"Worried that unsupported groups will loose members"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult Mental Health Services - Community (County)

(as a service user),

I was advised yesterday that following a meeting it has been decided that the REHAB group which run the various groups and one to ones is to be amalgamated into the FACT team.

Although my one to one session is to be continued on a Monday, the group sessions on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are to lose REHAB presence.

I have been told that if these groups are to continue, the service users will have to look after themselves and that support is to cease in 8 weeks’ time.

I am concerned that the reduced level of support from staff will have a negative effect on the groups. Why only last week at the Thursday Ten Pin Bowling group I had to witness a service user having a panic attack when the support staff was late arriving. I did not know what to do to console the service user so telephoned for help. The support staff said sorry for being late and advised me to tell the service user to take some deep breaths. By the time the staff arrived the service user was feeling much better and went on to take part in the bowling.

In my opinion staff presence at group functions is a vital aid to the groups success and that without support I fear that the groups will eventually decline in numbers and ultimately cease to exist. I say this through experience with a former supported group I used to attend regularly and was well attended but since the support stopped there are only 2 or sometimes 3 attendees.

I hope you will forward my concerns to the relevant parties and would hope for a favourable outcome even though I realise this is again a cost cutting exercise.

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Response from Tim Constable, Service Manager, Adult Mental Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Croft

I am sorry you feel that the facilitators no longer being present will have a negative outcome for the groups. Can I please reassure you that as a team we have contacted one of our colleagues from social care who is able to assist and support clients running groups independently, he has experience within this area and has supported groups to work independently with great success. We still have supported groups within the FACT (flexible assertive community treatment ) team and I am sure the clinicians will be able to support yourself and other clients to access these groups. Our support workers within the Community Rehabilitation pathway will be supporting clients individually to access community groups and services, enabling them to integrate into their local community, increasing their social network and promoting recovery.

If you would like to discuss these changes directly with either myself (Tim Constable) or Tracey Houghton (Team Leader) please call 0115 9691300 and ask for either of us by name.

Kind regards


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