Community Mental Health Service

Information for service users, carers and the public

During the Coronavirus pandemic we had to change the way we provided support to you, in order to keep you and our members of staff safe. This meant limiting the amount of people we saw face-to-face, and some of our services unfortunately being paused.

We want to update you on our current situation and what to expect.

How will I receive my care?

Digital contact

For the time being, the majority of your contact will be offered by digital methods where possible. This includes telephone, video consultations, and possibly text messaging and email.

If you are given an individual member of staff’s work phone number or email address, the appropriate use of this will be discussed with you.

Face-to-face contact

We will still see people face-to-face where that is needed. Many people may receive a mixture of different contact types.

Keeping us all safe

If you are seen face-to-face, our staff must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This could include face mask, apron, gloves and visor / goggles.

You should also wear a face covering unless you are exempt. A face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.

Alternative locations

We are unable to see people in some of our buildings at present, and when they do re-open, spaces will be very limited in order to maintain safety in our clinical areas.

If you need a face-to-face appointment but this cannot be done at your home or in an outdoor space, you may be asked to travel to an alternative Trust location to be seen.

What if telephone / video isn’t suitable for me?

You will not be disadvantaged

We recognise that digital doesn’t suit everybody. You may not have the equipment, know how to use it, have private space, or other things that make it difficult for you.

You have a choice

The team should discuss your preferences with you, and agree how you will communicate and receive your care. This can change and be reviewed as part of your care plan.

We can help

We will try to support you in overcoming some of these barriers where we can, so you can receive the same care digitally. This may involve advice and help to get set up online.

Why aren’t things returning to how they were?

Limiting the spread of the virus

We have to take a cautious approach and continue to limit our face-to-face contacts as much as possible to avoid further spread of the virus. This is to keep you, your families, and our staff safe.

Clinic space

We cannot run things such as outpatient clinics as we used to due to the limited space in our buildings. Using digital technologies allows us to still offer those services just in other ways.

Impact of PPE

We know it can be difficult communicating and building a relationship with staff in masks. A video consultation can sometimes be better than a face-to-face appointment in this case, so you can see the professional’s face whilst talking to them.

Benefits

Many people have found benefits to video and telephone consultations. This includes reduced travel, reduced costs, increased flexibility and more. For this reason it is something we want to continue to offer moving forwards.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Feedback

We’re keen to hear about your thoughts and experiences of your care over recent months. Please consider sparing a few minutes to complete our survey:

www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SUCMHTFeedback

or scan the QR code with your smartphone camera.

If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the survey, please contact the Patient Experience and Involvement Team on the details below.

Further Involvement

We are looking for a group of CMHT service users, friends, relatives and carers to be involved in making decisions about how we develop and improve our services. This is especially important following all the recent changes. You can watch a film about why it’s so important for us to get your views:

You could be involved as little or as much as you’d like.

If you’d like to find out more about this project, please contact the Patient Experience and Involvement Team on 0113 855 6840 or email patientexperience.lypft@nhs.net.

 

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