Post lockdown tour of our services

Since lockdown has started to ease, Jo Schofield, our Head of Operations in the North, has taken the opportunity to visit several services and see for herself how staff and people we support have been getting on.

In this blog, she tells us more about these visits and what they tell us about our staff’s commitment to Making Recovery Reality, and how proud she is of how well staff and people we support adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic

Moor View (Care Home)

Yesterday was a great day for me. As Head of Operations for the North, I have always been out and about visiting our services but due to Covid-19 that hasn’t been possible since March 2020. However, yesterday I ventured out to my first service visit since lockdown. I visited Moor View our registered care home in Halifax with 24-hour nursing. Upon arrival, I was temperature checked and offered disposable PPE.

Even though I was at Moor View for a meeting with colleagues, I took in the environment and was impressed with the cleanliness of the building. I introduced myself to two staff who I haven’t met before and they told me that they felt safe in the workplace, they felt well informed and supported. Whilst I have heard daily about the good work that is happening in services, there is nothing quite like seeing it for yourself!

Our frontline workers have continued to go into their workplace and adapted their home life to ensure they are as safe as they can be to continue to support the people that use our services.

Today I really felt such pride for everyone I met at Moor View. Not only our frontline staff for their awareness and alertness around Covid-19 but also the people living in our services. It was obvious to me that a lot of work had taken place to educate some of our residents about keeping themselves safe and respecting personal space and maintaining a safe distance with our staff and other residents and visitors to the service.

Trevayler (Crisis House)

Continuing on my visits to services to see how things are going on the frontline during the pandemic, last week took me to Trevayler. Trevayler has two elements; a transitional unit for people moving from a hospital setting and also a crisis house for people experiencing a mental health crisis that require some interventions to prevent a further relapse in their mental health.

As I walked down the drive, I could see what has now become a familiar sight when visiting Richmond Fellowship services; the colourful rainbows in the window that residents and guests had coloured to represent “hope” during the pandemic.

On arrival I was told that I was entering a Covid-19 free zone and asked if I had had any of the identified symptoms, which I confirmed that I had not. I spent time walking around the building and viewing an area of the building that will be transformed into a Crisis Haven over the coming weeks.

There were six staff in handover and I talked to them about how they felt coming into work on the frontline during the pandemic. They collectively told me that this was their job and that they did what they do. At this point, they felt very supported and said that  Richmond Fellowship had done everything possible to make sure they were safe.

As a senior leader in the organisation, I came away feeling proud of the staff working at Trevayler and how they had made adjustments to their lives to ensure the safety of those they support.

There are no words that can describe my gratitude of those working on the frontline to ensure that people we support continue to get the support they need, when they need it.

Tower House (24 Hour Supported Housing)

Last week, my service visits continued. I went to Tower House which is a 24 hour Supported Housing Service in Chester.

Upon arrival I couldn’t hide my smile as I saw the window covered in rainbows acknowledging “hope” during the pandemic. Residents engaged with craft sessions to decorate the window; joined in the clap for carers on Thursdays at 8pm and knew the importance of keeping themselves safe to reduce the risk of falling victim to the virus.

As I was shown around the beautiful building I met resident after resident who kept a safe distance and wore their face masks when they were in communal areas. One of the residents I spoke to explained that they had COPD and therefore was exempt from wearing a face mask but told me that they weren’t going to take any chances and was happy to wear one to keep everyone safe.

The three staff on duty spoke to me about how the residents have responded positively to changes within their living environment and how to start with it was extremely difficult but with lots of education about the Coronavirus and additional support offered, residents had responded really positively. They were really proud of how the residents had adapted during this really difficult time.

I came away from Tower House feeling confident that the staff and residents were working together to keep the service operating in a safe way and that the safety measures in place were not intrusive, but a true reflection on how the virus is being taken seriously within the setting.

What these service visits have shown

These service visits have reinforced what I already knew about our amazing staff and people we support. Throughout the entire pandemic, staff have shown resilience and commitment to our mission: making recovery reality. Even when the country was in a state of crisis, every staff member I encountered radiated hope and respect. They were all focused on enabling the people we support to achieve their goals even in the most adverse external circumstances.

As lockdown measures continue to change, we will keep working with staff and people we support to adapt how our services operate. We believe that everyone has a right to participate fully in society, and we will always ensure our services are running – whatever challenges the future might hold.

Isle of Wight Opens New Mental Health Community Safe Haven

 

The first Isle of Wight Community Safe Haven service has been launched in Newport.  The service, which will initially run as a one-year pilot, has been developed in response to community feedback as part of the work to look at redesigning health and care services last year under the My Life a Full Life new care model. Read more

Crisis House opens its doors in Lancashire

National mental health charity Richmond Fellowship, part of Recovery Focus, has opened a new service in Lancashire to provide support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Willow House, a crisis house in the Chorley village of Coppull, provides short term placements for people experiencing a mental health crisis as an alternative to hospital admission and is being run in partnership with the NHS. Read more

Richmond Fellowship proves the voluntary sector can provide effective alternative place of safety for people in mental health crisis

Home Secretary Sussex place of safety 1Richmond Fellowship’s pilot scheme to trial an alternative ‘place of safety’ to police custody for individuals in mental distress has been hailed a success by an independent evaluation.

Reducing the use of custody cells for vulnerable people in a mental health crisis detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act is one of the Government’s key priorities.

Read more

Our reaction to interim report of Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care

The Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care led by former NHS boss Lord Crisp has found that significant numbers of people are having to travel long distances for care, while about three patients per ward – 16% nationally – are clinically well enough to be discharged but face a lack of suitable housing or supported accommodation, it says.

At Richmond Fellowship we think the voluntary sector could make a significant contribution and are keen to work more in partnership with local agencies to provide the right support to people at the right time.

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Our reaction to Care Quality Commission report into mental health crisis care

The Care Quality Commission’s newly published report Right Here, Right Now has found that people who are having a mental health crisis are not always receiving care and support when and where they need it.

It has raised concerns that public services are not working together effectively enough to ensure people get access to the help they need round the clock. At Richmond Fellowship we think the voluntary sector could make a significant contribution and are keen to work more in partnership with local agencies to provide the right support to people at the right time. Read more

Tree-planting ceremony to celebrate new Leicestershire crisis house

Leicestershire-crisis-house-tree-plantingNational mental health charity Richmond Fellowship and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust have celebrated the first three months of Box Tree Farm, a six-bedded house for local people who are experiencing distress in their mental health.

Box Tree Farm opened in Ratby in March following an investment by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust of £600,000. Since opening, the house has seen 49 people through its doors. On average people stay less than five days.

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Richmond Fellowship narrowly misses out on crisis award

National Alliance of Voluntary Sector Mental Health Providers

National Alliance of Voluntary Sector Mental Health Providers

Richmond Fellowship’s crisis care services narrowly missed out on a national award following the launch of services in Leicestershire and West Sussex.

The Mental Health Provider’s Forum (MHPF) voluntary sector awards recognise achievement across the mental health sector and Richmond Fellowship’s Crisis services were shortlisted in the crisis care category.

Christine Lawrence, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in Leicestershire attended the awards lunch today to represent us.

She said: “We’re obviously disappointed to miss out on the award. To even be nominated for such a prestigious award shows how well our crisis services have been doing and the importance of this support.”

Read more