The Southwark & Lambeth Strategic Partnership and the King's Health Partners Mind & Body Programme hosted an open, public People's Assembly on 17th April, 2018 at Guy's Hospital. The afternoon event enabled a wide range of professionals and members of the public to hear about the 2018/19 priorities of the Southwark and Lambeth Strategic Partnership, updates on projects of previous Citizen Forum meetings, and a focused discussion on the Mind and Body Programme.
Dr. Sean Cross (Clinical Director of the Mind and Body Programme), described the valuable work of integrating mental and physical healthcare to make sure that the whole person is treated and supported. His message was endorsed by Billie, whose heartfelt recollection of her care experience highlighted the importance of whole-person care. Billie described how focusing only her blood cancer diagnosis led to her mental health and quality of life quickly deteriorating. However, fortunately, the team recognised that by offering Billie support for her mental health needs too, her physical treatment and overall recovery would benefit. And indeed that turned out to be the case (read Billie's full story on the King's Health Partners' website here).
The Children & Young People’s Health Partnership (CYPHP) participated in the Assembly by co-facilitating break-out sessions, where audience members shared their thoughts and experiences of physical and mental healthcare, and importantly how they thought the integration of mental and physical healthcare can be made better for children and young people, as well as adults and the elderly. These ideas will be used to influence future priorities for healthcare in the local area, and will also help us in CYPHP and our colleagues in the Body & Mind programme to shape future engagement activities.
CYPHP also hosted a stand to promote discussion and engagement about our recently launched free Health Checks and Health Support Packs, for children in Lambeth and Southwark who have asthma, constipation, eczema, or epilepsy. The Health Checks are about whole-child care, for physical and mental health of a child in the context of their family wellbeing. Similarly, the Health Support Packs provide useful information on health and wellbeing for the child and family.
There was a great deal of interest in CYPHP’s work. The Health Checks and Packs were well received: some parents and grandparents took them home, and other audience members said they were going to let family members or friends know about CYPHP services.
What did attendees gain from the event?
“Most people I spoke with at the public meeting said that they find the health and care system confusing. Simple signposting, to the right place and the right people, would be a good start! So why don’t we talk to service users more often and make the small changes that could make a big difference?” Nina Paul, CYPHP Programme Manager.
“I had the privilege to attend the boroughs' Strategic Partnership People's Assembly, and seeing CYPHP in action. The Assembly was a well organised and attended event, which brought together citizens, council representatives and healthcare professionals. CYPHP was well represented at the event, and its stand generated strong interest from the attendees.
The Assembly gave CYPHP an excellent opportunity to present its new Health Check programme, which was launched across Lambeth and Southwark GP practices earlier in March. The Health Check packs are a highly effective way to better tailor care to children's individual circumstances, as well as deliver useful health information to parents, carers and the community.” Leonard Lvovich, CYPHP Board Citizen Co-chair.
“Getting the basic things right is so important. Like looking after the whole child – mind and body, in the context of their family and community. That should go without saying, of course, but it often means rethinking how we work. CYPHP is all about improving health through comprehensive coordinated care for children and young people. We’re delighted to work together with our colleagues in the Mind & Body programme to improve care across the whole life course." Ingrid Wolfe, CYPHP Programme Director.