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    Enter our digital photography competition - #upliftingimage

    We are, once again, launhing our popular #upliftingimage digital photography competition. The theme this year is Contentment - what does it mean to you. We want to reach out to more people than ever before to challenge the stigma and discrimination still associated with mental health. The competition closes on October 10, 2018.

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    Patient information you can trust

    As an Information Standard accredited organisation, you can trust the patient information we provide. We regularly review our core patient information leaflets and we would be interested to know what you think

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    Developing world class mental health facilities

    FInd out more about our plans to develop two new hospitals at Springfield and Tolworth

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    We are now a totally smokefree Trust 

    This new smokefree policy will help protect patients, staff and visitors from the dangers of secondhand smoke

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 carers and confidentiality

Mental Health Matters 

Welcome to Mental Health Matters, where, on a monthly basis, our senior clinicians provide expert insight into our work here at South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust and all aspects of mental health.

July 2018 - Recognising and supporting the contribution of our LGBTQ+ community

As it is Pride month from 9 June to 7 July, our July Mental Health Matters article is from our Equality and Diversity Manager, Jennifer Duncan who tells us what the Trust support the LGBTQ + community and why its important that we all take pride – both in ourselves and in supporting each other.

JDMy role involves supporting all of our staff networks across the trust so they can play a key role in how we support staff across the Trust. Supporting LGBTQ + staff and service users is a key part of this work.

Although Pride for many people is day of celebration and joy, the first Pride was, in fact, a series of riots in June 1969 against the police who raided a gay bar called The Stonewall Inn in New York. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ + rights.

Although the community has come a long way since then, there is still so much that remains to be done. Pride, for me, is a reminder that although we can and should be proud of our sexuality and gender identity. I believe that all Trust staff must do their bit to help create an environment where everyone is free to be themselves in the workplace, without fear, reprisal or judgement.

Pride month is an opportunity to celebrate the visibility and diversity of the LGBTQ + community, to stand up against hate, and campaign for true equality. You can read more about the London events taking place on the weekend of the 7th and 8th July, here.

The Trust is committed to valuing and celebrating the diversity of its patients and staff, aiming for accessible services, good experience and better health outcomes in line with Trust values.

So, what help and support is available for staff?

  • Our LGBTQ + Staff Network held its Pride event on 27 June, where network members were on hand to welcome new members and explain the help and support they provide. To contact the Network, please email:
  • We are a member of Stonewall's Diversity Champion programme which has given us a framework to create a workplace that enables LGBTQ + staff to reach their full potential. We share the ethos of the programme - that people perform better when they can be themselves.
  • All our employees can access our Employee Assistance Programme or Guardian Services in total confidence if they need support and advice.
  • All of our staff will receive harassment and bullying training so we can create an environment where all staff are treated with dignity and respect.

I believe there’s still a lot of work to be done until all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are accepted without exception, but I’m glad that we, as a Trust, are taking strides to address this. 

Read previous articles below

June 2018 - Carers Week: Recognising and supporting the contribution of carers

As it is carers week from 11 to 17 June, our first Mental Health Matters article is from Helen Miles, Head of Therapies here at the Trust. Here, Helen tells us what the Trust is doing to support carers.

Did you know that one in eight people in the UK is a carer?

That’s a lot of people and for me it’s vital we recognise their contribution and to ensure they’re well supported in their role.

Over the course of the year, I’ve taken a lead role on a number of projects related to carers. It’s my job to make sure all Trust staff value the role of carers and support them as much as possible.

What I will say is that my respect and gratitude to this sometimes undervalued group of people has grown. I’ve recently experienced being a carer for a close family member and I can appreciate the hard work, stress and level of self-sacrifice they go through.

Carers Week, taking place from Monday 11 to Sunday 17 June, allows us to throw a spotlight on carers and explain what we, as Trust, are doing to support them. An important part of my role is to work with clinicians so they are constantly talking to and listening to carers and involving them in patient care – that for me is critical. At the same time, we also need to build communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, whilst recognising that they too are individuals - with health and wellbeing needs of their own.

