Can Do Health & Care - How Do We Heal? System Learning Summit

Panel Discussion Facilitated by David Akinsanya, Health Equity Lead, ICS Central Team 5. How do we continue to heal? What should we never forget? How did the process of taking part in How do we Heal? help you in your day-to-day work? Did it prompt you to stop and listen to you workers? Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive, Suffolk Libraries: It helped us to reflect. We thought we had done well in supporting our people’s wellbeing throughout the pandemic and the Community Conversation we had with colleagues has highlighted that it is an ever evolving process. We have no room to rest on our laurels, and some of the feedback from colleagues re-energised us, particularly around communicating what comes next. In a public facing service our colleagues are dealing with members of the public who have a variety of approaches to the restrictions, and they are concerned about what that might mean for them personally as infection rates change. We redoubled our efforts to make sure we communicate our plans clearly and in particular our focus on wellbeing. During the pandemic small community organisations moved their operations into their homes and did their jobs on their own. What support was there for you? Pauline Mann, Community Transport/Tendring Together: It was a struggle. We shut our offices down, and I had to move equipment to my home because we needed the software we used. You have to adjust to working at home on your own, there is no support, no one to bounce off and know if you are doing the right thing. I was getting up at 7.00 in the morning, my machine would go on and it would stay on until about 9.00 at night. I was dealing with service users who needed our support, and all our back office such as accounts and making sure all our bills were paid. For the first few weeks it was very difficult because I didn’t know what we were meant to do, it was so strange. The community voluntary sector in Tendring was brilliant, they started up groups, they started conversations, so you felt you were a part of something. Then things moved very quickly, for example we worked with United in Kind who had volunteers that we could give to our service users to support them. Our service users were contacting us, they were scared and didn’t know what to do. I just felt we had to be there for them and support them in the best ways we could, and that was by providing information, getting food to them, and toilet roll was a massive problem when we first went into lockdown, some of our customers were desperate! All of the staff were brilliant and really supportive, our drivers making sure we helped as many people as we possibly could. People going for cancer treatments would take a photo of their list of appointments and send it to my phone and I would book all the transport to make sure we got it exactly right. Because it was a strange and difficult time, I felt I lost support from our Board of Trustees as they were elderly and shielding and concerned about themselves and their families. I found a lot of support by talking to other voluntary sector organisations, so I didn’t feel quite so alone. David: We know that supporting people can be tiring and very draining, so thank you on behalf of the people of Tendring for all your hard work in the pandemic. At the How do we Heal? Community Conversations by far the most talked-about issue was people’s mental health and wellbeing. What needs to be in place to help people? Jon Neal, Chief Executive, Suffolk Mind: People do need to talk, and what they talk about is crucial. Our Emotional Needs and Resources model is a straightforward approach which helps me in my relationships with my family, my friends, and other people in my life who are coping with the pandemic. It is helpful in a workplace setting, or in a community. We need a paradigm shift, elevating us so that we are all skilled in helping each other better. The model enables us to have conversations in a meaningful way so that we don’t just spot signs of ill-health, we work to prevent lower level mental ill-health by talking about people’s emotional needs and helping them to get those needs met. The emotional needs framework also supports people throughout the mental health continuum, people need help through their trauma, psychological distress, psychosis and other mental health issues. This is why we believe that the approach is a big part of the answer to how we can work better together using a common framework and a common language across all the channels of influence that we have as a system. This applies whether we are talking about designing the environment so that people can better come together, a safer and more cycle-friendly road network, or libraries helping to break down barriers so that local people can get their needs met. What positive adjustments did you make during Covid? Judi Newman, St. Elizabeth Hospice: One example is that before Covid, when a person was at end of life some family members might travel across the world to come to see the person, and that’s clearly not possible at the moment. We very quickly sorted out iPads for everyone to come together virtually, share experiences, and talk directly to the doctors, something that would not have been possible before the pandemic. Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System | 13