e-connect September 2020

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:
25 September 2020
Date range:
September 2020 - ongoing


Welcome to e-connect!

It's hard to believe that we are already in autumn! It has been another busy month here at KMPT - with our September Board meeting and AGM (read more below), the KMPT Awards nominations being in full swing and lots of significant and important days to mark, celebrate and support. 

Last week the Prime Minister addressed the nation again, asking us all to help in driving down the R rate for COVID-19. In order to support the measures that are being put in place nationally, KMPT is tightening their own rules to protect our staff, patients and visitors. 

If you are visiting one of our buildings, please check our website for the most up-to-date information. One thing which will not change, is the importance of everyone maintaining the two metre social distancing rule. 

These measures have been put in place because your safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance to us, and so we want to ensure you are as safe as possible when visiting or working within our buildings. If we all work together to protect each other, then hopefully we will start to see improvements in the R rate and life will slowly return to a state of normality! 

It's important to note that we are now in flu season, and here at KMPT we are advising our staff to get vaccinated. Staying safe, healthy and protected seems even more necessary this year and so every little thing we can do will help us individually and as a collective. 

We hope you are all keeping well, and try to stay positive during this next phase. Remember, we are all in this together.

KMPT Annual General Meeting and new Non-executive directors

Due to COVID-19, we livestreamed our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 24 September at 3pm, with many people attending virtually. 

The meeting included a review of the past year, the current focuses for the Trust and a financial report.

Prior to the meeting, NHS England / NHS Improvement confirmed the appointments of five new Non-executive directors at KMPT. 

Commenting on the appointments, Interim Trust Chair Dr Jackie Craissati said: “We are extremely grateful to the Non-executive directors who will now be leaving us having completed their time on our Board. They have all contributed a great deal in supporting KMPT staff to improve patient care over the years.

“Our new Non-executives bring with them a variety of experience and knowledge from across the public and private sector. We (as a Board) look forward to working with them when they join us later this year.”

Non-executive appointments to NHS Trusts are made by NHS England / NHS Improvement and subject to the Governance Code for Public Appointments. NHS England / NHS Improvement ensure that all appointments to NHS trust boards are made in a way that is open, transparent and fair to candidates. 

The AGM provided an opportunity for the new Non-executive directors to be introduced to the Trust, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed the experience

Our Vocational Rehabilitation team wins prestigious HSJ Value Award

The Vocational Rehabilitation team has been awarded the HSJ Value Award 2020.

This year’s judging process followed a different format due to the coronavirus pandemic. Finalists were asked to create a video presentation to submit for review by the judging panel, which is formed from a wide range of well-respected figures from across the UK healthcare community. The Vocational Rehabilitation team has been awarded this prestigious award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to delivering better services and driving better outcomes across their organisation over the past 12 months.

The initiative, which has been running for 10 years, provides help and support to those with complex metal ill health to help achieve their employment goals and restore their belief and confidence. To date the service has helped nearly 580 people return to employment across Kent and Medway, many of them have left personal testimonies as to how this service has transformed their lives and supported them positively.

On being awarded this accolade, Jeanette Freeman, Vocational rehabilitation lead and specialist practitioner said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners of the HSJ Value Award 2020.  It means a great deal to our team who are dedicated professionals and work tirelessly to deliver this outstanding and much-needed service.

“We are thrilled to be recognised in this way and we’re confident that the positive impact of this award, together with the team’s drive to continue to transform more people’s lives will help to create a long-lasting legacy. This award will provide a tremendous boost to both staff and patients at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and will only help to inspire us to improve the service even more and reach out to more people who are in need of our support and expertise – brilliant care through brilliant people.”

The editor of the Health Service Journal, Alastair McLellan, offered his congratulations to the teams on their success, “The entrants this year have been of incredible calibre, and each of the winners at the HSJ Value Awards 2020 have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to delivering value and efficiency across their organisation, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust on winning the HSJ Value Award 2020 at this year’s HSJ Value Awards.”

KMPT Awards - nominations close 2 October 2020!

The KMPT Awards nomination deadline has been extended to Friday 2 October! Don't miss your chance to nominate a colleague, member of staff, patient, carer, student or volunteer who you believe has gone above and beyond over the last year in their role. 

You can nominate by visiting the website and completing an online form, or you can download a paper nomination and send to kmpt.communications@nhs.net or post to Farm Villa, Hermitage Lane.

Winning an award means a lot to members of our community. We caught up with Chris Norris who won Volunteer of the Year Award last year, and he said: "I felt very humbled to stand on the stage to receive this award and I greatly applaud the many KMPT volunteers who give their time so freely without expectation of any reward for all that they do.”

This year, to help staff with their nominations, the Communications team has been travelling around sites hosting an 'awards surgery' - where staff have had the opportunity to get some help with getting the right category, writing stand out nominations and any other award related questions. 