At our Trust, we’re lucky that we have a plan that demonstrates our commitment to carers and this commitment comes from the very top – from the Chief Executive.

So what are we doing to ensure that the views of carers are heard? One of the ways we do this is to use embed Triangle of Care standards across the Trust, which allow us to:

  • improve service delivery
  • highlight good practice
  • ensure consistency of carer involvement across an organisation
  • build partnership working between statutory and third sector organisations
  • build a carer inclusive/whole family/network approach to care.
  • These standards are a response to the wishes of carers themselves, who want to be consulted more closely and valued as active partners within the care team. (See our Carers Charter).
You can read more about the Triangle of Care here.

We’re also working closely with each of the local boroughs we serve - Richmond, Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton and Kingston – to ensure that carers are well signposted to all the relevant resources out there to support them, so when they need advice and help, it is easy to find.

One of the objectives in our Service User and Carer Involvement Plan (co-produced with carers) is to ensure at least 50 clinical job interviews in the Trust have a carer sitting as an equal partner on the interview panel.

Recently, a carer told me how, after one of our staff had directed her to her local borough carers centre, she was able to carry on having her husband live at home with her after she had reached a crisis point. She commented that she found the support and understanding she received there overwhelming – for me, this goes to show how a simple conversation can make a life changing difference.

Follow the link to see the resources we provide to carers.

We’re always keen to work with more carers and if you are interested in helping us improve and develop services then please sign up to our involvement register by emailing:

 NHS 70 Banner


The National Health Service is turning 70 today (5 July 2018) – and we’d like you to help us celebrate!

It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, to appreciate the vital role the service plays in our lives, and to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

We will be holding our celebration event on 5th July from 4.30pm – 6.30pm. This is an opportunity for our partners, community and schools to come together and celebrate. There’ll be fun information stalls, tours of the hospital and Share Nurseries, a charity that provides training and employment support for disabled adults, will be selling plants and garden produce.

There will also be a barbecue (free for up to 100 people) and a chance to find out about our future plans.

There’s no need to reserve – so please bring the family !

For more information on NHS70, go to their website

View our NHS 70 videos




applying for a job here

Your health records

You have a legal right to request sight and a copy of your personal information under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR).

You can download an application form here. The form includes guidance on the SAR process.

For further information please contact John Hughes - Information Governance on 020 3513 6184 or email:

You can also write to:

Information Governance Manager
South West London & St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
Springfield University Hospital
61 Glenburnie Road
London SW17 7DJ

We have produced a leaflet explaining why we need to record your information, how it is stored and whom we might share it with.

You will find the leaflet on our Patient Information page

You can also request a printed copy by contacting our Communications Team 

Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS)

Every person who uses our services has their medical information stored in a file called a patient record. We operate a number of mental health services in south west London, with the majority of services being provided at three hospital sites: Springfield Hospital, Tolworth Hospital and Richmond Royal Hospital.

Your patient record is stored securely on our computers and is used by clinical staff at the Trust providing treatment to you to help make decisions about treatment and services for you. This system is similar across other services providing healthcare in the UK, such as GPs and other mental health hospitals not covered by SWLSTG.

As well as being valuable in helping with your personal clinical care, the information stored in patient records can be used to help us understand more about the causes and treatments of different health problems and how the healthcare systems we provide are operating in the real world.

We have a computer system which helps us to carry out research and audit using patient records. The computer system is called CRIS: Clinical Record Interactive Search. CRIS anonymises all the data in a patient record so that no-one is identifiable when researchers use CRIS. Personal information like your name, your date of birth, your address and your carer’s name are ‘blanked out’ by the system and are never seen by researchers in the Trust without your permission.

What sort of things can CRIS help with?

CRIS helps us look at large amounts of information stored in patient records more easily. Here are some examples of the questions that could be looked at:
  • Do people’s home living arrangements affect how long people spend in hospital?
  • Does having a mental health problem affect your lifespan and likelihood of having different physical health problems?
  • Do some drugs work better than others to help with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Do some drugs for schizophrenia affect physical health, e.g. by causing diabetes?

