Even more young people in Hertfordshire and west Essex to benefit from mental health support at school

Even more young people in Hertfordshire and west Essex to benefit from mental health support at school

Many more school children in Hertfordshire and west Essex will be able to get early help with their mental health difficulties, thanks to a national ‘Trailblazer’ programme.

Two new mental health support teams will join those already in place in 32 schools and colleges in St Albans and East Hertfordshire, following another successful bid for national funding.

One of the new teams will cover special schools across Hertfordshire and west Essex, hosted by the PALMS* service at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and the other, hosted by the mental health charity Mind, will cover schools in Harlow.

Staff for the new teams will be recruited from September and will work in schools and colleges to:

  • support children and young people who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues
  • help the senior mental health lead in each school or college to develop the support that they offer to the whole school community
  • give timely advice to school and college staff, liaising with external specialist services to help children and young people to get the right support and stay in education

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan, Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) Clinical Lead for Mental Health said:

"The announcement of these two additional teams is great news for children, parents and carers for our area."

"Half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders begin by the age of 14 and one in eight children experience a mental health problem. That’s why getting early help from someone who can identify children’s mental health issues and put in place the right support is vitally important.  This is an important part of our plans to deliver a healthier future for our children and young people." 

Mental health support teams are a new workforce. Each team includes Education Mental Health Practitioners, higher level therapists or senior staff, a team manager and administrative support.  The teams are exploring ways of delivering care and advice for young people’s mental health in the familiar environment of their school or college, helping to make getting mental health help as ‘normal’ as a visit to a first-aider.

Strengthening the links between education and health services should also help to minimise delays for children and young people who need help.  Children who may be struggling with issues like anxiety about friendships or family pressures can be supported, alongside friends and family members, to build their understanding of mental health and how to manage their wellbeing.

Thanks for not standing us up!

Thanks for not standing us up!

A new study into why people miss GP appointments has been published by Stellar Healthcare.

The report, which targets millennials (21-35 year olds) as the most likely group to miss appointments, reveals insights into why Did Not Attend (DNA) rates remain high amongst younger adults.

Commissioned by NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG), Stellar Healthcare undertook a four phased approach to identifying the causes and the remedies for people who miss their appointments, with a special focus on evening and weekend GP appointments.

Debbie Bodhanya, Chief Executive of Stellar Healthcare said, “We believe this is the first time anyone has taken a holistic view on the reasons why people miss their appointments. Our team took a three-pronged approach which included research and data, patient insight and practice review in order to get an in depth understanding of the issues. We then created a communications campaign targeting millennials which could help raise awareness of the challenges facing general practice every day.”  

The key findings in the report include:

  1. Millennials do not have the same nostalgic and historical relationship with the NHS as older generations do.
  2. Technological advancement is crucial to booking and cancelling appointments and GP practices need to modernise.
  3. GP practices should streamline and harmonise their appointment processes.
  4. Regular text message reminders reduce DNA rates and encourage attendance/cancellation of appointments.
  5. Admin errors are often the reason why appointments are missed.
  6. Direct messaging is the best way to communicate with millennials.
  7. Promotional and health messages should be targeted to younger adult groups.
  8. Millennials feel like they are being told off and respond better to praise.
  9. Campaign messaging should appeal to their desire to help others.
  10. Sometimes life gets in the way and people just forget or can’t attend their appointments.

Peter Wightman, Director of Primary Care, NHS West Essex CCG, said: “The issue of missed appointments is a big concern for us as it wastes valuable GP time that could have been spent with patients. This study gives us some real insight into the reasons behind why people do not attend, in particular among our younger population and their emotional response to messaging.  In line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term plan, with its focus on digital there are also some key actions for GP practices around modernisation, something we are keen to support and encourage.”

The study also provides recommendations and practical changes that practices can adopt in order to improve attendance. A full copy of the report is available at http://stellarhealthcare.net/news/260-thanks-for-not-standing-us-up.

Notes to editors:

  1. Stellar Healthcare is an award winning GP Provider company in Harlow and Epping.
  2. Stellar Healthcare successfully delivered the Evening and Weekend GP service between October 2015 and April 2019 with a positive patient satisfaction rating of 97 per cent.
  3. The study on Did Not Attends (DNA) began in January 2019 for four months, and focused on evening and weekend GP appointments.
  4. In 2018 the Evening and Weekend GP service in west Essex had an average Did Not Attend (DNA) rate of 12.8 per cent. This equates to over 6,400 missed appointments and has cost the service an estimated £192,000 in wasted clinical time.  During normal surgery hours, the DNA rate in west Essex is lower at 4.9 per cent for a similar period (November 2017 to October 2018).

For more information, please contact:

Kay Odysseos

Communications lead

0300303 7300

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Local nurse receives prestigious Queen’s Nurse award

Local nurse receives prestigious Queen’s Nurse award

Elizabeth Hall, who is Professional Lead in the Continuing Healthcare team at NHS West Essex CCG, gained the award in recognition of her dedication to community nursing.

The title was re-introduced by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) in 2007 to promote the highest standards of patient care in the community.

Elizabeth, who has lived in and around the west Essex area all her life completed her nursing training based at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill under the University of Surrey.

She returned home to work in the Princess Alexandra Hospital completing their newly qualified development programme rotating around different hospital wards.

She said: “I had always believed my heart belonged in community nursing and in 2004 I was fortunate enough to be supported by East and North Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) to complete the Specialist Community Nursing course.

“I qualified as a District Nurse and secured a position as a Community Matron in East Hertfordshire. In 2008, a new challenge beckoned as I wanted to learn new skills and a secured a position working in the Essex base of NHS Direct.

“In 2009 I had the opportunity to develop a skill learnt within community nursing as a Nurse Assessor for NHS Continuing Healthcare at Mid Essex CCG. This led me on a 10 year adventure through various changes in Continuing Healthcare as well as the PCT to CSU to coming to work at West Essex CCG. My initial role was to undertake case reviews, before successfully applying for my current post as Professional Lead for the CHC team.”

After finding out she was successful, Elizabeth attended the awards ceremony in London last week where The Queen’s Nursing Institute presented her with her award. She said: “I feel very proud and honoured to have been given this award. My role is incredibly rewarding and challenging.”

Elizabeth is the second nurse at the CCG to hold the Queen’s Nurse title, with the Director of Nursing and Quality, Jane Kinniburgh having been awarded the title in 2015.

Jane also attended the ceremony. She received an extra award for completing the Queen's Nursing Institute Executive Nurse Leadership Programme. The programme aims to equip nurses working in senior community roles. Its purpose is to raise the profile, voice, value and influence of community nursing in both national policy and local delivery of community services.

Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of NHS West Essex CCG said; “We are delighted to learn of the Queen’s Nurse title being given to Liz Hall. Her experience, commitment and support to all her colleagues and patients is remarkable – huge congratulations.”

Latest News