e-connect October 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 October 2021
Date range:
October 2021 - ongoing


Welcome to e-connect

And just like that it's nearly November - we really are racing through 2021, or at least that's what it feels like. 

October has been an exciting month for us, as you will read more about below, with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden of Hope finally arriving in Dartford and new international staff travelling from overseas to join the Trust. With all these new beginnings, it feels like we're turning a corner; however, it's important to remember that with winter may come additional concerns around the spread of both coronavirus and flu. We are working together with other partner trusts to roll out a comprehensive internal vaccination programme to our staff to ensure they are able to have both the flu vaccine and their COVID-19 boosters, and that this programme runs as smoothly as possible. 

If you are worried about contracting the flu this year, then remember that the following groups can receive their vaccine for free: 

  • people aged 50 and over 
  • people who have certain health conditions
  • people who are pregnant
  • people in long-stay residential care
  • people who receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • people who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers. 

You can also pay for a flu vaccine at your local pharmacy

COVID-19 boosters are also now being given to people who fulfil the following criteria: 

  • people aged 50 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis). 

If you do, then you can find out more about booking your booster here

Please remember that with numbers rising and worries about the above viruses spreading, we are still following NHS guidelines on our sites and asking for those who are visiting to wear a mask, adhere to social distancing and use the hand sanitiser that is provided on entering and leaving. Thank you for your continued understanding and for working with us to ensure the safety of everyone in our buildings. 

We hope that you all have a lovely weekend and continue to stay safe and well. 

Our Garden of Hope is finally revealed

On Thursday 21 October, the Garden of Hope was finally revealed at the Rosewood Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Dartford to a select number of guests which included Chief executive, Helen Greatorex, staff of the MBU and members of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Rosewood was selected in 2020 as the winner of the RHS' Chelsea Flower Show competition but had a long wait for its arrival due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MBU garden, named ‘the Garden of Hope’ has been designed by Arit Anderson, garden designer, writer and presenter of BBC’s Two’s Gardeners’ World.

The judging panel included Zoe Ball, Professor Tim Kendall, National clinical director for NHS England, and Guy Barter, the RHS’ Chief horticulturist; who was delighted to finally see it come to Dartford. 

Guy, a guest on the day, recalled seeing the garden at the MBU way back in 2019 when the garden was a just a possibility and said: "I was not sure we would ever see the project come to fruition, and I can hardly remember when it all started it as its' been that long; but I am pleased to say it is here now and looks wonderful."

This sentiment was echoed by Chief executive, Helen Greatorex, who had the enviable honour of declaring the garden open. Helen said: "It is truly wonderful to be stood in this garden and I can hardly believe that we have been so lucky to receive such a rare gift from the RHS. I know, as do all the staff who work at our MBU, that it is going to make such a huge difference to the mums and their babies on their way to recovery - it makes me quite emotional to think about it; thank you."

Guests were entreated to an explanation from Arit about how the idea for the design of the garden came to her and how she came to work with award-winning sculptor Charlie Whinney, who created the famous 'hug' seat, fractured/whole woman and other steam-bent sculptures that adorn the garden. The thought that had gone into the design was lovely to hear, particularly how the garden is full of edible plants to help nourish people and provide respite and tranquil spots for mindfulness.

The BBC One Show will be showcasing the full story in November of how the garden came to be, its journey, and finally, how it was transferred to its forever home at the MBU - so please look out for it!

Join our Engagement Council

Our Participation and Engagement team has an exciting new opportunity available to those already in our Engagement Pool to help determine areas that we can improve to benefit our service users and their loved ones’ experiences.

Our Engagement Council will consist of a group of nominated representatives who will provide input on a strategic level to support our engagement across KMPT. Those in the council will work with the Trust’s Board, the Engagement Pool and our care group services to suggest ways we can improve and develop our services.

What’s involved?

