I have been working with the Board of Trustees and Leadership Team on developing a Strategy for Catalyst – you may recall seeing an extract of the Strategy at the June Operations Meeting. The Leadership Team are planning a summer picnic where we will be hearing your views and comments in developing a final version. The strategy will set the direction and priorities for Catalyst; defining our view of success and the activities that will make this view our reality. I hope to see many of you there.

I continue to input into the Community 2030 Vision for Surrey which encompasses a shared set of outcomes to focus on, striving to improve the lives of everyone who lives in the county with ambitions for people and places (see https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/finance-and-performance/our-performance/our-organisation-strategy/community-vision-for-surrey-in-2030 for further details). Being a part of the development of the Vision not only aligns to our draft mission but continues to raise our profile in working in partnership with communities, businesses, public organisations and the voluntary, community and faith sector to enable change.

The Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy also aligns to the work of Catalyst focussing on the three priorities: Helping people in Surrey lead healthy lives, Supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people in Surrey and Supporting people in Surrey to fulfil their potential (see https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/about/strategy for further details). Again being involved in the development of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy is how it is woven into the service delivery across Catalyst in supporting the achievement of the three priorities. Not only is this essential for our clients but also for all of us who live and work within the County in ensuring Surrey is a good place to live and work.

I was invited to sit on a funding workshop for Frimley Health Integrated Care System (ICS) for their proposal for Adult Community Mental Health Care Transformation Funding Wave 1 (19/20 and 20/21) in which Surrey Heartlands also submitted an application. Frimley ICS aim is to transform mental health services into seamless integrated community and primary care place-based offers by drawing on a strong system ethos of partnership working and previous success in mobilising integrated care services.  The proposal is a radical shift from existing pathways to a truly transformative model which shifts the identification, focus, understanding and support for mental health needs across the Frimley landscape, to a personalised care approach which acknowledges the many complexities both physical, psychological and socially determined that impact on our mental health and consequently our ability to plan for and be connected with the interventions which will support recovery, regardless of diagnosis and age. If successful Frimley will establish 6 Primary PCN- based teams in 2019/20 and a further 2 PCN’s by end of 2021 across Surrey Heath, North East Hants and Farnham and East Berkshire. For Catalyst, this will mean additional roles within the Primary Care Network for Surrey Heath and Farnham and an expansion within the Surrey Heartlands area.

Both the Frimley Health and Surrey Heartlands ICS have included a more accessible and compassionate approach for families affected by personality disorder, complex needs and significant risk issues. More people will be able to access evidence-based interventions closer to home and engage with local community assets supportive to their needs. The Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) programme that is currently only available within our secondary care, will be extended into the new community model as a “STEPPS Down programme,” delivered by the VSCE partners and peer support workers. It will be supervised by specialist psychologists.

I was invited by the Work Stream Lead for Mental Health within the Frimley Health Care Integrated Care System to speak with commissioners from East Berkshire about the work of Community Connections and how the project supports people and collaborates with the wider partnership within Surrey Heath and Farnham to raise our profile and demonstrate the excellent relationship we have with commissioners in funding voluntary organisations to deliver services.

Jane Ward and I also met with the Commissioning Manager for Surrey Heath and the Work Stream Lead for Mental Health to discuss the role of peer mentors to support Surrey Heath and Farnham should Frimley Health ICS be successful with their application. Should the money be forthcoming we have discussed a pathway that would support the ambitions for Surrey Heath and Farnham to better maintain and manage mental health.

Jane Ward and I along with Katy Matthews and Alison Foulser (from SABP) attended a Market Engagement Event for the i-access contract which is operational until 31st March 2020. The draft model which was shared with us ahead of the Event is based on the current i:access service and the forum gave us an opportunity to talk through how we are currently delivering the model. Jane and I had the opportunity to meet separately from SABP in which we were able to talk through the model from a Tier 2 and Catalyst perspective. At the time of writing there was no further update as to whether the service will go to tender later this year.

Jane de la Rosa and I met with the Community Outreach Team from RHS Wisley and one of the results was a fantastic offer for some members of staff to attend their first Wellbeing Day to get a taste of the kind of thing they would like to offer when working with organisations like ourselves, and the wider community. I am pleased to say that Jill Rimmer, Keely Glithero, Nicola Kellock, Hannah Perry and Marilyn Davis came back enthused about their visit and how they could implement some ideas back in the workplace. We are looking a further working initiatives for staff to take part in.

Discussions continued with Public Health and SABP around the Family Safeguarding Model; we have implemented a model of service delivery and costings for staffing and are waiting to hear back from Surrey County Council as to their agreement. Further discussions will be ongoing but it is clear we won’t be able to recruit staff into the service within the August timeline originally suggested.

I met with a potential Trustee to talk about the work of Catalyst and future direction of the Charity and it is hoped the candidate will be voted onto the Board during the August meeting. If anyone knows of someone who may be interested in joining the Board of Trustees, please ask them to email me a copy of their C.V. for consideration by the Trustees. There would be an initial meeting ahead of an interview with a couple members of the Board.

The management team undertook a day of training entitled “Thriving Through Change”. Ahead of the training the team were asked a series of questions on:

  1. how they liked change with results ranging from 4 (a little) to 10 (a lot) with an average score of 1
  2. How they felt about change 4 (love it) to 10 (hate it) with an average score of 6
  3. How others felt about change with an average score of 2; this certainly makes me wonder how the workforce in Catalyst is coping with change.

In groups we went on to talk about areas of concern and took four themes to work on as groups and implement back in the workplace.

Feedback I have received over the month is clarity of income for the projects, who are our partners and why there is short term funding. Plans are in hand to develop infographics to inform staff of the funding and partners which can then be used as part of induction for new staff. If anyone has any other feedback to improve internal communications or any questions then please do ask.

In respect of short term funding, non-reccurring money has become available that has given the opportunity for pilots to take place with the hope that these will prove evidence for longer term sustainability. In respect of the PCN’s additional funding is being sought to establish them further within the system for a further 2 years. This is the nature of funding which has changed over the last 10 years and whilst doesn’t give us stability it provides the opportunity to be involved in new and innovative services, upskill our workforce and to be seen as a viable partner. The following extract was provided to SABP as part of their Locality Team Report:

Working in partnership within the Primary Care Network 

The benefit for Catalyst as part of the voluntary sector working within the PCN is the connection to the community for greater grassroots links and building infrastructures that create long-term capacity.

Being a part of a multidisciplinary team has broadened the opportunity for personal development; learning new skills as well as working more closely with GP’s and being able to have informal discussions about patient need and care. This has had the positive result of being seen as an equal. This opportune moment to have an open dialogue is not something that has happened pre-PCN in any other form other than a brief telephone conversation to discuss a referral.

Creating a structure within which the team can contribute to changing team dynamics and group case discussions is a crucial factor allowing different perspectives to create more informed decisions and has paved the way for collaborative working and the feeling that opinions are valid.

Personal feedback from staff has included the opportunity to work within the PCN to learn new skills; the chance to speak with GP’s for their input on how the PCN is working. The benefits it has provided has created pride from ensuring its success. Being able to visit other set-ups across the country and bring back best practice and learning is adding a new dimension to the role and the prospect of informing change.

In a time of workforce challenges being able to offer staff flexible working opportunities within new ways presents Catalyst with the chance to upskill staff and boost morale, demonstrate value for money for the sector and to be a part of a transformational and innovative approach to service delivery.


Categories: CEO