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Peterborough mental health services celebrate landmark achievements

Two mental health services within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating landmark achievements.
Dr Mike Spencer (left) and Dr James Clarke (right) are celebrating success for their teams at CPFT (Photo: Supplied)

The team from the Trust's First Response Service (FRS), which provides support to those in mental health crisis, has been nominated for an award that recognises those setting new standards of excellence within their industries.

Now in its 15th year, the LaingBuisson Awards have shortlisted the FRS team as one of 12 candidates in the category for Outstanding Response to COVID in Healthcare. The judges for 2020 said they were looking for "examples of strong culture delivering better care, excellent communication, early responses, adapting to and overcoming challenges during the pandemic".

The FRS service can be accessed by anyone in the region by calling the NHS 111 helpline. The team of mental health professionals initially assess a person over the phone and, if needed, can arrange further support either by phone or video call. If a further face-to-face assessment is deemed necessary, the team can arrange for a home visit by a clinician. 

Around 3,000 calls are taken by the FRS service every month.

Dr Mike Spencer, consultant psychiatrist who submitted the application to the awards said: "Like all teams at the Trust, my colleagues at the First Response Service have responded extremely well to the great challenges of the pandemic and have adapted their ways of working - they have done really well.

"We've moved to more online consultations, and the team has overcome the challenges of remote working and are still working safely for the benefit of all those who need our support."

In addition, the Trust's Psychological Wellbeing Service has recently received its 50,000th self-referral. 

The service provides therapy for those suffering from common mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression. Self-referrals began in 2015, allowing people to contact the service directly rather than having to go via their GP.

Clinical lead and clinical psychologist Dr James Clarke said: "This is a real landmark for our team and serves to prove just how needed our service is. I am incredibly proud of all of our colleagues and their efforts over the last five years.

"Mental ill-health can affect one in four of us during our lifetime, and we know our service - and allowing people to self-refer - continues to help people to live the lives they wish to and reduce stigma around mental health."