Issue 7

We all need to be involved

A quality improvement project (QI) exploring how carers and families can be more involved with the care we provide is taking place in the North Norfolk and Norwich Care Group. Jill Curtis, Carers Lead, tells us more.

Involving carers and families in the care of service users is vital as it often means the recovery journey is more successful. There are things we need to be mindful of, such as data protection and family history, but it is important to remember that we should automatically seek to involve carers, rather than the other way around. The aim of the QI project is to increase the involvement of carers or supporters at the initial assessment following a routine referral. Our aim is to put a formal process in place so that we can ensure consistency across the Trust. The project is still in its early stages, but actions taken so far include setting up letter templates for use as part of the assessment process. Our trial template letter for service users now includes a paragraph about involving other people in their care, while they will also be given a draft letter which they can give to those people to include them. This letter includes contact details for the assessment team and the Carers Lead so that carers know how to access help and support. We are making sure that families and carers are fully involved in this QI project and are inviting their feedback to help us drive improvements. In particular, we have worked closely with the father of a service user who passed away while waiting for treatment. After listening to his experiences, we are trying to make sure that families are informed when a referral has taken place and are given information about what they can do to support their loved ones. It is really important that families and carers realise they have a role to play and that support is available to help them fulfil that role. We hope that we will find some really great evidence and positive examples of this in action as the project progresses.” To find out more email


A quote from a Carer during a support call with a Carers Lead

“I am so grateful for your call and the time for allowing me to talk. It’s so much better talking to someone who has an understanding of mental health issues and the difficulties I face as a carer on a day-to-day basis. Life can be hard. I know you can’t always solve my problems but just talking to you helps. Thank you”


And relax . . . . What is relaxation?

Relaxation is a state where you feel calm and can manage your stress or anxiety. How can relaxation improve your mental health? Relaxation reduces stress and the symptoms of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Relaxation also has other related health benefits, including: • lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate • reducing muscle tension and chronic pain • improving concentration and mood • reducing fatigue • reducing anger and frustration • boosting confidence to handle problems We all need a bit of a reminder and encouragement to practice relaxation techniques. Try this range of audio relaxation guides that are available in both male and female voices, covering techniques such as floating visualisation, yogic sleep, mindful breathing, purification of visualisation, progressive muscle relaxation, candle gazing. Give it a go, try something new. Google search: “Northumberland Relaxation Techniques” Website: resource-library/relaxationtechniques/


PD live event

Staff governor Howard Tidman is running a live event ‘understanding and living with a personality disorder’ on November 26. Please click here to see the poster and details of how to join.


Let’s meet

Julie Evans, carers lead, central IDT, Suffolk

First CD/Record bought: The Cure 17 seconds Fav food: Poached egg on thick granary toast. About me: My passion in life is supporting people. I have been a family carer myself and know that information is vital to the ongoing support to any unpaid carer In my family life I love dogs. Our family currently have six. Our latest two rescues have come all the way from Greece through The Greek animal rescue team to be with us. They are wonderful to have around the home. I have a passion for the outdoors and love spending time walking in the forest with my ever-increasing pack of dogs.

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