Published on: 26 February 2024

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to announce that its Communications and Engagement team has been shortlisted in the national NHS Communicate Awards.

The team has been named as a finalist for the ‘Working in Partnership’ award, recognising communications teams who have successfully worked collaboratively and in partnership with other organisations – for example, within social care, local authorities, charitable and voluntary sectors and private, on a successful communications and engagement project or campaign.

The Trust’s communications team was shortlisted for its efforts to work with charities and other health providers to promote the expansion of mental health crisis services across Derbyshire. This is part of a programme of partnership activity led by Joined Up Care Derbyshire which aims to improve outcomes for people with immediate mental health needs. The programme includes the following services:

  • Mental Health Crisis Support Drop-In Services, run by Derbyshire Mind – providing immediate out-of-hours support at the weekend for those in Buxton (in partnership with Zink), Ripley and Swadlincote with mental health concerns or experiencing emotional distress.
  • Safe Havens, run by P3 Charity and Richmond Fellowship – providing immediate out-of-hours support every night of the week for adults in Chesterfield and Derby with urgent mental health needs
  • Crisis houses, run by P3 Charity and Richmond Fellowship– for adults with mental health issues who will be offered short-term residential accommodation to support with their mental health needs to promote better stability and wellbeing. The facilities aim to reduce the need for inpatient care.

These complement the 24/7 mental health helpline (0800 028 0077) run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Partnership working was established between the Communications and Engagement team and key stakeholders, including NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, Richmond Fellowship, P3 Charity, Derbyshire Mind and Zink, to ensure these services were promoted as widely as possible.

Raising awareness of these services has been successful through collaboration between these partners. The result has meant that, together, the partners have promoted the new services with one voice, and the number of referrals and self-referrals has increased.

The NHS Communicate Awards are organised by NHS Confederation and NHS Providers and are designed to showcase the achievements of communicators across the NHS and celebrate innovation in the sector.

Mark Powell, Chief Executive at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our Communications and Engagement team are always working hard to promote key services and campaigns to our communities, and they are extremely deserving of this recognition.

“It is clear the team, along with our partners, have worked exceptionally hard to promote the urgent mental health support services available both internally and externally. There has been an influx of referrals into both drop-in centres, safe havens and calls into the mental health helpline which will enable the public to receive the right support at the right time.

“Partnership working is paramount to providing the very best of care to the communities we support across Derby and Derbyshire, and our team - along with the partners - involved have evidenced how effective collaborative working can be in delivering outstanding care. On behalf of everyone at the Trust, I would like to thank our Communications and Engagement team for their continuous efforts and wish them every success at the awards ceremony.”

Jenny Appleby, Head of Adult Mental Health Commissioning at NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Local people have told us that, when they need immediate mental health support, having a safe place to visit or someone to talk to is important. Local providers and partners across Derby and Derbyshire have been really busy over the last 12 months developing services that respond to these needs.

“Thanks to the fantastic support from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Communications and Engagement team, Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), Derbyshire Mind and Zink, P3 Charity, Richmond Fellowship, and clinical colleagues at Derbyshire Healthcare, this has been a successful example of how partnership working can be achieved effectively to improve access to services.”

The winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on Thursday 7 March provided by the NHS Confederation, open to NHS staff only.

More information on the crisis support services available in Derby and Derbyshire can be found on the Derby and Derbyshire emotional health and wellbeing website.