  • Meetings with the Board and working with the Engagement Pool (in-patients and community) to set up priorities for the Trust
  • Joining the Engagement Council meetings by telephone, video or in person and contributing ideas and experience for each meeting
  • Working together with other members and support staff on priorities and updating the action log
  • Contributing to the agenda for their quarterly meetings
  • Representing the Council at the Keeping Connected quarterly events on a rotational basis
  • Agreeing the one-page summary for the Engagement Pool and reporting the progress of priorities through the KMPT governance process.

Why should you join?

  • Experience of working as a team
  • Supporting the delivery of service improvement and development priorities in Kent and Medway meaningful to service users and their loved ones
  • Opportunity to participate in KMPT induction and training
  • Ability to influence and make a real, measurable difference
  • An opportunity to develop new transferable skills useful for future vocational opportunities or personal / professional development.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to be involved in the Engagement Council and help shape local mental health services across Kent and Medway, please get in touch using the details below and you will be sent more information and a self-nomination form.

For further information, please contact the Engagement team at kmpt.engagement@nhs.net or 07917 513426.

Recruitment to the Engagement Council is open until Tuesday 30 November 2021.

KMPT Awards 2021

The nomination window for this year's awards has now closed. A huge congratulations again to everyone who was nominated and to those who took the time to write the thoughtful, interesting and heartfelt nominations that we received. 

Over the last two weeks our judging panels, which are formed of Executive directors, Non-executive directors, patients, students and volunteers. have been meeting to select their shortlists for each of this year's categories. All of our judging panels have found choosing the shortlists very difficult this year as the calibre of nominations was so high. 

The shortlists will be revelaed on the KMPT website on Tuesday 2 November and those who have been selected will be sent a notification email, celebratory certificate and a special treat to show our gratitude for all of their hard work and really recognise the huge achievement that being selected for the shortlist is. 

Once our shortlist has been revealed, we will be able to provide more details about  the live event that will be taking place on Thursday 2 December at the Ashford International Hotel - a night that promises to be full of glitz, glamour and a true celebration of everybody in KMPT. 

Find out more about the KMPT Awards

A warm KMPT welcome to nine new international nurses

After months of planning, paperwork, tests and interviews, we were finally able to welcome our first cohort of international nurses this month.

Nine new colleagues have joined the Trust and are settling in well. They’ve been provided with temporary accommodation, groceries and helpful information about the areas they now call home. With twice daily check-ins from our pastoral care lead, they’ve felt reassured and have been assisted when they’ve needed any help or guidance.

Teams from across the Trust came together, working hard to ensure a smooth recruitment process, settling in period and a full induction process. This will continue for our new colleagues and any feedback from them will be greatly appreciated, so that we can ensure they’re happy and feel part of the team at KMPT.

The Trust’s pastoral care lead, Sonia Ogunbajo, said: “I’ve fully supported our new colleagues throughout their journey; checking in regularly and answering any questions they’ve had. Now they’re here, I continue to assist them with whatever queries they have and am looking forward to showing them some of the local sights this weekend.”

Tumi Banda, Deputy Director of Nursing and Practice, and Infection Prevention and Control added: “I’m delighted to welcome nine new international nurses to the KMPT family. They bring a wealth of knowledge and skills that can be shared with their colleagues and service users alike. We’re now looking forward to November, when the second cohort group will arrive too.”

Recruitment manager, Yetunde Adenowo is also delighted to welcome our first cohort of international nurses to KMPT, saying: "We had the privilege to attract experienced mental health nurses from across the globe; who are keen to work with us while further developing their nursing career. Our international nursing recruitment programme is designed to create a mutual learning environment for both existing and international nurses, where career dynamics and innovative patient care makes KPMT the best place to work. I know you will all join me in making our international nurses feel welcome!”

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be catching up with all our new colleagues to find out how they’re getting along. Look out for further updates in the next issue.

Sending feedback via text message

On 9 August 2021, we launched a text messaging service to make it easier for our patients to submit their feedback about the quality of care they have received.

The new feature allows patients to receive a link to the Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREM) survey electronically by text.

As a Trust we know the importance of listening to the feedback from our patients and recognise the value of the responses received through the PREM to improve services.

The PREM asks eight questions that are linked to how staff have engaged with our patients and their family/friends.

Find out more information on PREM and what we do with this information