7th April 2016


Minutes of the meeting

In attendance:

Rod C, Angela D, Elaine G-J, Dick and Hazel L, Brian L, Tim and Francis W, Terry G, Lawrie S, Val T.

1. Apologies

Sue C, Carolyn G, Brian U, John and Margaret I, Carenza W, Dianna W.

2. Matters arising

Tim and Francis distributed a letter they had sent to Mr Nick Hollinghurst as agreed plus the reply letter from Mind having received our donation of £100.

3. Guest speaker

James Holland the Inclusion and Engagement Manager from HPFT made a presentation covering three main items: Carer Pathways; Confidentiality and an update on HPFT staff recruitment.

Carer Pathways

James described the new pathways for carers as a map of the journey through the services. The recent Carer’s Act emphasises its necessity. The work carried out to date has been via a small working group of carers and staff who have met twice (Including both Rod & Terry). He went on to describe in more detail the thinking so far under the six areas of: Carer Identification; Carer Welcome; Carer Involvement; Additional Carer Support; Transitions within HPFT and Discharge from the HPFT. (see file attached). There will be one more workshop

Some discussion ensued about “what does the carer do for support when the service user is discharged”. James made it clear that it was intended that support would continue for the carer for some time according to their needs.

In response to the question suggesting that there will need to be sufficient manpower to deliver this, James described the recruitment of a new Carer Services Team of some 15 people just to work with Carers. The new manager (Melanie) is a qualified Social worker and the team will include an Occupational Therapist Nurse, senior support workers and peer support workers. They will deal with Older People services as well as Children’s Services and will do more than the statutory minimum.

Confidentiality – The new HPFT interpretation of the requirements was distributed to the group at the last meeting.  James hoped that the group would take the time to read and feedback their comments. This can be made direct or through Dick or Terry

Recruitment – James identified that the whole of the NHS has a problem with recruitment and still has a high vacancy rate. Indeed the “net gain” ( starters less leavers) has only just turned positive. Moreover, the regulator has put a cap on using costly agency staff to fill the gap so recruitment is even more important. He stated that recruitment to in-patient services was much easier than to the more community service roles and as an example he reported that having recently interviewed some 20 people for these roles only 2 could be selected due to lack of appropriate skills. James agreed with Angela’s suggestion that on-the-job training and staff development and progression schemes could help to increase the pool of skills available to the Trust.

James reported that the key role of Care Coordination is not a straight forward job title/role. It is about having the capacity to work with the volume and type of demands made upon the service. Notably some 80% of service users do not need a Care Coordinator leaving some 20% with more complex needs who do. James identified Isabel Worsley (Community Service Line lead East/South East Herts) who is looking at a work plan wish list to address Carer concerns voiced at the Carer’s Council and other committees about Care Coordinators.

4. HPFT strategy workshops “from Good to Great”

Dick, who is a member of the strategy group, outlined the issues discussed at two recent meetings held by the group emphasising their intention to take into account Carer feedback and produce a strategy that really gets to grips with “Great Care”. There is one more meeting planned after which a strategy for one year will be drafted and following implementation, work will begin on a 5 year strategy. Dick also reported that having an acceptable strategy is only the first step it also requires the staff to implement it.

5. Our summer day trip

Dick reported on the progress he and Hazel had made with Sir Robert McAlpines Property which includes a Steam Railway ride, a Museum, Gardens and a restaurant. Dates in May,July and August were offered but it had to be on a Sunday. The date chosen to explore in more detail was Sunday the 24th July 2016 at a cost of about £10. Dick to get back to the group at the May meeting with the outcome.

6. Any other business

The group agreed that we should get on with the development of our web-site with the prime purpose of getting to a wider range of people with the purpose of getting more members. Terry invited the group to send him their suggestions for inclusion on the web-site. A small working group comprising Dick, Brian, Rod and Terry would meet before the next meeting and report back.

Tim and Francis also brought to the group’s attention the advantages and discounts available via the Carer’s Passport available from Carers in Herts.

Dick reminded the group that our 14th July meeting would be in the evening with Carers in Herts at their Oxlease House venue in Hatfield.

7. Date of next meeting Thursday 5th May 2016