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


Welcome to e-connect!

Autumn is fast approaching, the evenings are drawing in and the temperature has taken a steep decline. With the colder weather comes new challenges, as well as signalling time for celebration across KMPT, the wider NHS and lots of charities that we support the work of with a jam-packed diary of events taking place in October (find out more below).

This month has seen us launch our annual KMPT Awards and we’re pleased to say we have already seen a huge amount of nominations come through to our Communications team. If you haven't heard of the KMPT Awards or would like the chance to nominate someone, this is your last chance as all nominations close on Friday 1 October at midnight.

We have also held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) today and have been busy launching the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccination programmes. As you can see, it's been busy!

Although many of us are experiencing a sense of 'normality' and are able to engage with a lot of the activities we enjoyed face-to face before we’d even become aware of the coronavirus pandemic, it's important not to become complacent. We still need to work together to stay safe and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

That's why, if you have been to any of our sites, you'll see we are still adhering to NHS guidelines and asking visitors to wear a face mask, practise social distancing and regularly use the hand sanitiser provided. We are also continuing to conduct a lot of our appointments and meetings. Until next time, keep staying safe and enjoy all the activities that October has to bring.

KMPT's Annual General Meeting

Today (Thursday 30 September), we held out Annual General Meeting (AGM) between 12.30pm and 2pm at The Orchards Conference Centre New Road, East Malling, Kent ME19 6BJ.

This year’s AGM was livestreamed and gave those watching the chance to ask questions via a live chat forum. Included in the meeting was a review of the past year and a summary of the Trust’s current focuses, together with a comprehensive financial report.

Speaking about the AGM the Trust’s Chair, Dr Jackie Craissati, said: “Our AGM provides a good opportunity for communities across Kent and Medway to hear more about the work we have been delivering over the past year as well as learning about how we plan to move forward following what has been an incredibly tough time for our patients, their loved ones and our staff.

“We are looking forward to working together across the whole Kent and Medway healthcare system to improve the services we offer and support our communities even better so they have access to the services they need in the right place and at the right time.”

More news from the AGM will follow in next month's newsletter.

Our Garden of Hope

This month, a group of staff from our award-winning Rosewood Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) got to see the Garden of Hope as part of the big reveal at the RHS' Chelsea Flower Show.

The stunning garden has been designed by Arit Anderson and will be transferred to the MBU in early October where it will find its forever home and will provide a haven of tranquility and hope for mothers and their babies who need the support of this service.

In amongst the celebrities which included Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Bill Bailey,

Zoe Ball and Nick Grimshaw, the team were allowed to wander through the whole exhibition thanks to head horticulturalist Guy Barter, and were treated to an exclusive preview of not only their special garden but other NHS gardens including The NHS Tribute Garden and The Florence Nightingale garden.

Speaking about the experience Angela Shorter, Perinatal mental health locality manager said: "It was an enormous privilege to be invited by the RHS, specifically Guy Barter, to the celebrity and press day at the Chelsea Flower Show.

"It was my first visit to the Chelsea Flower Show and it was an absolutely fantastic day. It was fabulous to see the Garden of Hope which will be transferring to the MBU after the event; however in addition to this, a couple of other highlights included seeing both the NHS Tribute Garden and the Florence Nightingale garden.

"We got to see many celebrities throughout the day and my two favourites were Nick Grimshaw and Zoe Ball who were both absolutely lovely." KMPT were the successful winners of the RHS' competition and Julia Wilson, Strategic lead for Allied Health Professions, was instrumental in submitting the bid to win this in 2019 but due to the pandemic had to be postponed.

Arit Anderson, designer and presenter, was awarded the project and has designed a space that reflects the journey women make back to recovery and embraces the idea of growth, reflection and transitioning back to health with bridges, water and raw and imposing wooden structures representing fractured physical forms coming together as they heal.

The garden will take over one week to be reinstalled in Dartford and we'll be following its progress every step of the way so watch out for more updates once the Garden of Hope reaches its final home.

One day to go until our KMPT Awards nomination window closes

Our KMPT Awards nomination window is closing tomorrow, so this is your last chance to get your nomination in. Have you nominated yet?

There are 10 fantastic and inclusive categories to choose from to help you capture all the ‘brilliant work through brilliant people’ that you do every day at KMPT. If you know a colleague, volunteer or apprentice that continues to go above and beyond in their role and deserves to be celebrated, then take a quick look at the award guidance on our website or i-connect and get your nomination in before it’s too late!

