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A service manager at South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named as one of the most innovative people in healthcare by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

Jennie Colllier is Head of the Specialist and Family Services Directorate and was nominated in partnership with Charlotte Bailey from Staffordshire County Council for their joint work across Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and targeted services.

Only 50 people are named on the HSJ Innovators List which celebrates those working in the NHS and the wider healthcare sector who have taken innovative approaches that make a tangible difference to patients, their colleagues or wider society.

The judges said that their work with CAMHS and Local Support Teams "took the opportunity to find new ways for their organisations to work together". The result was that services in both the council and the Trust have stepped away from their traditional ways of operating, creating a more integrated service for young people. The judges added "these are people who are not directly involved in clinical care but who are tackling some really difficult clinical areas. They are challenging traditional ways of delivering services; integrating services and bringing together organisations. Those are very difficult things to do, but they are keeping everything focused on the recipient of care."

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare said "We are delighted that Jennie has been recognised on this prestigious list. She embodies out Trust commitment to putting the patient at the centre of everything we do and we applaud her dedication and commitment."

In an unusual partnership with local police colleagues, some unused space at St George's Hospital, Stafford, was recently used for a firearms training exercise.

The empty nurses' accommodation block was made available for officers to practice armed searches, and to work with police dogs.

This has proved very useful with the Armed Response Unit subsequently attending real incidents, including one to arrest several men wanted for armed robbery, where they were required to search buildings. At their debrief, officers commented that the practice sessions had proved very helpful, with the search "just like the training at St George's".

The Trust has also benefited with the regular presence of marked police vehicles and uniformed officers acting to deter crime.

Dave Rowley of the Central Firearms Unit said, "we are grateful for the support offered by the Trust to enable us to provide the public of Staffordshire with officers who possess the necessary skills when needed during firearms incidents"

Inspector Chris Dawson – Head of Armed Response, Firearms Training and Dog Support Units added, "We are always looking for opportunities to increase our visibility within our local communities. Just because we are training, this should not mean that we are not visible to the public providing reassurance and preventing and deterring crime. It is also very useful to carry out the training in similar venues to where we would deploy operationally. The assistance shown to us by St Georges Hospital has proven to be invaluable and demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together. If you would like to know more about what our officers are doing in the local community you can follow us on Twitter at @RoadPolicing and @StaffsDogs "

Veteran Andy Roberts has turned his life around with support from the mental health service provided by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare.

Injured in Afghanistan, veteran Andy Roberts struggled to cope both with the pain and the emotional trauma. He had had some support from the military mental health service, but problems continued after his discharge from the army. Recognising he was finding it increasingly hard to cope and was suffering extreme sleeplessness, his Mum eventually rang the army welfare team. They put Andy in touch with South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare's (SSSFT) Rob Heath at the veteran's service. Diagnosed with PTSD resulting in anxiety and depression, Andy then received a course of treatment with Consultant Counselling Psychologist, Dr Shirley Timson. Andy says; "I was embarrassed to admit that anything was wrong. I thought I ought to just get on with it and not worry my family and friends", Andy says, "Maybe if I'd come forward sooner it would have been better, but maybe I had to work through a few things first and look for help when it was right for me".

Andy has gone on to be part of the Gold Medal Winning basketball team at the recent Invictus Games. He explains; "The support and treatment I received from the team at SSSFT has made a real difference and I am much less anxious and depressed. I have also learnt how to deal with the pain from my injury, and feel I have a really good quality of life now. My achievements at the Invictus Games have given me my confidence back and I can't wait to start my next challenge, which will be a charity cycle race. It's really important to me to give something back, and also to encourage others to seek help if they are concerned about their mental health. It's not a sign of weakness, and there is help out there. I would also like to encourage GPs to consider whether the person sitting in front of them is a veteran who has been affected by their time in service, and consider referring them to Rob Heath, Veteran's Lead, for the specialist service he can offer".


photo credit Roger Kellor, Help for Heroes


The mother and baby run by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been accredited as excellent by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The Brockington Unit, which is based at St George's Hospital in Stafford cares for pregnant women and new mums with serious mental health problems, either existing, or newly diagnosed during/following pregnancy. It is one of only 6 units in the country to receive the "excellent" rating.

An accreditation team from the Royal College visited the unit and assessed areas such as the environment and facilities, the care and treatment offered and how issues such as confidentiality and consent are handled. The team included a consultant psychiatrist, a nurse, a nursery nurse, a representative from the Royal College Quality Network and someone who has experience of being cared for on a similar unit.

Confidential questionnaires were also sent to staff, service users, their carers and families and to those who refer mothers to the unit, seeking views as to how the unit measures up to the various standards.

Dr Kristina Hofberg, Consultant Psychiatrist based at South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's Brockington Unit said "In order to be judged excellent by the Royal College we needed to demonstrate that we were performing at the highest level in all areas. Everyone on the unit is dedicated to ensuring the mothers and babies who need our services experience the best possible standards of care and it is very pleasing to have our efforts recognised by this prestigious accreditation."


News Category for 2014

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