To get people’s creative juices flowing, they were joined by the team from Move’n’Smooth who have been providing two stationary bikes fitted with a special blender designed to mix the most fantastic fruit smoothies in an instant. Staff have been asked to jump on and pedal away, to receive the ‘fruits of their labour’ in the form of a fresh smoothie!  

So far the team has visited Canterbury, Ramsgate, Margate, Dover, Folkestone, Tunbridge Wells and Dartford - with Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Gillingham still to come! 

Help is available across the county to support residents with their mental health

On 10 September 2020 it was World Suicide Prevention Day. It's so important that people are aware of the services available to them in the county, so that they do not reach a point where suicide is their answer. 

As part of the Release the Pressure campaign, you can text the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258 (for free) and start a conversation with a trained and experienced volunteer who can give support at any time, wherever you are. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

The text messaging support service is powered by Mental Health Innovations and funded by the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) - a collaboration between Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent and Medway CCG, Kent and Medway Partnership Trust and all the NHS organisations across Kent and Medway.

“Anxiety is a natural reaction to COVID-19. We had our everyday lives transformed overnight back in March and as things start to open back up, whether that’s schools, shops, pubs or workplaces, there are still so many uncertainties,” explains Lauretta Kavanagh, Mental Health Programme Director for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group.

She adds: “We also know that for many people, non-coronavirus issues are still causing upset and pain. It may be relationship problems, money worries, exam results or grief for a loved one. Since our text messaging service launched in Kent in April we have already supported 750 conversations locally. It's important to know that anyone can reach out for support if they need it. Don’t bottle it up, text KENT to 85258 for support at any time of the day or night.”

Text KENT to 85258 at any time, if you’re struggling to cope. You can find out more about the Release the Pressure helpline, the new text service and other community mental health support services by visiting Release the Pressure

If you need help, you can also access our Safe Havens services

Stay tuned for more details about the awards in the coming months. 

Black History Month

1 October 2020 signals the start of Black History Month (BHM) and this year marks the third year in which the Trust has made it a priority for staff to be able come together in support of their KMPT BAME colleagues and celebrate.
The tradition began in the USA in 1970 and BHM is celebrated in America in the month of February.  It was brought to the UK in the 80s and was officially celebrated in 1987 when it was organised by the activist Akyaaba Addai-Sebo who, at the time, was the coordinator for special projects for the Greater London Council. The first BHM was celebrated only in London but in the years since, the celebration has spread across the whole UK. The main aim is to celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people, not just in the UK, but throughout the world and help educate everyone on black history.
Following the success of last year’s KMPT celebrations, we have chosen a different theme for each week and will be highlighting the extraordinary achievements of our staff as well as paying homage to people within history who have led the way for others while continuing to fight for diversity, inclusion and equality as part of their struggle.
To this end, we are continuing our work around our vision of becoming an anti-racist organisation in full support of our KMPT BAME family.  BHM is about celebrating and respecting our differences as well as holding safe spaces to have conversations around culture and attitudes to help evoke lasting change. Our ultimate vision is to be able to come together as one and stand in solidarity, to see and value all differences but not be divided by them - to be one KMPT.
One of the main events taking place is a virtual conference on 30 October with a number of guest speakers including Dr Habib Naqvi, Director of Race and Health Observatory, Chief executive officer, Christine Locke of Diversity House, CEO Diversity House and Dr Joan Myers OBE, Director and trustee of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.
Simon Cook, Chair of our Black Asian and minority ethic (BAME) network said: “We are really looking forward to next month and marking this special time, especially hosting the virtual conference. BMH provides another opportunity to lift the lid on the types of topics and debate that may never have come to light without this important month-long period of recognition and reflection.
“The Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd and COVID-19 to name a few areas of change, have all sparked different conversations across the world, and the BAME network has been supporting staff across KMPT with training sessions, open and safe spaces to discuss concerns as well as continuing to lead on the work for KMPT to become an anti-racist organisation. The work is gaining momentum and it is important that we continue to recognise the huge contribution and sacrifices our minority ethnic groups have made throughout history and still do today.
“We have over 57 nationalities working within KMPT and counting; each with a different story and heritage but all part of a very important community here at KMPT and the wider NHS. That is powerful and something to be celebrated.”

And finally...

10 October 2020 is World Mental Health Day. This year's theme, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is 'mental health for all'.

Here at KMPT we wil be honouring the day on social media and providing our staff with the time to have tea and talk! 

We encourage as many people as possible to take the time to speak to their friends, family or loved ones on the 10 October. You can find on the Mental Health Foundation's website, a step-by-step guide to organising your own tea and talk, as well as some delicious looking cake recipes - because who doesn't like a piece of cake with their tea?! 

Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter to see our celebrations on the day.