e-connect March 2022

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:
26 March 2022
Date range:
March 2022 - Ongoing


Welcome to e-connect!

As the clocks went forward last week, we can finally say it is officially spring! This time of year traditionally heralds a time of new growth and change.

Earlier this month we welcomed two new colleagues to KMPT, Chief nurse, Andy Cruickshank and Chief operating officer, Donna Hayward-Sussex.

Andy brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of complex mental health care, and during his time as Director of Nursing at East London Foundation Trust, has been responsible for
implementing a wide-range of initiatives focused on quality improvement to help continuously improve the standard of nursing care.

Donna was Service Director at South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust, and combines a strong management background with extensive experience in operationally leading and developing
mental health services in the NHS and voluntary sector. Donna is a psychotherapist by background.

Both are looking forward to bringing fresh ideas and making a positive difference to our patients and their loved ones.

As we return to a more routine way of life with the restrictions around COVID-19 being lifted, for many people it continues to be an incredibly difficult year. We have been truly saddened by events taking place in our local communities and in Ukraine.

We are helping those affected by the recent job losses at P&O Ferries and their families by supporting them to find new roles with us and making the process to apply quicker and easier.

Plus our staff are supporting the people of Ukraine affected by the conflict by helping to collect donations to deliver to Ukrainian refugees.

If you or your loved ones have been impacted by either of these situations or if you would simply like to help, we hope you will find the information below and within this newsletter helpful.

United help Ukraine focuses on providing medical supplies and humanitarian aid.

The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help Ukraine.

We hope that you continue to stay safe.

KMPT offers recruitment sessions for P&O Ferries staff

We have a wide range of service and clinical roles in Dover and across our sites in Kent and Medway. Some of these including hotel service operators, porters, gardeners, maintenance assistants, PAs, recruitment officers and assistant psychologists. Our current vacancies are listed on our website.If you have been affected, or know someone who has, then please reach out to us and we will do all we can to support you to find work with us. We understand that you might be feeling anxious right now and the thought of trying something new or different may feel scary. We are committed to developing and supporting new joiners into the organisation and our team are friendly, passionate, rich in their diversity, and committed to providing excellent care to our service users and their loved ones.To join one of our dedicated P&O support sessions please use the online meeting details below:Wednesday 30 March 2022, 2pm - 4pmFriday 8 April 2022, 2pm - 4pmJoin the meeting: https://call.lifesizecloud.com/13933022Passcode: 585858#If you have any questions please contact our recruitment team kmpt.recruitmentteam@nhs.net stating P&O worker in the subject.

Peer supported Open Dialogue research project 

Staff from KMPT were the first to conduct a research study to evaluate the implementation of a new Peer supported Open Dialogue (POD) approach in a large NHS mental health trust.Open Dialogue is an approach to mental health care that emphasises the importance of social network support, generating dialogue about the mental health crisis and involving the service user in all decisions regarding treatment. The aim of Open Dialogue is to actively listen and respond, generating dialogue between the service user, their social network (usually family members) and members of the clinical team.Peer support is when somebody with lived experience is then trained to share their knowledge and experience to support those going through a similar situation. In the KMPT POD service, peer support workers were employed members of the clinical team who provided a unique contribution to service users by utilising their lived experience to build trust and engage people in their treatment.We wanted to evaluate the implementation of a POD service in KMPT by looking at changes in wellbeing and experience in those who used the service over a period of six months.We recruited fifty service users and their family/social networks who received care from our POD team to take part in a series of questionnaires at three time points (before staring the intervention, three months after, and six months after) to measure service user wellbeing and experience, and carer wellbeing and support. Clinical data around the health and social functioning of service users was also gathered from clinicians, and these were analysed together to see if the service users and their family/social networks wellbeing and experience changed during the course of the study.The study indicated that Peer supported Open Dialogue was a clinically effective service. Service users and clinicians reported improvements in service user wellbeing and carers reported greater satisfaction in terms of the support received.Following this work, we were involved in a larger national clinical trial being led by University College London. This study is hoping to understand if Open Dialogue can be implemented nationally, by exploring whether Open Dialogue is more cost-effective than current care, and how Open Dialogue can impact service user recovery, quality of life and experiences of shared decision making.

Read more about the project

Kent and Medway IPS employment service 

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Shaw Trust and Porchlight to deliver a Kent and Medway Individual Placement Support (IPS) service in clinical settings and commissioned by NHS England. Our employment specialists are working within community mental health teams across Kent and Medway to help patients who want to work to find the right work for them. Service users are supported to find paid work and stay in work by using the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Model, which relies upon the patient deciding when they are ready to consider paid work.The service will help anyone who expresses a desire to work, regardless of job readiness factors, substance abuse, symptoms, history, cognition impairment, treatment non-adherence and/or personal presentation.The model relies on close collaboration between the clinician and Employment Specialist to work together to support the service user to attain their employment goal. The IPS model is an evidenced based, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) endorsed intervention and part of the NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Focus on our Older Adult care group  

Each month we’ll focus on one of our care groups and a specific role within it. For our first ‘Focus on…’ article, we’d like you to meet Rachel Weston, an Occupational Therapist (OT) who works within our Older Adult care group.“I’ve been an OT for over two years but have worked at KMPT for over seven. I was fortunate to be supported by KMPT as I was seconded to study full time and gain my OT qualification. At university, I had a mixture of placements (where we put our learning into practice) but always wanted to come back to KMPT and remain working in mental health.“Although working in mental health can have its challenges, it’s very rewarding to be a part of someone’s recovery. I have also had the privilege to work with passionate colleagues throughout my time with KMPT, which was a factor that influenced why I stayed here following my studies. “Prior to gaining my OT degree, I worked as a Peer support worker (PSW) in a Community mental health team. As part of my PSW role, I used my own lived experience of mental illness to work with younger adults by way of group work and one-to-ones. This was a very enjoyable role that allowed me to personally be involved in the running of groups and individualised care to those in need. It was in this PSW role that I learned about OT and how diverse the role is. If I were to describe the role of an OT, I would run out of space due to the sheer scope of what OTs can do in an array of settings!“Within the Older Adult care group, the inpatient OTs have an element of dual training; we assess both cognitive and process functioning, as well as physical and motor skills. Our role centres around discharge and engagement on the ward; our goal is to safely facilitate discharges to reduce the chance of a readmission. Looking at meaningful occupations, OTs provide a person-centred approach to recovery and encourage enablement amongst our client groups. As OTs, we focus on what our patient wants to achieve; whether it be independence in washing and dressing, or overcoming anxiety so they can meet new people in their local area. 

“Some personal highlights as an OT for me is connecting with a dementia patient who was very unsettled, but loved football. I worked closely with the family to help, and he watched his favourite football team play to keep him calm and settled. It was lovely to see him light up seeing Crystal Palace play (even when they lost!).“Another highlight was working with a patient with severe dementia to engage with his brother via video calls to listen to music together. In between his regular video calls with his brother, myself and the OT Team would take him on walks to sing and dance with him while we listened to his favourite tracks. He lit up when hearing 70s rock, which kept him living in the moment and momentarliy had a sense of self.“I have been fortunate to work for managers that understand the importance of OT and how we can often play a key role in empowering our patients and enhancing their recovery. This support has influenced my decision to stay with KMPT for the foreseeable future.”