

George continues: “We also are supporting KMPT to take a critical look at the services it is currently offering to autistic people and people with a learning disability, and to make sure we are continuing to be as effective as possible. KMPT is only one small part of a much larger system and to offer the best outcomes for people, the whole system needs to work together. 

“One way this has already started is by the Kent and Medway integrated care system (ICS)  prioritising the needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people. They have listened to the current challenges faced by people and their families and are looking to find ways to improve this. As a starting point they have agreed that alongside supporting people’s current needs, the whole system needs to agree on medium and long-term plans together. They have also agreed to the development of Kent and Medway’s very first all-age autism and learning disability system strategy, which will mark the start of things to come which is a real step forward.”

As we look to a brighter future, George is very clear that our central focus and main aspiration in anything we do is for people to be able to live their best life, whoever they are.

“We have identified an overarching need, set out our non-negotiables, and are already working on how we implement this vision within the Trust and with wider system to support the changes people have told us are needed. I am looking forward to the challenge and seeing what we can really achieve.”

Our Mother and Infant Mental Health Service present the Thrive pilot at a national webinar

On Friday 18 June, our Mother and Infant Mental Health Service (MIMHS) team was invited to present at the national online webinar: Commissioning for better perinatal mental health outcomes - Next steps to delivery of Long Term Plan ambitions. Their presentation was titled "Informing service development through co-production: Kent Maternal Mental Health Service (Thrive) case study" and was a great opportunity for Helen Crook, Long term plan lead, and her team to discuss the Thrive pilot, focusing on supporting women who have suffered birth loss or trauma, that has been taking place in east Kent.

The presentation was given by the MIMHS team, the Commissioner/ Senior programme manager Claire Haywood from Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and a person with lived experience, Charlotte, who has been instrumental in co-producing Thrive from the outset.

Being given such a platform enabled the team to share their insights, actions, learning and reflections on Thrive; and how it has been co-produced from the outset, with those with lived experience of birth loss, birth trauma and other maternal mental health difficulties having an active role in shaping the service.

Charlotte provided a pre-recorded video which set out her experience of co-producing Thrive - from the initial lived experience sessions held with the Thrive project team, to being able to provide her thoughts and opinions based on her own lived experience to help determine where the Thrive hubs should be situated, as well as the types of intervention and care it should provide, and also items such as the Thrive logo, name and imagery, plus she discussed her continuing work with others with lived experience on monthly forums and working groups, to ensure the service is suitable for those using it.

The webinar was attended by healthcare staff working within, and also those overseeing or commissioning perinatal mental health service provision across the whole country, including mental health directors, commissioners, stakeholders, service managers, project managers, psychologists etc. Over 146 people were in attendance, including Claire Murdoch (National Mental Health Director, NHSE/I) who provided an update on the Perinatal Mental Health Long Term Plan ambitions delivery in 2021/22, recovery, funding and expectations.

It was a real privilege for the team to be invited to present, and to have the opportunity to share their experience of how they have ensured the co-production of Thrive and actions they took from the very beginning. Importantly, they are so grateful to Charlotte who took the time to present her experience of co-production and how positive this has been for her and others in a similar position.

Helen said: "I hope the insights presented today will assist other localities across the country in putting together their own maternal mental health services. We’re extremely proud as a team to be  putting Kent and Medway perinatal mental health services on the national map!"


Are you interested in a career in the health service? Want to know more about working for the NHS?

We are committed to providing apprenticeships within the Trust, providing an opportunity for students to explore possible careers within the NHS and find out more about the working environment whilst studying for a qualification.

We offer work apprenticeships in health care and administration.

Case study

Maya is in her final few weeks of completing her Business Administration Level 3 Apprenticeship with KMPT and it’s a life decision that she knew was right.

“I used to work part time for a well-known fashion retailer and enjoyed working and earning money. Whilst studying an art and design extended Diploma Level 3 at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury for some months I realised it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to continue to be stuck in a classroom and lectured by a teacher. I wanted to continue to learn, work independently and earn money. There’s no better feeling knowing that you are getting the best out of something.”

Maya now works in our Communications team as a Communications assistant apprentice. The team is responsible for a wide-range of functions within KMPT some of which are campaigns, design and print, marketing, internal communications and events.

“As part of my apprenticeship I have been exposed to a variety of areas of marketing including social media, content creation for campaigns, internal communications and both website and intranet content. Being trusted with responsibility has definitely helped me learn and develop my skills in all of these areas.

“I absolutely love working for KMPT, it is an amazing organisation to work for, learn and flourish in. Having personal experience of mental health within my family has helped me to fit right in. I’m not the most confident of people, but it’s been reassuring to know that my trainer Rob from Lifetime Training, my team and manager want to bring out the best in me and see me learn and progress. I feel incredibly lucky that I am able to ask questions and learn from others and apply this learning to both my apprenticeship coursework and in practice.

“KMPT has really supported me during my apprenticeship. It hasn’t been without its challenges; trying to work and learn remotely at times due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult, but it’s reassuring to know that my manager Georgie is just a phone call away. She goes out of her way to help me provide evidence for my apprenticeship modules and is always on hand to offer support with my coursework modules and provide suggestions. Sometimes I don’t think I would have been able to do it without her.”

How to apply

View our current vacancies and apply or visit the apprenticeship vacancy matching service.

Useful resources

Institute for apprenticeships - National apprenticeship courses available

NHS jobs

National apprenticeship website

Further information

Contact Fiona Anderson, Apprentice lead and work experience manager: 07590 328593 or kmpt.apprenticeships@nhs.net

Show domestic abuse the red card

Although Euro 2020 kicking off is exciting for many, there have unfortunately been an increase in domestic abuse incidents being reported. According to the Pathway Project, 2014 'Domestic abuse rates increase by 38% when England loses football matches and 26% when they win or draw'.

Kent County Council (KCC) is supporting the campaign to give domestic abuse the red card and encouraging those who are experiencing domestic abuse to reach out to Kent and Medway DomesticAbuse Services who can help.

In an emergency always call 999

For non-emergency support:

Kent - 0808 16 89 111
Medway - 0800 917 9948
Visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk

Get victims of domestic abuse to safety by joining the #KnowSeeSpeakOut Euro 2020 campaign. You can follow campaign on social media by following these hashtags: