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Minister of State visits C&I

7 March 2016

Alistair Burt, MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, has visited Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) to hear first-hand from health professionals and patients about its world-class, innovative and person-centred approach to mental healthcare.

Mr Burt spent more than two hours at C&I’s main St Pancras Hospital site, north London, for a tour of some of the trust’s specialist services, including its expert work in the fields of traumatic stress, mental health crisis, recovery and psychological therapies.

C&I is a nationally-renowned mental health trust, with a strong profile in research, education and training, serving an area with a large and diverse immigrant population speaking more than 290 languages and with a large and transient young adult population.

Its catchment area has some of the highest needs for mental health services within the UK, with a high prevalence of psychotic and non-psychotic mental health problems.

Leisha Fullick, C&I Chair, hosted Mr Burt’s visit, with Non-Executive Director, Angela Harvey, and Chief Executive, Wendy Wallace.  Wendy said: “The Minister demonstrated a real interest in the innovative work being done at the trust, as well as in our plans for the future, including the possible re-development of the site.

“We were able to showcase the care we provide for people away from hospital and closer to home, as well as the work we are doing to address people’s physical, alongside their mental health needs.

“Crucially, the Minister was able to hear directly from users of our services about their recovery journey and what they found most beneficial.”   

Mr Burt said: “Mental health services have progressed a great deal in the last few years, and the work I saw gives me further hope for the future.

“It was a real privilege to meet staff and students at the trust, and I am also especially grateful to Neil and Rachel for sharing their experiences of the life-changing support they received here.”

During his tour of C&I’s main site, the Minister:

  • Visited C&I’s Traumatic Stress Clinic (TSC), incorporating the London Veteran’s Assessment and Treatment Service (LVS), to hear from Dr Mary Robertson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, about how it works with people from the Armed Services
  •  Learned in detail about the LVS which is resourced to treat 100 “service users” a year but sees many more, with increasingly younger veterans coming forward from conflict zones, including Afghanistan
  • Met LVS service user Neil Davies (see picture below), who joined the Parachute Regiment aged 17 and experienced action in a number of conflict zones including north Africa and Cyprus. After years of flashbacks, insomnia and anger he is now in recovery after receiving treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Alistair Burt meets Neil Davies

  • Heard from Dr Robertson about the wider work of the TSC, particularly in relation to refugees, including the growing number from the Syrian conflict who are coming to C&I for support. The service treats adults with PTSD following traumatic events such as witnessing or experiencing childhood abuse, physical and sexual assaults, murder, disasters, war, civil conflict, persecution, detention, human trafficking and torture
  • Met “Rachel”, a refugee from war-torn Sierra Leone, who came to the UK after being trafficked by a gang and has attended TSC for symptoms of PTSD.  She has since found work in the NHS as a care  assistant and is now studying for a nursing degree
  • Visited C&I’s St Pancras site Crisis House – one of three run by the trust - with C&I’s Medical Director Dr Vincent Kirchner, where he met the manager Simon Brunert. The building, which has six beds, offers inpatient facilities to provide practical and emotional mental health support for adults over 18 who are experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Visited the Recovery College (see picture below), a short walk away, where he met manager Iris Dearne and joined a group of students in the library for a class entitled “Stigma in Mental Health”. Set up in September 2014, the College offers free, recovery-focused educational courses that are co-produced and co-delivered by tutors with lived experience of health or mental health challenges

Alistair Burt meets service users at The Recovery College

  • Learned from Judy Leibowitz, C&I’s Head of Improving Access to Psychological  Therapies Services (IAPT), about the support for people across the full range and severity of common mental health problems including depression and anxiety disorders and heard from service users of their experiences. One example is a new scheme in which C&I staff train up job centre workers to enable them to support clients with psychological problems as they try to get back to work.

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For further information on any of the above,  including interviews  with clinicians or service users :Please contact Jon Salmon, Communications Manager, at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust on 020 3317 6291 or jon.salmon@candi.nhs.uk

About Camden and Islington NHS Trust

We provide mental health and substance misuse services to people living in Camden and Islington, substance misuse services to Westminster, and a substance misuse and psychological therapies service to residents in Kingston.

We have two inpatient facilities, at Highgate Mental Health Centre and St Pancras Hospital, as well as community based services throughout the London boroughs of Camden and Islington. Our Trust is also a member of University College London Partners (UCLP), one of the world’s leading academic health science partnerships.

We provide services for adults of working age, adults with learning difficulties, and older people in the London area either in a community or inpatient setting.

Our income for 2014/15 was £141million and we have approximately 1,700 staff. Our staff work in multi-disciplinary teams providing a holistic approach to recovery. This means that we often work with partner agencies and the voluntary sector. Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust was established in 2002. In March 2008 we became the first Care Trust to achieve Foundation Trust status and are licensed by Monitor.

 

 

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