Conferences show Combined Healthcare at its very best

The past week has been seen not one, not two, but three extremely successful conferences and events organised by our staff and teams.

On Tuesday, we hosted the latest in our nationally recognised Neuropsychiatry conferences. This was the sixth Neuropsychiatry conference we have hosted and the focus of this year’s event was Huntington’s disease (HD). This year marks the 30th anniversary of providing HD services in North Staffordshire, one of only a few NHS-based services in the country for this condition. We were delighted that Dr Ken Barrett, the founder of this highly regarded service chaired the event and shared how it came to life. The conference was supported by a number of distinguished international speakers, with contributions from eminent academic professors, clinicians and researchers from Europe and the UK national and international organisations. A very big thank-you to Dr George El-Nimr for organising the event.

Thursday saw the first in what we hope will be a long running series of Primary Care and Combined Integrated Psychiatry conferences - with the theme of this one being psychopharmacology. We welcomed dozens of GPs, psychiatrists and students to the event, which featured a keynote presentation from Professor Ian Anderson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester. A further talk was given by our Medical Director Dr Buki Adeyemo, while there was a focus on MCPs by Andrew Hughes, Joint Director of Strategy and Development for Combined and North Staffordshire GP Federation, and Dr Mark Williams, Clinical Director for Primary Care.

Our final event of the week took place on Friday, when service users, carers, partners and staff attended our first Inclusion Conference - called Symphony for Hidden Voices. The event celebrated diversity and shared stories from a number of different individuals whose lives have been shaped in different ways by their experiences of both inclusion and exclusion. Among those who gave a talk was Jenny Harvey, Unison Staff Side representative, who spoke about her transgender story.

Other talks included those given by Joy Heal, who spoke eloquently about the impact of her son Jonathan’s suicide; Wahida Mohammed, Human Resources Administrator, and Sophia Hussain, Senior Pharmacist, who both spoke about their lives as Muslim women; Kirsty Booth and Jaymee Smith from the Child and Young Peoples’ North Staffordshire IAPT Youth Council, who gave a young persons’ perspective of mental health; Abby Crawford from LGBT campaign organisation Stonewall UK; and representatives from Sanctus, who spoke about the work they are ding to support asylum seekers.

We've created a playlist on our YouTube channel with contributions from the day – see We have also created a live social 'word cloud' - bringing together in real time material published on Twitter or Facebook by anyone using the hashtag #inclusionsymphony or any mentions on the web.  It constantly updates as new material is created.  You can use it to engage with the participants from the day as well as keep the conversation going.

Thank you to everyone who supported all of these fantastic events - you should all be very proud.

Meir MCP staff up for award

Congratulations to Glynis Hanford, Senior Staff Nurse, and John Clayton, Support, Time and Recovery Worker, who have been nominated for an award at Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s 2017 Staff Awards taking place on Wednesday 5 July at King’s Hall in Stoke. Glynis and John are up for the Team Awesome Award in recognition of their work as part of the Multispeciality Community Provider (MCP) in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent. Both Glynis and John work within the Access and Home Treatment Team and have been supporting the Meir MCP since September 2016. They provide truly targeted patient centred care and are both highly motivated and passionate about the work they undertake.

Discover your Future campaign

Our summer-long Discover Your Future recruitment campaign continues on Friday 7 July with the next in our one-stop recruitment events at Harplands Hospital from 3.30-6.30pm. The events are for registered nurses mental health (RNMH) and registered nurses adults (RNAs).

To help promote this event, we have been running a series of adverts on Signal Radio – further ads will appear in the coming weeks to promote the one-stop events on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August and Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September. Those applying will have the opportunity to apply for available posts on the day, be interviewed by a panel and potentially leave with a job offer.

We would be grateful if you could support the campaign by sharing the one-stop events and recruitment website via social media – thank you.