Anne-Marie and Paddy
Anne Marie, a senior specialist nurse and social worker, Paddy, have been working with local voluntary sector groups to ensure that those with serious mental illness, at risk of loneliness, health anxiety, worry or grief are able to access additional support.
Anne-Marie explained: “We rapidly stepped up Camden’s Resilience Network, a network of voluntary partners, to ensure that our service users were supported during the pandemic. The mental health charities, Mind in Camden and Likewise, became single points of access and we worked together to organise additional assistance to service users who might have lost their usual support networks due to the need to isolate.”
The pandemic left many service users at greater risk, due to barriers to accessing food, medicines, money and personal care packages – and this invaluable enhancement of some already well-established services helped to keep people safe. The kind of additional support available to service users is wide-ranging, from phone befriending to practical support and there are already plans to look at how this could be continued.
Paddy added: “This project has already transformed the life of one service user who was very isolated and had experienced many years of homelessness. He had no ties with his family but one of our voluntary partners spent a long time building up trust with him.
“She is now in the process of putting him back in touch again with close family members whom he has not seen for 25 years, as well as encouraging him to see his GP. This is a really wonderful example of what joint working can achieve.”
This is a real-life case study based on the experiences of staff at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust