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finding your feet

Thinking of returning to nursing? Your skills and experience are needed more than ever before, and there has never been a better time to return to nursing and it is easier than you might think.

The Return to Practice Programme

The Return to Practice Programme prepares you for re-entry into the professional register and is an essential requirement for returning to nursing and regaining registration. The programme will refresh your skills, leaving you ready to return to nursing with confidence. It involves a combination of classroom and placement-based learning, so you can get stuck in right from the start.

Watch this shoer video "Once a nurse, always a nurse", where returners Sharon, Damian and Gertrude speak about their journeys back to nursing.

The Return to Practice programme offers nurses with a lapsed registration an opportunity to become active again on the NMC register with a view that this will lead to employment as a registered nurse. Please read this guide to help you understand the programme.

Watch We Are Returning Nurses (Bridget's story)

How to apply

Led by supportive tutors, assessors and supervisors, there are 4 University programmes available across London, all created to refresh your nursing skills so that you’re ready to return to practice. Please click on the links below to be taken to the University websites to find out more about the programmes and how to apply:

Here at Southwest London & St George’s Mental Health Trust we offer placements at our Springfield and Tolworth Hospital sites, and you will be supported in your placements to achieve all the required proficiencies.

If you are looking to return to a Mental Health Nursing or Learning Disability Nursing, please contact the University to ensure they offer the programme you require.

Financial support for your studies   

You won’t just be emotionally supported; you’ll be financially supported too. NHS Health Education England (HEE) will provide funding towards your course fees. You’ll also either be given a bursary to help cover any childcare, travel, and book costs, or you will be paid a salary, depending on the route you take to return. 

Key Contacts

If you would like to find out more information about returning to practice, please email:

South West London Return to Practice Lead:

 The student experience team at Southwest London & St George’s Mental Health Trust:   


a z of services and conditions

The Trust along with all NHS providers and primary care services within South West London prescribe in line with the South West London  (SWL) Joint Medicines Formulary. The SWL formulary aims to recommend clinically effective, safe and economic medicines for use in both primary and secondary care. A joint formulary across both primary and secondary care supports prescribing across the hospital and primary care interface, to ensure consistency in prescribing and continuity in patient care.

For full details about which medicines are approved for use please see the South West London Joint Medicines Formulary. This is used with other resources, such as the British National Formulary, product summaries, and prescribing guidelines, to ensure the safe and appropriate prescribing of medicines.

How medicines are approved

The Medicines Formulary is approved by a Joint Formulary Committee (JFC), which meets monthly. The JFC manages the introduction of new medicines across SWL.

The SWL JFC is made up of representatives from:

  • Croydon University Hospital
  • Epsom & St Helier Hospital
  • Kingston Hospital
  • St Georges hospital
  • SWL & St Georges Mental health trust
  • South West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Its members include Consultants, GPs and pharmacists.

Medicines recommended in a technology appraisal for use by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are automatically included. Proposals to include other medicines require a consultant medical or non-medical prescriber, employed on a permanent basis in a SWL provider organisation within the Integrated Care Service (ICS), or clinicians working as part of a SWL clinical network to make an application for the medicine to be considered.

Use of medicines outside the formulary

On occasion it may be suitable for a medicine to be prescribed which is not on the formulary.

Each Trust has a non-formulary application process which clinicians can use if they consider a non-formulary medicine to be the only suitable option for an individual where formulary medicines have been exhausted or are contra-indicated.

All non-formulary requests will be reviewed and assessed on an individual basis.

Where a non-formulary medication has been approved for use it may be appropriate for this to be prescribed in primary care under an individual care plan once the patient has been stabilised.


sun hoardings

Community engagement

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust are dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. We are committed to working with and engaging our local communities through various platforms to ensure both the local and wider community are consulted, updated and engaged in order to achieve our mission of Making Life Better Together.

As an anchor in our local communities, we contribute beyond providing healthcare: through employment, regeneration work, raising mental health awareness and sharing good practice.

Through the community arm of the  Making Life Better Together Programme we are developing various opportunities for our community, such as work experience, engagement with a new Mental Ill-health Prevention and Recovery Programme, and our Integrated Programme is delivering investment and innovations across our sites and our services including the development of a new mixed-used community, Springfield Village.

Current Trust community engagement activities

Springfield Community

The local Springfield community receive regular updates on the transformation programme, through the Springfield Messenger  newsletter and the quarterly Springfield community forum that has been set up, made up of local residents, counsellors and organisations.

Schools and FE college engagement

In partnership with STEP and SRM, the Trust is embarking on a new programme of activities for local schools and FE colleges to take advantage of learning opportunities linked to the development of Springfield village;

  • Work experience opportunities
  • Site visitsYoung person on site
  • Construction and mental health workshops
  • Schools have submitted designs for a new youth ‘The hangout’ shelter for the new park
  • Nature artwork to brighten up the green hoardings on site
  • CAMHS ask the expert session with Dr Annika Clark

Check out more information on the Springfield Village website


Mental Health Awareness 

The Trust supports national awareness campaigns for which we run events and workshops, as well as providing resources and signposting information to those who may need support for their mental health.

Some of the recent campaigns we have promoted are; 

Check out our Events page or follow us on social media @SWLStG to find out more. 

Movember with Kingston Library Service

As part of Men’s Health Day on 19th November and Movember, Kingston Library Service held an 

Owen Movemberevent at Surbiton library with various activities for men to find out what is available in the Kingston Borough, and to speak with organisations regarding mental health. The Trust’s Community engagement officer attended, with Peer Engagement Worker, Owen, who presented at the event, using his own story of lived experience to highlight the importance of seeking help. Owen set the tone for the day, with many participants opening up and asking questions about managing mental health and wellbeing.


