A vibrant event for community healthcare appreciative inquiry

The best community healthcare is delivered by well trained and well paid staff, who are well supported and who have the time to offer patient centred services, concluded an inquiry into community healthcare in Lewisham.

It is also holistic, taking into account many aspects of the patient’s life and health. Central to successful delivery is cooperation between services, the voluntary sector and the community.

An Appreciative Inquiry was held on Saturday 28th of June to look at what excellent care looks like.

Lewisham Hospital having been secured and now operating within the new Trust – the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign with Lewisham Healthwatch have been researching examples of excellent and good community care with the aim of supporting the best in and out of hospital care in the borough.

Over 100 stories had been gathered from users, clinicians and managers to find out from people’s personal experience what are the key features, the magic ingredients that make good community healthcare so valuable.

Four of those stories were used to kick start the day and with the imaginations of attendees they then shared their own stories and identified what had made them positive experiences.

“I have had a long and difficult journey from being a fit and vigorous man in middle age to being a wheelchair user. My GP’s medical support and emotional support have been fantastic.”

“Straight to the hospital,”  “I could tell her anything.”

“Took the time to accept my worries.”

“Extraordinary skill, a few metres from my house.”

“It made me realise that it is not stigmatising to be depressed and it helped empower me to take control of my own life again.”

Life can never be taken for granted. Anyone can become sick or disabled and in need of care and support at any time. At these periods of crisis and stress, NHS services become a vital part of managing, if not of survival.  Aside from hospital provision, this includes district nurses, community palliative care, pharmacists, GPs and many, many other services.

Organiser Carolyn Emanuel said :

‘At a time when politicians are looking at ways to join up hospital and community care the findings from this event will form a significant way of highlighting the best standards of practice, which we hope will be included in any future models of delivery.’  

“I have severe learning difficulties and autism. All the staff at the surgery are brilliant. We always get an appointment on demand. They’re completely tolerant of challenging behaviour and don’t keep us hanging around.

“Kindness, non-judgmental approach.”  Looking at the positives, highlight the strengths”

“Different parts of the NHS talked with each other. Joined-up care.

Everyone was briefed.”

“Very happy with carer. Was a bit shy at first but got to know her.”

“I am much calmer in the knowledge that I am seeing the same practitioner who knows me personally and reviews my epilepsy more regularly.”

“This helped me to stay in my managerial and caring role without losing time or money. I come from so far I would have had to take a whole day out just for a doctor’s appointment.”

Common to all the stories was staff having the time to deliver excellent care. That time enabled them to listen to and understand the patient and their needs, create a smooth pathway between services and empower the patient to manage their own health.

The gathering then identified a series of practical actions to make these recommendations a reality –

  • a public education programme to help people understand and get involved with the design of local health strategy and policy;
  • identifying ways to make sure NHS staff are involved in all decisions about the delivery of community healthcare; and
  • making sure the voluntary sector is represented in the right places to promote a joined up health and social care strategy.
  • A challenge to the NHS on the Private Finance Initiative, a mortgage on NHS property which is draining our NHS of cash which goes to private corporations.
  • Harnessing new media to improve health, specifically for young people, but extended to anyone.

Miriam Long, manager of Healthwatch Lewisham, said:

 “This was a great way to end the evidence gathering stage of the inquiry. It was a vibrant event with some great outcomes.”

“The next stage is to write the report and a plan of action that will be discussed with commissioners. The involvement of so many people has meant we’ll be able to tell them a compelling story.”

The plan of action will be discussed at the next Healthwatch Lewisham Reference Group meeting. It will take place from 10.30am to 2pm on Tuesday 29 July in the Council Chambers, Civic Suite, Catford.  All welcome book your place here.

In preparation. We would like anyone who has had a good experience of community healthcare in Lewisham to tell us about it. In preparation, we would welcome more submissions of your positive stories. Please write in to the Save Lewisham Hospital website at http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/community-care-survey/ or call Healthwatch Lewisham on 020 7998 7796.

