A digital place for people who access services, carers, staff and partner agencies, to share ideas around care co-ordination & care planning in mental health

Posts tagged ‘service users’

Mediaclip for staff training – participants wanted

Do you currently receive community services from LYPFT, or have in the last 12 months? Are you a carer of someone accessing LYPFT community services?

If so, and your care is arranged through Care Programme Approach, by sharing your story and experiences digitally you can help improve services through helping us understand what we do well, and where we can improve. Your experience would be used for staff training and for general mental health and carer awareness across the Trust and with the general public.video1-

Areas to understand include: assessment; care coordination; care planning; review; working with others including carers. Also your understanding of recovery and wellbeing.

Digital recording will be on the 17th and 20th of November, it will take no longer than two hours. If you would like to participate or would like more information then please contact Donna Kemp donna.kemp@nhs.net 07985259082

Thank you!inkwell nov


So what do pharmacy staff at LYPFT do all day – count tablets?? No

elaine westonThis guest blog by Elaine Weston, Chief Pharmacist at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is about the role that pharmacy has in a persons care, support and treatment.

Q. What do pharmacy staff do all day? A. Count tablets into bottles? X No

Dispensing prescriptions is only a small part of the daily activity of pharmacy staff. The Pharmacists and Pharmacy technicians’ role is to ensure that service users get the best out of their medicines (Medicines Optimisation).

This means service users understanding their medication, how it works, when they should take it, what side effects may be experienced and how to minimise them.

On admission to hospital the pharmacy technicians will contact, with the person’s permission, the service user’s GP or look at the ‘Summary Care Record’ in order to find out  the current medication that the service user is prescribed. This is then checked with the service user or carer to ensure it is correct. Sometimes people are prescribed medication but for various reasons do not take it. The pharmacy staff will explore with the service user why they decide not to take a medication and if it is because of side effects then they can advise on ways to minimise these.

Mistakes are often made around medication when people move from one care setting to another ie from home to hospital or on discharge back home or when transferred to different hospitals. This is why it is very important to bring your medicines into hospital with you if you are admitted or have an outpatient appointment. This means the Dr, nurse or pharmacist can check that the medication is correct.

Giving information about medication is an essential role for Pharmacy staff and helping service users make a decision about their choice of medication where appropriate. The website www.choiceandmedication.org/leedsandyorkpft/ can help in making these decisions. The website has all the common psychiatric conditions and medication used to treat them. The format of the website is user-friendly and can be used by service users or carers on their own or in discussion with their healthcare professional. Leaflets about the medication can also be printed off.

choice and medication

The pharmacy department operates a ‘Telephone Help Line’  9am to 5am Monday to Friday (0113 8555534 for Leeds and 0113 8550591 for York)  for service users, carers, GPs and community pharmacists to contact a pharmacist for advice about medication.

The pharmacy staff  also check that relevant blood tests have been carried out for example for Lithium and Clozapine. We check that other tests have been done like ECGs if a service user is prescribed an antipsychotic. The pharmacy staff will also ask you about whether you smoke, this is because some medication is affected by smoking and blood levels of medication can be changed depending on how many cigarettes you smoke each day, or if you stop smoking.

A service user’s physical health is as important as their mental health and so the pharmacy staff will ask you if you have had relevant physical health checks, like weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure checks either at your GP or in a LYPFT clinic.

Sometimes a doctor will ask a pharmacist to help advise them regarding a service user’s medication. This might be because the current medication is not working well, or side effects are troublesome. The pharmacy staff will collate a drug history using all the past and current medical and nursing notes, maybe from many years before in order to get a picture of previous therapy and how well or not it worked. The pharmacist would then give advice to the doctor on the best options for future treatment.

In summary, Pharmacy staff are here to help you get the best out of your medicines, do not hesitate to use them.

Elaine Weston, Chief Pharmacist 

August 2015

New Care Act – key points for mental health

In this post, Jenny Titcombe, Senior Mental Health Social Worker, explains about the new Care Act and what it means for people accessing mental health services, carers and for people working in mental health………

What do people need to know about the new Care Act ?

