South London Listens - giving everyone a voice
South London Listens
In November 2020 the first phase of a new mental health prevention initiative launched across south London to help tackle the mental health impacts of Covid-19. NHS Mental Health Trusts and commissioners together with local authorities, Healthwatch, Public Health England, Citizens UK, Black Thrive and other community partners came together to launch a new listening campaign, ‘South London Listens’.
As part of this, Citizens UK invited South Londoners to take part in and hold thier own listening campaigns in their neighbourhood, school, faith or community group. People across the region have shared feedback on how Covid-19 has affected their mental health and wellbeing to help identify key issues across South London.
The campaign is part of a broader programme of work happening over the coming months to engage communities in Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth.
Ultimately, this will see programme partners, people and community groups come together to co-produce solutions that will be published as part of a two-year action plan in Summer 2021.
Last chance to share your feedback
This March, a new community survey has been launched as part of a digital listneing phase to provide a final opportunity for people to share their experiences of how Covid-19 has affected their health and wellbeing.
Share your feedback via the survey here.
4,700 people from across South London have already taken part in listening events and shared their experiences and ideas for how we can solve the biggest challenges facing our communities.
Join them by taking the survey now and help us reach as many people as possible by sharing it with your family and friends.Your feedback will help inform future phases of the campaign and the development of the long-term action plan.
Download our partner toolkit and help spread the word
Building a mentally healthier future
As the first step in this journey, South London Listen aims to give everyone in South London a voice as solutions are developed to help promote and protect mental health and prevent people falling into a mental health crisis.
The initiative follows the establishment of the ‘South London Covid-19 Preventing Mental-ill Health Taskforce’, a group made up of representatives from across the programme’s partner organisations. Its purpose is to take forward a long-term prevention programme focused on protecting and promoting mental health in the community.
In 2020, the South London Mental Health and Community Partnership laid the foundations for the programme by hosting a number of digital summits to bring people together. The Taskforce built on early insights gained to develop a set of ambition statements in six key areas:
Social isolation, loneliness and community involvement
Helping people who are at risk of losing their jobs cope
Housing insecurity and environment
Supporting communities and groups who experience disadvantage
Supporting families, children and young people
Developing a long-term, joined-up approach to prevention
Alongside this, the Taskforce has started work to shape possible solutions to the impacts of Covid-19 on our communities’ mental health. Ideas include tackling the digital divide, improving mental health awareness and signposting, co-producing information on mental health promotion and prevention, identifying the barriers to support and growing community networks. These solutions will be developed further as the programme progresses over the coming months.
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Keeping safe and well
COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. This page will be updated regularly with information and guidance for patients, carers, friends and family.
Our staff understand that these are worrying times and that you will have lots of concerns, particularly about your loved ones. We understand those concerns and are here to help you throughout it.
Latest update 13 April 2021
You may have heard on the news about cases of the South African variant of Covid being detected in Wandsworth. Extra testing facilities have opened in Wandsworth to help quickly identify any further cases of the variant and limit any potential spread. Anyone who lives, works or travels through these boroughs is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not. Please see here for more information.
Latest update 17 March 2021
Following the reports that several countries have currently suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns that it may increase blood clots, we would like to reassure our patients that:
- Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.
- So far across the EU and UK, there have been 15 events of DVT and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those given the vaccine, based on the number of cases the Company has received as of 8 March. This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.
- Furthermore, in clinical trials, even though the number of thrombotic events was small, these were lower in the vaccinated group.
It is vital to keep looking at the evidence and responding accordingly. In England we have done so and will continue providing the vaccine - just like 64 other countries and territories are. This is the right thing to do to help keep you and others safe. It is also fits the recommendations of the WHO and our UK medicines regulator (the MHRA), who are both in agreement there is no evidence linking the jab with an increased risk of developing a clot.
AstraZeneca also confirms that the recorded number of blood clots in vaccinated people is significantly lower than that among the general population. About 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week. This figure is in line with the expected number of incidents for the demographic if we did not have the vaccine programme.
Latest update 26 January 2021
When it is the right time, people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS. This letter will include all the information you will need to book appointments, including your NHS number. Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this letter. In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time. Please see the latest FAQs
If you still have questions or want to find more about the vaccines, Public Health England has produced more leaflets in various community languages on Covid-19 vaccine information, including:
Please see the QR codes for the COVID-19 vaccine information in your language.
Latest update 21 January 2021
We understand that there is a lot of anxiety around the safety of the vaccines. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They will give you the best protection against coronavirus. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the official UK regulator, have said these vaccines are safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes. As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
Please see the vaccine safety and myths busting article for more information.
Latest update 23 December 2020
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind. These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help. Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.
Please see here for the latest support and information for family, friends and carers.
Latest update 21 December 2020
With rates of coronavirus infection increasing, London and much of the south east and east of England has now moved into Tier 4. We are continuing to review the measures we are taking to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe and reduce transmission of the virus.
For more information on Tier 4 please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
Our services remain open so if you have an appointment with us please do still attend unless you have been otherwise instructed. Please adhere to our covid social distancing guidance, you can find out more on our website here.
Guidance 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 on our wards.
In light of the Tier 4 restrictions, we are now discouraging visiting in person and will enable virtual contacts for friends and family. Our ward teams will be able to guide you on how to complete a virtual visit.
- All visits need to be pre-arranged with the ward. Please telephone the ward to discuss ways to stay in contact and communicate with your relative or friend.
- Do not visit if you are unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.
- In some areas, virtual visits are not possible for those under our care. In these situations, our senior clinical team will complete a risk assessment to see whether a visit can be safely supported.
We will keep this approach under review and follow national guidance as it is made available.
Patient leave over Christmas and New Year
We have reviewed and updated our approach to support patients’ rights and wellbeing by taking leave over the Christmas period under the Tier 4 guidance.
Finally, we understand that these are worrying times and that you and your loved ones will have concerns. We want to remind you that we are here for you and your family and to encourage you to contact us if you need to. Please do not think it is too much trouble - the NHS is here for you.
Latest update 19 December 2020
Following the announcement that London is to move to Tier 4 we have had to make the decision to suspend visiting on Sunday 20 December.
If you have any concerns, please contact the ward. We will update the guidance on Monday 21 December.
Latest update: 10 December 2020
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. Please read this leaflet for information about the vaccine.
The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine. It is important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then. Please wait to be contacted. Please read this leaflet to find out more.
At this time, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals to:
- some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
- people who work in care homes
- health care workers at high risk.
The vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible.
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
In the meantime, we must all continue to adhere to stick to the local tier restriction rules and remember hands, face, space.
Latest update: 1 December 2020
Other useful information:
Support in a crisis
If you are already a patient at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000
. The Mental Health Support Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.
Please only attend A and E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Support Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health.
If you are already a patient at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details
. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.
If you are calling urgently from a partner agency and require support and direction, you are encouraged to also contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.
If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Support Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS):
- On a computer, go to https://signlive.co.uk/login/ and register using Facebook, Google or email
- On phone, iPad or tablet download SignLive’s app for free and register
You will then be able to call the Trust for free.
Guidance on children and young people under the age of 18 in mental health crisis
For A&E staff
If a young person presents to A&E, follow the normal process and make a referral to the CAMHS Emergency Care Service (CECS) by completing the referral form and telephoning our duty number: 0203 513 6239 or 07870 917 114. Referrals will be screened for appropriateness, and a telephone or video assessment will be offered in the first instance. Face-to-face assessments in
A&E will occur when clinically indicated.
For professionals including GPs, social workers and education on SWSLTG Crisis Service for Young People and Families.
We understand that Covid-19 has impacted young people/families in lots of different ways. CAMHS is still here to provide support; at times we will continue to do this by phone or video.
If a young person is currently a CAMHS service user, please call the appropriate CAMHS team to speak with the duty worker Mondays to Friday between 9am -5pm:
- Sutton: 020 3513 3800
- Merton: 0208 254 8061
- Wandsworth: 0203 513 4644
- Kingston: 0203 513 5183/5321
- Richmond: 0203 513 3238
At weekends and Bank Holidays and between 5pm-9am, please call the Mental Health Support Line (MHSL) on 0800 028 8000
If a young person is not currently a CAMHS service user, professionals can call the local Single Point of Access team (9am-5pm) for advice. However, if an emergency response is needed, please telephone the 24/7 the Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000.
Other helpful numbers
- Childline 0800 1111 – calls are free and confidential
- HOPE line UK 0800 068 4141
- Samaritans 116 123
- Young Minds Crisis Messenger - provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK mental health crisis - if you need urgent help text YM to 85258
- If you need medical attention for a life threatening emergency call 999 or attend your local A&E
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 on our wards.
We understand how difficult it is to be unable to see and speak to loved ones whilst they are in hospital on a regular basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reviewed our visiting policy and will currently be continuing with inpatient visiting by booked appointment only. This means we can offer one close family member or somebody else close to the patient the opportunity to visit them. Whilst we cannot return to our usual visiting guidelines at the moment, we hope that this will continue to offer some comfort to both our patients and loved ones.
Staff will discuss with visitors if they have had any symptoms or whether there are any contacts in their households with COVID-19. If the answer to either of these is yes, the visit will need to be rearranged for another time. All visitors must comply with handwashing, social distancing and infection control instructions to protect other visitors, patients and staff.
Visitors will be expected to wear a face mask when inside ward environments. Anyone who has not been given permission to visit will be asked to leave. Visitors exempt from wearing a face mask should discuss this with the ward manager/nurse in charge. Do not visit if you are unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.
We thank you for your support and understanding at this challenging time. The safety of our staff, patients, carers and visitors remains our top priority. In line with national guidance, we will review our position on allowing normal visiting to our inpatient units, as the situation with Covid-19 evolves, so it is important that anyone planning to visit calls the ward before arriving.
Information for patients on Clozapine
If you are on clozapine it is important to continue to take your medication. There is no evidence to suggest that being on clozapine would make you more at risk from Coronavirus.
If you are not well, please let your clozapine clinic know before you attend the clinic for your blood test. They will talk through with you if you need to come in or if we can send you a small additional supply of your medicine until you are feeling better.
In some circumstances we may be able to visit you at home to carry out your blood test.
Leisure and keeping occupied
Over the coming weeks we will be spending more time that we generally do at home. Having so much unstructured time can be hard to fill, particularly at a time of worry. Right now it is really important that we look after our mental welling as best we can and find some respite and diversion from the news and media coverage.
With this in mind, we have assembled some uplifting and hopefully enjoyable resources for you explore.
We hope you find something that suits you!
Managing a routine and daily living at home
Having a basic routine of looking after ourselves and our home environment is something a lot of people say really helps with keeping their mental health on an even keel. Having some structure and daily routine at home can be difficult at the best of times, particularly if we are feeling low in mood, preoccupied with worries, or tired. But right now, with the added restrictions on going out and not being able to do our usual activities it is a particularly challenging.
With this in mind, we have brought together some resources that you might find helpful over the coming weeks.
Hopefully it will not be for too long, keep safe and keep connected to others if you possibly can, that will help!
Information and ideas for children and families
Coping with social distancing and isolation can be extra challenging for families with children and young people. Children and young people may struggle with understanding why their lives and routines are changing and why they can’t see their friends and extended family. Keeping a routine and structure for them may be especially important to help them feel safe and secure.
This section will provide some information and ideas for children and families about the corona virus and ideas for coping at home whilst in lockdown.
Information and resources for carers
Information and resources for older people
With the coronavirus spread, older people are one of main vulnerable groups so it is particularly important to heed the guidance.
The various restrictions that have been put in place, ranging from the closure of important services such as day care, to the prohibition of visits to care homes affects older people more than most, particularly those with dementia and their carers.
As such we hope that you find the guidance and resources below helpful.
General Guidance and information
Sources of emotional and practical support
In addition to contacting your allocated healthcare staff in the trust
Guidance for family carers
The guidance on social distancing provides a very real dilemma for concerned family carers who would normally provide regular face to face support to their vulnerable elderly relative. Clearly this is a ‘best interest’ judgment call which will involve weighing up the risk of exposing the elderly person to the virus versus the risk of neglect or harm as a result of their care needs not being met.
In the latter case, if the person’s care needs are such that any remote support will not be sufficient, the family carers should adhere to the social distancing guidelines ie washing hands immediately on arrival, no physical contact, keeping a distance of 2m wherever possible and keeping visits as short as possible.
Information and advice or people with learning difficulties
People with learning disabilities may require information in an easy read format to help them understand the current and frightening situation surrounding COVID-19 and being in ‘lockdown’.
The following information supports the learning disability population understand the information in a format that uses pictures and easy to read language.
Other useful resources
Safeguarding and Covid-19: Keeping everyone safe
COVID-19 is an extremely challenging situation for everyone.
Families are under increased amounts of stress due to financial pressures, household isolation, school closures and lack of normal outlets for stress and frustrations.
Adults are at increased risk of financial exploitation by some pretending to help under the guise of ‘COVID kindness’.
Children, young people and adults who are already at risk of abuse or neglect may be more at risk as the normal support mechanisms for them are not in place.
Many children and adults may be struggling without the regular contact and support they get from friends, workmates or school.
Self or household isolation could mean some people are trapped in their homes with abusers and isolated from people who can help them.
Here are some useful contacts and websites you may find helpful at this time.
Are you experiencing domestic abuse? You are not alone.
If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact the NSPCC’s professional counselors for help, advice and support.
For free, confidential advice and support for any child or young person under 18 years, whatever the worry.
MIND: Mental health support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’
YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing.
ICON: Babies cry: You can cope
- Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus here.
Other useful websites and resources
Carers information and support
Emotional / crisis support