1 st February 2018

In attendance: Rod C, Sue C,  Angela D, Hazel & Dick L, James L, Brian L, Margaret & John I, Terry G, Geraldine M,  Norma Young, Tim & Francis W, Anne R, Diana W.

Guest speakers

  • Ian Pearce from HPFT
  • Rev Richard Allen from HPFT
  • Al Flowers from Mind standing in for Julie Nicolson
Ian Pearce HPFT

Following Dick’s welcome, Ian introduced himself as an Adult involvement worker and an Expert by Experience within the HPFT. A Carer with a son receiving services at St Pauls and a Trustee of Mind.

He then distributed to the group a handout containing answers to key 36 questions derived from Service Users, Patients, Carers and Stakeholders during the earlier consultation exercise and pointed out the new name for what we previously call the “hub” is now The Marlowes Health and Wellbeing Centre.

Ian then worked through the answers to the questions with the group seeking comments and feedback. Most answers were accepted by the group with a little additional clarification or comment by Ian eg:

  • the lease on the building has 12 years to run
  • The building could be open until 9:00pm raising security issues – access and CCTV
  • Dogs, other than guide dogs are not allowed
  • Staff rest areas are included on the top floor
  • There is one main reception on the ground floor and a reception on the first and second floor

It was not yet clear just how many waiting rooms will be on the first floor (with 5 different services) – one big one or more?  Further discussion and feedback continued:

Question  – What if I need to be seen on the ground floor but that is not where my service is located?

Answer  – The building can be used flexibly by staff.  If there are specific accessibility needs where people are not able to use lifts or stairs we can accommodate this.

Question – About transport to the Centre, still required some further work about bus numbers which will be made known a little later.

Question  – Will there be facilities for the Carer Group that currently meets at St Pauls.  As the Chair of that group Rod had raised issue and received conflicting responses.  He then went on to say that he had received a positive response from James Holland.  Ian accepted that this therefore is the Trust’s response.

Rod pointed out that while speaking with his wife’s psychiatrist the psychiatrist reported that with his office on the first floor he would have to book accommodation in a room on the ground floor which might not be available making accessibility less likely than it might appear.  After some discussion about the suitableness of the room for some MH conditions, Ian agreed to look into this and thanked Rod for his feedback.

Richard Allen HPFT

Dick introduced Richard Allen, our second speaker for the evening, from the Trust.  Richard began with an overview of his career to date which began as a Chartered Surveyor and developed into a theologically trained Church of England ordained Priest. Along the way he worked in Chaplaincy for several Trusts and, for the last 3 years, has managed the Spiritual Care Service within the HPFT.

The team is small and comprises 3 Chaplains (with 1 bank person) and a further 2 based in the Trust’s Norfolk area. It provides religious care for all In-patient Service Users who need it and can include their Carers, family and staff.

The nature of Spiritual Care offered by the team distils down to helping the Service User understand/explore

  1. Who am I
  2. What is the meaning of my life

This is an inclusive generic approach -independent of specific Religions.  It is based on listening and building relationships rather than their specific faith.  This takes time.

The size of the problem he illustrated with the HPFT receiving 1000 contacts per day and they only have 700 in-patient beds. Accordingly, most will not see the inside of a hospital unit.  His new strategy is to offer Chaplaincy beyond the current in-patient units eg in the community teams. This pilot began in January and is aimed at gaining evidence to produce a business case to do so and “Make a Difference”.

Angela asked if they could take referrals.  Richard said that with such a small team they would not want to raise expectations by offering it.  On the other hand they would find it difficult to refuse those who might ask for help.

Diana seemed disappointed to hear that Chaplains couldn’t be used to help Carers gain information but Richard said that they could possibly help with advocacy.

Richard reported that there was another pilot project looking at the system just prior to or in anticipation of discharge where Carers are not sufficiently involved by clinical staff.

In answer to the question where does your team get support for their stresses Richard said from him and added that he has a person that he in turn can go to.

Hazel shared that she makes pastoral visits for her Baptist Church and ends with a prayer.  She asked how do you go about it with other faiths.  Richard pointed out the difficulty of doing this with their generic approach but if requested so to do he would accommodate them.

Alistair Flowers of Mind

Dick introduced Al who stood in at the last minute for Julie Nicolson who was called away this evening.

Al started by clearing up any misunderstanding about Night Light. It will continue in much the same way and with much the same staffing under Mind now Turning Point has formally withdrawn.

He described this service as a crisis service with 2 beds in Hemel and 2 in Stevenage that helps to reduce the load on A&E.  They are open from Friday to Monday as safe haven for people to stay till 2 am.  They also have a help line (8pm – 12am) manned by 2 crisis support workers for those who don’t want to come into the centre.

In response to the question what is available for Carers Al told the group that his current role was Manager of Mind offices at Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Borehamwood & Stevenage and he was just about to meet up with his colleagues to discuss what more can be done to help Carers.

Diana stated that the help to Service Users could be much better they need people providing different sorts of support like taking them out.

Al pointed out that paid for services are available for those who have money to pay eg personal budgets ( Kerri O’Dell and her team@ £15/hr providing a range of emotional and practical support and befriending).

A range of Self-help groups were identified by both Al and the group and some were briefly discussed ie

  • Art groups
  • Yoga classes
  • Music
  • Walking groups
  • Tai Chi & Mindfulness
  • Gardening groups like Green Canteen at Watford
  • Sunnyside group ( for those with learning difficulties
  • Computing group for the over 50s
  • Wellbeing through learning courses

Ann R. reminded the group about the New Leaf College based at several different centres and she gave out some leaflets.

Core Mind services include: Counselling, Peer support, employment support.  Unfortunately, Al agreed, that there is nothing in the Tring / Berkhamsted area.

In clarification of the role and possible overlaps of Mind with Dens, –  Al saw Dens as dealing with Housing needs and Mind dealing with Mental Health needs.

Dick asked Al “if you suddenly came into money what would you use it for?” Al replied to extend the Nightlight hours to cover the whole week.

Following our speakers we addressed our planned agenda

Agenda items

Apologies  Zib L, Carolyn G, Carenza W.

Minutes of last meeting – 11th January 2018

Matters arising Terry asked if the donation of £25 to the Hospice of St Francis had been made? The answer was not yet-but assurances that the matter was in hand were given.

Any Other Business

With time running out due to having 3 speakers, the choice of venue for our summer day out was delayed till the next meeting the AGM.

Date of next meeting – 1st March 2018 this will be our AGM