Mental Health in Construction - Virtual event for Carshalton College

On 9 December, Sir Robert McAlpine and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust were invited to deliver a virtual talk focussed on mental health within the construction industry to Level 2/3 plumbing, 
MH in Constructionelectrical and carpentry students at Carshalton College. This talk covered an introduction to what mental health is, what stressors students feel at college and how these related to stressors within the construction industry, and support systems that are in place at both the college and within construction. The talk focussed on providing students with the information that they needed to continue to look after their own mental health as they progressed into work as well as how to look after their colleagues. This was an interactive session involving lots of discussion with the students, which produced some great talking points.


Developing Springfield Village

Construction partners STEP and the Trust’s Estate Modernisation team held an online webinar on the developments of Springfield Village for our local community. Community members joined us to find out more about the exciting new mental Health facilities that are we developing, the 32 acre park that will be available for all to use from 2023 and an update on the residential properties that are being developed by Barratt and City & Country. If you would like to catch up on the session, you can view on youtube here


Engagement with Mind in Kingston

As part of Mental Health Month in October, the Trust’s community engagement officer worked with Mind in Kingston to hold an online session ‘nourish the brain’ for community groups to find out about support services in Kingston to support mental health and wellbeing along some with tips and exercises.mind in kingston stand

This was followed up with a stand in Kingston Market Place on World Mental Health day, where we used this opportunity to speak to members of the public about mental health and signpost to our services.


Kicking off a conversation with Fulham FC Foundation

The Trust joined Fulham FC Foundation to launch their new mental health campaign ‘kick off a conversation’ at their local derby game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday 16th October. Our newly designed promotional leaflet was handed out to provide fans with mental health support information. 

Archived News and events 

South London Listens 

NHS mental health Trusts and councils have promised action to limit the pandemic’s long-term impact on the wellbeing of south Londoners at a virtual community summit.

Find out the latest on South London Listens here

Trust staff and Springfield Village partners take part in site litter pick


Volunteers from the Trust, STEP, Sir Robert McAlpine, City & Country, Barratt London, Pinnacle Power and Lawrence Baker took part in a Springfield litter pick to clear residual rubbish from the site, especially in hard to reach areas. This is a great example of members of all the development teams pulling together to take positive action to improve the local environment.

Making Life Better Together in 2021

On Wednesday 14 April we hosted a virtual community engagement event to share more on our exciting programme of investment, innovation and vision for mental health services in South West London.

If you weren't able to join the event, click here to catch-up. Download the event slides here.

Find out more information about the event here


For further information on community engagement please contact Emma Hill, Community Engagement Officer on 






Our digital vision

In 2022 the Trust be launching our new 5 Year Digital Strategy, which will shape the direction of transformation for the Trust. The key theme of the Digital Strategy is digital inclusivity and codesign - so we need you to support us in outlining the key priorities and digital ambitions of the Trust and address the ways in which they can be achieved.

What do we mean by ‘digital?’ 

When we talk about Digital, we are referring to the various elements of technology that might be used to make your experience of using our services better. An example of this can range from video consultations to online appointment-bookings to mobile apps.

Our scope is broad, and your experience of digital may be different to that of your colleagues. For instance, you might have views on how we can manage our data better, or alternatively you might have views on the latest clinical systems, and we are keen to hear all aspects as we look to capture vital insights that will enable us to harness the power of digital to improve patient and staff experience across the Trust.

We are keen to capture the views of our colleagues so that the strategy codesigned with staff, stakeholders and service users.

A survey for service users, carers and residents can be found here – please do share these accordingly.

In addition to this survey, as the Strategy emerges, we will be keeping communication channels open and continuing to engage across the organisation, so there will be further opportunities for you to contribute to the Digital Strategy and direction of travel for the Trust.


Information for visitors

We know that it is important for people admitted to hospital to have regular contact with family and friends, however it is also vital that we keep people safe from infection while coronavirus continues to be in general circulation.

While visitors are no longer required to confirm a negative lateral flow test on the day of visiting, you must not visit if you are feeling unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus. We are still asking everyone to wear a face mask or covering, observe social distancing and wash/sanitise their hands regularly when visiting us.

We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to reduce the risk of infection to our patients and staff, and these measures will help us keep them safe.

Lateral flow (LFT) testing

  • From Friday 1 April, visitors are no longer required to confirm a negative lateral flow test on the day of visiting. If you do wish to do so and you have a testing kit available to you, then you can still let our staff know that you have completed one and the result. If you do decide to test yourself then please do not attend if the result is positive.
  • If you are feeling unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, please do not visit. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste. If you start to feel unwell during your visit, please let our staff know immediately.

Face masks

  • Visitors are still required to wear a face mask or covering at all times in all wards, outpatient and clinic areas, unless you are exempt. Wearing a face mask will help to limit the spread of Covid-19, and protect our patients and staff.
  • If you do not have a mask then please speak to a member of staff who will be able to provide you with one.

Hand washing

  • All visitors must continue to wash or sanitise their hands thoroughly before entering all wards, outpatient and clinic areas.
  • Visitors should do the same on leaving and when moving between rooms/areas.

Arranging a visit

  • Please continue to telephone the ward to pre-arrange your visit. This is to ensure that ward staff can plan your visit around other activities and provide you with the most up-to-date information about the ward prior to your visit
  • Contact information for wards and departments are available on our website. Please be patient when calling our ward staff – they will do their very best to help you.


  • While we aim not to restrict visiting to any of our wards, it may be necessary due to infection. This is to protect you from the risk of infection while you are visiting. If visiting is restricted on a ward where your loved is staying, ward staff will contact the patient’s next of kin and also inform you when you call to pre-arrange your visit.

We would like to thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding. The safety of our staff, patients, carers and visitors remains our top priority.