Simone Riddle

Community Engagement Officer

Voluntary Action Lewisham

St. Laurence Community Centre

31 – 37 Bromley Road

Catford, London SE6 2TS


Funding will cease for our social media in less than 3 months!

On 3rd July our current SLaM funder announced that they will cease to fund our media platforms at the end of September.

This news saddens us, because we all know that without the blog, Facebook and Twitter there would be limited space for those who use the mental health services to get their views heard, and hear other people’s stories.

Without our social media it would be difficult to support voluntary communities’ campaigns and let people know what these communities are doing.

Although some of will always strive to do social media in one form or another, we would prefer the involvement accounts to continue in their current shape rather than them disappearing.

If our social media is no longer funded, most of this work will be under threat or stop altogether on 30th September.

We all believe that it is really important to have service user and carer independent media. There are many benefits to SLaM: it is good PR for them to facilitate our platforms; staff can use it to signpost their clients to community resources and opportunities etc.

D manages the blog, which has nearly 300 subscribers, and on top of that the blog gets about 100 hits a day (i.e. from non-subscribers).

Bridget and Matthew co-run Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Soundcloud (for audio blogs). They try to post items that are not only about involvement work with SLaM but also things that they feel will be of interest to the service users and carers who follow us – such as local community events, support groups, news items etc.

They also try to engage with service users and carers who follow us to foster a community spirit.  SLaM staff are encouraged to signpost service users and carers to our social media sites for extra support and a wealth of information. This is becoming more and more important as there are unfortunately significant cuts happening in the NHS both with physical and mental care.

Within Matthew’s social media role on the South London Involvement Forum, he works hard helping to run its Facebook, twitter and YouTube account.  He also physically goes out to attend and support mental health communities in South London.

Our Facebook page currently has over 100 ‘Likes’ and we have over 800 followers on Twitter.  Matthew does excellent video blogs that we post on YouTube.  His blog for “Depression Awareness Day” was picked up by a major website, Psych Central, in USA and placed on their website.

We only have a short time to persuade SLaM to change its mind, or to come up with an alternative funding solution. Can you help us with any of these things? Do you have money or access to funds that could contribute to this?

If you value the blog, our Facebook page and / or our tweets, you can help now by writing to SLaM to tell them how it is of use to you and asking them to reconsider their decision to withdraw our funding (about £500 per month).

Please write to our current funder, Zoe at Zoe.Reed@slam.nhs.uk and SLaM Head of Communications, Sarah at Sarah.Crack@slam.nhs.uk. You may wish to copy it to the Chief Executive, Matthew Patrick at Matthew.Patrick@slam.nhs.uk.

Please send us a copy at d.rosieruk@gmail.com. We suggest you don’t use our SLaM address as the Trust can of course shut down our access to this at any moment.

Please share this widely.

We will also be posting on Facebook and twitter, and we would be grateful if you could share these also.

Best wishes,

Abi, Bridget, D and Matthew

Your SLIF Communications team

Croydon Patient and Public Quarterly Forum

June Patient Forum flyer copy


Via Matthew

Shaping health services in south east London

The NHS has six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in south east London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark).  They are working together with commissioning leads from NHS England – London, and in close partnership with local authorities, hospitals, community health services, mental health services, patients, carers and local people on a five year strategy to improve health services across south east London. We are inviting people who live or work in south east London to apply to join our patient and public voices, who are at the centre of shaping and informing this clinically-driven strategy for local health services with us.

There are opportunities to join one of the groups working on planned health care, maternity services, children and young people, long term conditions – physical and mental health, primary and community care, cancer, and urgent and emergency care.  Or to work with one of our strategic (planning) groups – Partnership Group, Clinical Executive Group or Clinical Commissioning Board –  providing overall governance and direction for the local health strategy. All these groups meet regularly at central London venues and usually during daytime working hours.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who can bring the perspective from south east London’s communities whose voices are seldom heard in healthcare planning, and people who can contribute our strong commitment to equalities and diversity.