Here’s a reminder of this year’s categories for you to choose from:

  • Clinical Services Star of the Year Award
  • Digital Innovation Award
  • Future Heroes Award
  • Leader of the Year Award
  • Lifelong Achievement Award
  • Lived Experience Award
  • Outstanding Clinical Services Team Award
  • Outstanding Support Services Team Award
  • Service Improvement Award
  • Support Services Star of the Year Award

Once all of the nominations are in, they will be sent out to our panel of Trust-wide judges which includes executive and non-executive directors as well as people with lived and learned experienced, on Monday 8 October for shortlisting. So look out for the final shortlist very soon!

Nominations close at midnight on Friday 1 October. You can find the full criteria and nomination form on our website

The Friends for Mental Health (East Kent) Annual General Meeting is coming up

The Friends for Mental Health (East Kent) is holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 13 October - 2pm at Canterbury’s Umbrella Centre and would be pleased to welcome any members of KMPT staff who would like to attend.

We are always keen to expand our collaborative work with KMPT and welcome any suggestions and support in raising our funds to support mental health across east Kent. Working closely with the Friends of Mental Health (West Kent and Medway) the Friends raise funds to support individuals with mental health needs and supporting service delivery. The Friends in East Kent also provides benefits funds so that local services can manage any donations they receive.

Examples of things they have supported recently include purchasing toiletries for inpatients, travel costs for people in need of such help, funds to support individuals moving into new accommodation, purchasing gym equipment, refurbishing KMPT services garden spaces and many more.

If you would like to hear more about their work, to attend the AGM or just to get involved, please contac tthefriendsformentalhealth.ek@gmail.com

NHS gearing up to deliver essential winter vaccines

The NHS is gearing up to deliver the safe and effective annual flu vaccination programme from autumn as it’s the best protection against flu and its compilations.

Flu and coronavirus can make some people seriously ill and it’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine if you're eligible to, particularly as it is expected that this will be the first winter when. COVID-19 will co-circulate alongside the seasonal influenza virus.

The flu vaccine is free for older people, pregnant women, and those with certain underlying medical conditions.

The expanded influenza vaccination programme that ran last year, will continue this year (2021 to 2022). This means that the offer for 50 to 64 year olds will continue to protect this age group.

In addition, this year’s programme has been extended to 4 additional cohorts in secondary school so that all those from years 7 to year 11 will be offered the vaccination.

Therefore, those eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS this year (2021 to 2022) are:

  • all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
  • those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 50 years and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care or nursinghome, registered domiciliary care provider, a voluntary managed hospice provider

Children aged 2 and 3 will continue to be offered the quick and easy nasal spray through their GP and all school aged children will be offered it in school unless they have an underlying health condition. An alternative flu vaccine, in the form of an injection, will again be available this year for children whose parents decline the flu nasal spray due to its porcine gelatine content.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice is that any potential COVID-19 booster programme should be offered in two stages from September, starting with those most at risk from serious disease. This includes people aged over 70, clinically extremely vulnerable adults and those who are immunosuppressed.

The NHS is expecting a decision very soon as to whether the flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster can be given together, at the same time.

Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours. To reduce the risk of spreading flu wash your hands often with warm water and soap, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.

Please keep a look out on your GP practice website for more information or visit the NHS website.

Upcoming Events

As we move towards the autumn months, our health and wellbeing calendar certainly starts to look very busy in October with many month-long initiatives including; Stoptober by Public Health England and the British Lung Foundation which encourages the nation’s smokers to embark on a quit attempt for the month of October.

Heart UK will also devote the month of October to raising awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol as part of National Cholesterol Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month from the research and care charity Breast Cancer Now, who raise awareness for the disease and to raising funds for much-needed research.

October also shines a light on various wellebing days and weeks, which we encourage you to take a look at and we will be promoting and supporting both internally and externally. Some of these include;

  • International Day of Older Persons is on the 1 October and this year’s theme focuses on Digital Equality for All Ages
  • Back Care Awareness Week runs from 4 - 8 October. Look out for more information about the problems back pain can cause, their treatment as well as how to prevent them in the first place
  • National Work Life Week takes place from 11 - 15 October and the Working Families’ annual campaign to get people talking about wellbeing at work and creating a positive work/life balance
  • World Menopause Awareness Day raises awareness for women who are feeling lost and going through Menopause and need some additional support.

The most important day for us a Trust is World Mental Health Day which will be held on 10 October and is an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate against mental health stigma.

Why not take a look and see how you can get involved?