• The government says the new Care Act (2014) is the biggest social care reform in the UK for over half a century. The Care Act aims to simplify all other laws and tries to make it clear exactly what people who need social care advice/ support can expect from their council.
• The wellbeing of people is at the centre of the new Care Act. Councils now have a duty to think about the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of people who need care. Councils also have a new duty to provide preventative services to keep people healthy in the first place. Council’s must also provide better information to help people access good care.
• For the first time the care system will be built around each individual person and what care they each need and want. Personal Budget’s are part of the new law which give people the power to spend allocated money on care that meets their needs and suits them best.
• The Care Act also introduces a cap on care costs for which an individual is liable (April, 2016)

More information is available here

What does The Care Act mean for carers?

• The Care Act also introduces new rights for carers. Now anyone who provides unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend can arrange to have a carer’s assessment, irrespective of whether the person they care for has eligible needs. Previously only carers providing regular and substantial care were entitled to a carer’s assessment.
• For the first time, if a Carer has eligible needs of their own, they will have the right to support from the council.
More information is available at Carers UK herehere is a link to Carers Leeds and this link is to York Carers Forum.

What does this mean for people working in mental health?
• Social workers in Community Mental Health Teams have recently undergone training in The Care Act and have embraced changes to practice, process and paperwork.
• As a result of The Care Act, working age adults with mental health problems and professional referrers should find it easier to access funded support as assessments are based on an individual’s needs (rather than available services) and more flexible responses to meeting eligible needs should be available.
• The Care Act now makes integration, cooperation and partnership a legal requirement on local authorities and on all agencies involved in public care the NHS including independent or private sector organisations and housing. Those working in Mental Health Services should expect further moves towards integrated services over the coming years.
• The Care Act makes offering Personal Budgets to people with eligible social care need law. Although under separate legislation – there is likely to be a rise in personal health budgets and mixed (health and social care) budgets over coming years. Recently introduced regulations now makes it law that those eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care have a right to a Personal Health Budget.
Watch this space …

Jenny Titcombe
Senior Mental Health Social Worker

Physical health care: barriers and challenges

Guest post from Andria Hanbury regarding physical health care; please share your views through voting on the poll and leaving your comments:


My name is Andria and I have been seconded to the trust to lead on projects aimed at improving different aspects of clinical practice. One such project that I am currently working on is aimed at improving physical health care across the trust. To make sure that the action plan developed as part of this project is evidence-based and targets what it needs to target, we are seeking feedback regarding what people accessing mental health services feel the main challenges are to receiving physical health care.

Could you please take a look at the list below, drawn from published academic research papers, and feedback whether you feel it captures the main challenges from a service-user perspective? If not, what do you feel needs adding in or removing? The majority are focussed on physical health care provided at the doctor’s surgery (primary care), so if there are any issues relating to physical health care within the trust, please feel free to highlight these. Thanks for your time.

Barriers/challenges to accessing physical health care:

  1. Belief that when attend an appointment at the GP surgery, the GP’s lack interpersonal skills
  2. Belief that physical health care needs won’t be taken seriously
  3. Fear of/not wanting certain tests or procedures
  4. Difficulty in communicating physical health problems
  5. Lack of advocate/social support
  6. Anxiety in busy waiting room at the GP surgery
  7. Difficulty getting continuous care from the same health professional at GP surgery




Role of the family/carer in acute care – are we asking too much?

Hi, Alex posted this comment and question:-

Hi very new to this so hope this works. I just have a question to throw out there.
Are we asking too much of carers? We provide a lot of acute community care, for some Service users they live with families or families have to come together at times of acute needs to support services to manage people at home.  Is this a lot to ask?
Expecting family to take on this extra support role is sometimes too much and this in turn changes family/friendship relations ships.

How might we do things differently?

sorry for the ramble hope this makes sense.

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