Greenwich Mental Health Carers forum October 2021

Welcome to the October update of my Greenwich Mental Health carer forum. As with my other carer forums, this one focuses on engagement from the local mental health NHS trust that covers greenwich, that being Oxleas MH NHS trust. I run this forum with heavy support from Greenwich carers who fight and advocate for the needs of unpaid carers in the Royal borough of Greenwich.

Speakers for the October Greenwich MH carer forum were

Peter Ley (Oxleas NHS) – Service Manager
Sue Horbury (Oxleas NHS) – Online Patient system
Laurelle Morgan Bruce (Oxleas NHS) – Oxcare

Peter Ley presents about his role

Peter Ley from Oxleas has a very important role that impacts many mental health carers in the borough of Greenwich, which is why some members wanted to find out more about what he does. Peter talked about service updates on what Greenwich MH services were going through, plus also to briefly talk about the Oxleas strategy.

Peter pointed out that he has been at the organization since June 2020, but felt joining an NHS Trust at the heart of pandemic can be challenging, still many months later he has found is that, whilst in that period of time, the organization took the decision to move from borough based services and move towards service lines. Peter did warn that unfortunately, the NHS has got a lot jargon in it and he will try and filter it out during the presentation.

So for borough based this just meant that the Greenwich had a management team, and a set of a set of services, which was inpatients and the community teams, and it was clear that people belonged in those teams. Then there’s a bunch of teams in the community and those are in between the GP surgery and specific teams, there’s a team called PCP as in Primary Care Plus, where they may take the referrals from the GP surgeries and kind of work where patients need access to the right part of the service.

Peter then talked about the inpatient facilities and Oxleas house and on what they provide including explanations on the treatment team and medical liaison team, plus on the older aged services along with the community mental health team and the memory services. Peter talked about the team based out of the hospital that works with older people, and how they link up with the community teams.

Peter was kind enough to mention that he has got access to organisation charts and diagrams that show how the services link together. It is a good way to understand things at a birds eye view. Peter continued to talk about those teams and how they run from Greenwich, the borough of Bexley and also Bromley. Historically the Clinical commission groups were set in each borough for Bexley, Bromley, and Greenwich, So the organization (that being Oxleas NHS) felt it was important to have a local relationship with the commissioners to kind of ensure that things that were in accordance to what was needed. But more recently, people might be aware that we have things called integrated care services now and it has been going on for a number of years. The conclusion from a lot of work nationally was to get services to be more joined up and make them more effective

Some members of the group wanted to talk more about how services were affecting them, which led to a lengthy discussion on the challenges such changes in the organisations need to link to carers. In the end it was felt Peter could link up more with both the forum and our greenwich carer’s peer group, since some carers felt neglected. Peter was kind enough to agree and we hope to see more of him in the new year.

Sue Horbury presents on Oxleas Patient database system

I am always interested to hear how the mental health organisation identified, recorded and referred unpaid carers off their patient database. So Oxleas was very kind to send Sue Horbury who works with the patient database system called ‘RIO’. Now RIO is actually used in many mental health trusts, although other mental health trusts have different patient database systems.

Sue presented herself as the equal transformation program manager for RIO. What that actually means in practice is she looks after and runs the team that works with introducing new technologies to the mental health trust. Sue talked to us at length about the patient record system and how they collect information about carers.

Sue talked about their clinical system and also what they call the support network engagement tool. So the system provides Oxleas with the ability to be able to register carers and wider support networks that they created some time ago to calculate information. However Sue mentioned that they realized earlier this year, that it wasn’t necessarily doing everything they needed it to do. So there was updates which Sue talked to the group about. Sue felt the system needed to capture who is in person support network, that being their primary carers, but also other people that might support them, and also how and when the organisation should engage with carers coming from the patient database system. This is where the clinicians might want to invite carers to be part of the care plan where it could be virtual or it might be face to face. In the end the organisation has a mixed approach, since we are in the world of pandemic.

So one of the key things Sue explained is how to know when Oxleas speak to their patients and service users and what are the fundamental questions. These being who are the most important people in your life? And how would you like them to support you in your care? Should we as Oxleas contact them? And if we should, how often should the contact be and who should Oxleas contact in the event of an emergency So that they have some guidance around how and when your wishes should be met.

Sue was very clear that maybe this isn’t happening as often as it should do, but that is certainly being recorded. The system has the ability to capture, but Oxleas can always strive to do better.

Laurelle Morgan Bruce presents on Oxcare

Following up on Sue’s presentation Laurelle talked Oxcare and what it meant for users of the services. Oxcare shows personal and medical information held on the patient’s personal health record, some of it comes from Oxleas’ record systems (RIO).

It allows patients to add their own information about their health, along with details which may be used to help with them on their current illness. This could include a diary or trackers to record their mood or pain. In some cases, it may reduce the need for them to attend many appointments.

She mentioned what was taken into the live environment some all the new functionality which will link up with Rio and allows Oxleas to bring information from Rio into the records. There has been lots of progress and they have started to work with some of the teams around the trust, but there is always oppertunity for members of the group to be involved and have a look.

There will be 3 Phases for leading on to the new year.

Phase 1 some services and their patients have access in 2021
Phase 2 During 2022 all services will be able to offer Oxcare
Phase 3 Reviewing and adding more functionality

Overall the forum was a little heated, but I was impressed that Oxleas staff did engage with the carers group as unfortunately there are organisations out there where carers do not have a carer’s centre or a group that can be a platform for engagement, querying and updates.

This is my brief update on my Greenwich MH carer forum for October, where the new one will be in January where Oxleas PALS will be talking more about what they do.