News in brief: improving SEND services, self-management bipolar sessions, maternal mental health service and more

Let’s take a look at some of the stories from integrated care systems which have recently caught our eye.

‘Working Together’ charter launches in Warwickshire

Warwickshire has launched a new county-wide charter which aims to improve services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  

The charter has been developed through collaboration between Warwickshire County Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board, Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice, and IMPACT (the young people’s forum for SEND in Warwickshire) – with a shared commitment work together across local areas to ensure the voices of families with special educational needs and disabilities are heard in the development of SEND services.  

The charter acknowledges the strategic role of Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice and IMPACT – committing to work in parternships across services to create a welcoming and caring environment with open communication at its core.

It is the hope of all involved that the Working Together Charter will encourage the local area to provide services that meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, their families, and the wider community. It is hoped this will also help to create a “culture of effective participation, where the voices of children and young people with SEND are heard and valued.”

Bipolar self-management courses launched in London

In South West London, weekly self-management sessions have been introduced for those living with bipolar, designed to help people in the community living with the condition to better understand it and to improve their coping strategies.

The eight-week programme is being run by Bipolar UK with the help of a £10,000 grant from NHS South West London’s innovation fund.

The meetings will co ver a range of topiocs, such as how to manage mood swings, deal with triggers and spot early symptoms to prevent a relapse or plan ahead for dealing with difficult episodes. One of the meetings is designed specifically for family and friends of a loved one with bipolar, and experts from Cardiff University will be involved in sessions discussing medication and nutrition.

The programme aims to provide peer support and reinforce the voice of the community, ultimately helping to change public attitudes towards bipolar and mental health.

LLR launch NHS volunteer campaign

NHS leaders in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are calling for volunteers to support local health services with their ‘Make a difference and feel the difference’ campaign.

There are a number of ways for people to get involved, both in person and online, including joining the Patient Participation Group at one of LLR’s local GP practices, discussing how services could be improved, how the practice can better involve patients and the local community in their work, and arranging community activities, surveys and events.

Alternatively, people can participate in the Public and Patient Involvement Assurance Group, which places emphasis on the involvement of people in the design of health services.

Another option is for volunteers to take part in an online citizens’ panel, giving them the opportunity to share views and opinions on a wide variety of health topics to help shape services for the future.

‘Helix’ maternal mental health service opens

A new maternal mental health service has opened in the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich.

Helix (Healing Experiences of Loss & Trauma) is a specialist therapeutic service supporting those who have experienced the death of a baby, loss of pregnancy, or death of a baby between conception and the end of the first year of life, and who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulty as a result.

Services provided by Helix include individual or group evidence-based psychological therapy and peer support, either within the Helix Service or in the community, and co-working with referrers and related health professionals.

If you would like to learn more about Helix or would like to make a referral, check out the link here.

NHS Health checks offered by Norwich Wellbeing Hub  

Norfolk and Waveney ICS has announced that as of May 2023, Norwich’s Castle Quarter Wellbeing Hub will offer a free NHS Health Check for  Norfolk residents aged 40-74.

The 20–30-minute comprehensive check-up will assess local peoples’ risk of developing health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke.

The health check consists of both clinical tests and lifestyle questions, wherein the patient will be given their results along with practical advice about to lower their risk factors of avoidable long term health conditions. The results will be automatically sent to the patient’s GP following the appointment.

The new partnership is intended to improve Norfolk residents’ access to this important health service.

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