2nd February 2017

Minutes of the meeting

In attendance: Rod C, Angela D , Dick and Hazel L, Brian L, John & Margaret I, Sue C, Terry G, Geraldine M, Tim and Francis W, Dianna W, Elaine G-J, Linda E

1. Apologies: Were received from Chris & Lawrie S, Carolyne G, Brian U

2. Matters arising from minutes of Oct meeting

There were no matters arising.

3. Guest speakers James Holland and Rob Asplin

James the Involvement and Inclusion Manager at the HPFT introduced Rob as a new member of the Carer’s Team and Rob then went on to enlarge on his experiences with the HPFT before the Carer’s Team including a spell managing services at St Pauls Slippers Hill and was well known to several of the longstanding members present.

James introduced the “Carer’s Pathway as the description of a Carer’s journey and the support they should receive through 5 stages of the service provision.

Stage 1 – Identification

Identification of the Carer to be at the earliest opportunity either through: the Single Point of Access; Self-referral; the GP; the police/136 suite and most commonly direct via the Service User.

Stage 2 – Welcome

At this stage Carers are to receive an early welcome letter, a leaflet how to prepare for a Carer’s Assessment, and another on Common sense confidentiality. There is recognition here that too much information too soon could overwhelm the new Carer.

Stage 3 – Assessment & Support

Carer receives a follow up phone call within 1 week of being allocated to the team. Agreement of a range and frequency of support and the offer of a Carer’s assessment (via the care co-ordinator or support worker) and some 1:1 time with a senior clinician

Stage 4 – Involvement 

This entails regular contact, usually via a phone call, together with signposting where necessary

Stage 5 –Transition

This is refers to those transitions between each of the clinical services within the Trust and on “discharge” (now to be called “moving on”). Support to carers will be available for some 3 months following the end of receipt of services.

The role out of the pathway began in October for new Carers in East and North Herts, in January for West Herts and by the 1st April all will be using it. Early results of the role out has included the increase the number of new Carers identified.

James then related this to the “Triangle of Care” which was intended to build closer relationships between the Service, the Service User and the Carer.


Q – Francis queried whether the pathway was a Herts or national initiative.

A – James replied that it was a Herts Initiative but a few other trusts had provided something similar.

Q – Francis also asked about help for Carers like the one that hit the news whose loved one was an inpatient in Scotland and those others not currently receiving services

A – James replied that personal budgets might contribute to the additional expense incurred and added that even though the ex-service user was not receiving services the trust still has responsibility for the Carer.

Q – “Would the role of Care Co-ordinator change to embrace the pathway

A – James’s answer was yes and agreed that getting the clinical staff to embrace it fully ( ie do what they should have been doing ) would be a challenge for the role out.

Q – Hazel asked about the support to Carers whose loved one might be seen to be deteriorating over time but not receiving services.

A – In reply James talked about the First Episode Psychosis team and a possible dedicated Carer help-line that is currently being considered.

James also mentioned other support to Carers and service users included adult education via the Wellbeing College and distributed their prospectus of their programmed of courses to be run in Hemel Hempstead. There are no fees for Herts service users and Carers.

Francis emphasised the need to promote and advertise “Carer Champions” at most GPs Surgeries.

Good to Great Strategy

James spoke briefly about this identifying it as a 5 year strategy based on three aspects:

•   The staff and their skills

•   The community

•   Partnerships

He went on to point out that the last strategy aim was to be the “best provider” this time the aim is to “provide high level services”.

4. Any Other Business

Dick stated that he has not yet been impressed with the assessment and support to Carers and believed that Service Users and even Trust staff got more.

Dick went on to cite an example of an individual whose violent actions during a crisis was important information that should be known by the trust. However, given the way it was dealt with, it would not get recorded by the Trust.

He also stated that he felt that the Trust was not doing enough to help the prevention of suicide citing the need for investigation to reduce the risk given that suicide is known to runs through several generations in a family.

Terry reported that there was a new Carers and Coping Course being promoted by Carers in Herts 10am to 12noon on Tuesdays commencing Tue 7th March to Tue 11th April at Trinity Centre, 1 Beaconsfield Road, St Albans , AL1 3RD. For details contact 01920 463663 or email jonathan.clack@rethink.org

Francis also reminded us that we had agreed to get Jo Clack to run one of these courses at the Mind Building here in Hemel.  Due primarily to the complexity of arranging this (ie finding out who has yet to attend, likely numbers of those who want to attend, agreeing a suitable date and  booking the venue)  it remains an unfulfilled intention.

Date of next meeting – 2nd March 2017  and our speaker will be Chris Lawrence Chair of the Trust