A note from Team Manager, Gaelle Carrera
Welcome to the Community Rehabilitation Service update. We've been working hard during the pandemic to ensure that our clients are receiving the most thorough support possible, and this continues to be our priority.
We are very proud to have been able to continue to work face to face with 90% of of our clients. We did this in conjunction with clients and their carers and all clients had a contact plan which could also include telephone and video appointments. This has ensured that we have continued to offer consistent and regular contact.
Throughout this challenging time, we've been impressed by the team's resilience. Their commitment, devotion and hard work helped clients feel safe and able to continue working towards their recovery. There have been some excellent outcomes for clients who have moved on from the service which is wonderful to see. A big thank you too to all our clients for their continued patience and hard work.
Ready, steady, cook!
Our hugely popular cookery group with Coexist Community Kitchen (pictured) went online in January, determined to bring everyone back together, albeit virtually! The weekly group has between six and nine people taking part along with one of our volunteers.
Coexist Community Kitchen provides the ingredients (including vegan and gluten free) already weighed out with a printed recipe and our recovery navigators deliver these to our cookery group clients, the day before each session.
We are lucky that it is an ethnically diverse group and we are encouraging people to suggest their own family cooking recipes. This group is enabling people to become confident online with others, encourages people to cook healthy food, increases their confidence with cooking and develops relationships between those taking part.
The group has now been able to open up for attendees to meet in person.
Our safe green space
We are pleased to say that we have been able to keep our allotment group running consistently where restrictions have allowed. We encouraged staff to use the space to meet their clients in a quiet and peaceful setting. We have two plots which enabled us to meet at a safe distance too!
For Christmas the Forest of Avon Trust ran a session for us. They made a fire, people drank chai tea and ate mince pies, enjoyed the space and picked some foliage to make some beautiful garlands.
In May last year we had a shelter built which meant that staff and clients were able to meet during the winter months and tend the plots if they wanted to. Throughout the year plants continued to grow and people were able to enjoy the produce. We have a poly tunnel and we will try and plant seeds, grow vegetables, fruits, flowers and enjoy cooking the produce at some point in the summer.
Keeping well with yoga
Peer Recovery Navigator, Ellen Grieves and Team Administrator, Laura Dunham are both qualified yoga instructors and have been providing our staff group with regular online yoga and mindfulness sessions several times a week. This has helped our staff team keep well and build resilience during the pandemic. Staff have told us that these sessions helped them pause and find time for themselves and reset them for the week.
Clients also gave us very positive feedback: "I like it, it makes me feel better in my body and myself. I feel calmer and tired in a good way. It stops the aches and pains in my body which makes me feel better in myself. I really enjoy doing yoga."
Ellen has been offering her yoga sessions to clients at Wellbridge House as well as in the community. Wellbridge House staff saw a positive impact for the rest of their day and a sense of calmness among the group.
Covid-19 required us to work within regulations around issues such as social distancing while maintaining our full capacity and what happens if somebody develops symptoms. This involved regular and clear communication with our residents such as creating a kitchen rota, risk assessments, PPE and testing requirements. Nursing staff were trained to carry out testing and we carried out a careful risk assessment with clients and within the communal spaces and offices within the house.
It was essential that we continued to offer a therapeutic and homely environment and the essence of collaboration remained the core of our work with residents. In order to maintain social distancing on shift we had to reduce to having two staff members per shift. We continued to offer our full rehabilitation programme adjusting our ways of working to accommodate those changes.
And our wonderful community team...
Amazingly, our community team has continued working with 90% of clients on our caseload, face to face, using outdoor space or with the required personal protective equipment when visiting them in their homes. We've been able to continue working with our clients outside using our allotment and also online for example with our cooking group.
We've held two development mornings with the team to ensure we've had some dedicated wellbeing time. In these sessions we've looked at the team’s resilience and achievements over the pandemic and what the team needs moving forward, as well as identifying positive changes in our ways of working.
We also ran extra wellbeing sessions where staff could choose to take part in a:
- Cooking session run where staff made some chocolate truffles
- Yoga session with trained yogis Ellen and Laura
- Craft session led by our senior administrator, Rachel Mansi, or
- Nature wellbeing session run by occupational therapist Nicola Noble, Occupational therapist which focused on connection and noticing.
Good practice learning
We have been excited to be part of a national pilot working with the the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) AIMS (Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services), colleagues, clients and carers from other Community Rehabilitation Services across the country.
The RCP's approach is a well-recognised, rigorous and supportive process for mental health services. As part of the pilot, a detailed set of standards were developed and last year we assessed our current team practices. In December 2020, our peer review took place, this involved presenting evidence and assessing our practice against the agreed quality standards, along with staff, client and carer interviews.
We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback we received from the peer review panel (which consisted of members of the RCP, staff from other community rehabilitation services and a carer). It was fantastic to have our hard work recognised and has also helped inform our service development plans for the coming year. The panel told us they were particularly impressed with how we had adapted our approaches during the pandemic to continue to provide high quality rehabilitation interventions, the majority of which continued with a high level of safe face to face support.
The pilot concluded in April, with a view to the accreditation process being open later this year. With continued efforts we are looking forward to achieving our RCP AIMS accreditation.