If you are interested in knowing more about any of these roles, please contact Laura Luckhurst on 0203 049 9916 or e-mail laura.luckhurst@nhs.net.

The deadline for completed applications is 5 pm on Friday 27th June 2014. 

Via Matthew

My Life, My Home, My Choice

Working locally to help people live how and where they want

Southwark Council and the NHS are trying to understand what is working well and what needs to be improved in the housing available for residents with mental health needs.  The way we want to do this is to start by finding out from people directly about their views and experience. We think that it is important to do this independently so we have asked Experts by Experience to talk to you and gather your views. Experts by Experience is an organisation made up of people with lived experience of mental health conditions who are promoting the involvement of people who use mental health and support services in the future planning of those services


People have told us that they want to be more in control of their lives, where and how they live and the care and support that they may need. We want to hear from you about what’s important so that we can work with you to develop housing and support that suits you.


We hope that there will be different sorts of housing made available locally that suit people better.

One way of people having more choice about how and where they live is to give them the option of having a personal health and social care budget. This is money to help people plan the things that will keep them healthy and safe and more in control of the things that matter most to them.

A personal health budget is money that you can choose to spend on some or all of the things that can help you stay well.  This can be used flexibly instead of having to use services provided to everyone that might not suit you.

Here are some examples of how personal budgets have been used

Things people have wanted to achieve with a personal budget How they did it
Improve confidence Went on a self confidence course
Lose weight Have a personal trainer and go to the gym
Feel less stressed Have an Indian head massage regularly
Help others Got a sat nav to give me confidence that I can find my way around enough to give my friends lifts in my car
Return to work Doing an IT course. Got a lap top.
Get on better with family Rail fare to visit my relatives.


What people say about it

‘At first I was really nervous about going to college and staff from the home came with me to settle me in, but now I get a taxi in the morning and a bus back. That was something I could never do before. The thought of a bus just freaked me out. Now every Wednesday I get a bus back.’

‘ My life is very settled. I can do what I want when I want. I now have some money. I am not bullied or patronised’


  • Will I have to move?

No this about you having more choice and control about where you live.

  • Do I have to have a personal health budget?

No you can continue to have the NHS services that you get already

  • Will you listen to what I say?

Yes your views and experience are very important to us

  • Where do I find out more?

You can speak to your care coordinator or the project manager Jane Williamson on 0207 525 1881

  • What happens to my views?

We will use your views to help improve things for you and other people living in residential care and to provide other living opportunities too.

PDF version here: Information sheet 2 05 14

For more information on this project, visit https://expertsbyexperience.wordpress.com/category/my-life-my-home-my-choice/


summary of discussions – SLaM service user and carer advisory groups for mood, anxiety & personality disorder services, and emergency access, complex care and clinical neurosciences

Hello all, The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments.   2 of these groups produce a brief summary of their discussions.  The purpose  is to let interested people know what is being discussed. I have attached the summaries from the March meetings.

Please circulate as appropriate.

Mood Anxiety & Personality Department advisory group Briefing Sheet Mar 2014 doc

Psychological Medicine advisory group summary – Mar 2014- doc.

With best wishes,


Alice Glover Patient & Public Involvement LeadMood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG email:  alice.glover@slam.nhs.uk tel: 020 3228 0959 113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

summary of discussions – SLaM service user and carer advisory groups for mood, anxiety & personality disorder services, and emergency access, complex care and clinical neurosciences

Hello all,

The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments.   2 of these groups produce a brief summary of their discussions.  The purpose  is to let interested people know what is being discussed.  Please circulate as appropriate.  

Mood Anxiety & Personality services advisory group summary Sheet Feb 2014 doc

psychological medicine advisory group summary -Feb 2014- doc.

With best wishes,


Alice Glover

Patient & Public Involvement LeadMood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email:  alice.glover@slam.nhs.uk tel: 020 3228 0959
113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