Researchers using CRIS may also link information about your treatment and care in the Trust with other aspects of your health. This will help to improve physical and mental health as a whole. For example, at a neighbouring mental health Trust information about patients who had both mental health problems and cancer was linked to look at the impact of mental illness on cancer survival rates. CRIS enables us to do this in a format that will not identify you.

How are my personal details protected?

CRIS removes or covers up any information that can identify you. Your name, the name of your carer, your full date of birth, address, postcode and phone numbers are replaced with ‘ZZZZZ’. This is achieved by special software that can also take account of spelling mistakes and other human errors. It is not 100% perfect, however if a researcher comes across an example where the software has failed to anonymise the record successfully, they must flag the record to be hidden from view until the problem is corrected.

CRIS is only available to researchers who have a contract with the Trust. Every user and every project has to be approved by an oversight committee that includes service user and carer representatives, senior doctors and the Trust’s information and data protection representatives. The committee meets regularly, monitors the use of the CRIS system to make sure it is being used as intended and can remove and refuse approval at any time. CRIS has received ethical approval from a national, independent (non-Trust) committee called the Health Research Authority, as a safe, secure and confidential information source for audit and research.

Can I request to have my record removed from CRIS?

Yes. Please contact the Research & Development department at

How do I find out more?

The Trust will be holding open sessions for people who would like to find out more and further information about CRIS and how health research can improve services is available at the following links: The national CRIS website can be found here.

Kingston Care Record

The Kingston Care Record is a confidential electronic record of your health and social care information if you live in Kingston or have a Kingston GP. It is stored on a secure computer system. This means that your doctor, nurse or social worker will be able to offer you the best possible care and support quickly and safely. Having your health and social care information in one safe place will benefit you in several ways:
  • You will receive the best possible care, support and treatment more quickly;
  • You won’t be asked the same questions over and over again or have to keep repeating your medical or social care history;
  • Doctors, nurses and social workers will be able to work better together and make the best decisions with you through access to the right information when they need it;
  • You won’t need to have unnecessary appointments or tests;
  • It will reduce the chances of errors being made and so will be safer for you
The Kingston Care Record is confidential and secure. Only doctors, nurses and social workers involved in your care and support will be able to see your record when you say they can, or in an emergency. If you don’t want your record to be seen at any time, all you have to do is say so. The choice is yours. Find out more about the Kingston Care Record


making a difference


From October 2017, the Trust will be a completely smokefree trust.This means that smoking will not be allowed in any Trust premises or grounds, including outside the wards and hostels e.g. enclosed garden areas and designated smoking areas will be removed from any area inside this hospital.Patients and service users will have to go outside the Trust if they want to smoke.

This will also apply to visitors and staff.We want to help reduce this inequality by creating a smokefree environment across all of our sites. This is in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance which recommends that all hospital sites, including mental health hospitals, should be 100 per cent smokefree.

We will offer our short or long staying inpatient service users support to temporarily abstain, to cut down or quit smoking when they arrive at our wards.This includes:

  • One-to-one with your Smokefree Ward Advisor
  • Friendly advice and support to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (i.e. nicotine patches, lozenges,inhalator and etc.)

Smoking cessation support and free anti-smoking aids will be available to patients during their time as an inpatient. Unfortunately, exceptions are not permitted in these or any other circumstances.

E cigarettes

E-cigarettes have not been yet licensed but they have been found to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes. For that reason, the Trust has considered the use of e-cigarettes by inpatient service users as they may benefit from using e-cigarettes whilst in hospital.  However, for health and safety reasons only disposable and non-rechargeable devices will be allowed in the Trust. Service users will be responsible for purchasing their own e-cigarettes and their use will only.

If you are a patient or carer please speak to any clinical staff member for support or contact your local stop smoking service.

Support is also available through the national smokefree service online at or by phoning 0300 123 1044 (free) to speak to an expert adviser.

If you have any questions about smokefree please contact us via


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