Guest Blog - Mike Maier - Chairman
Being the Chairman of CWP invariably involves many formal meetings within CWP, as well as with other health sector organisations throughout Cheshire and Merseyside. This side of the role is essential as we, alongside our partners, strive for a more integrated approach to healthcare provision.
However, there are other aspects to the role that I really enjoy. One that I look forward to, above all others, is visiting our services and listening to staff.
So far this year, I have attended a course at the Crewe Recovery College, visited our staff in Bowmere and at our IT centre following the Cyber-Attack. More recent visits have included Congleton and Jocelyn Solley House in Macclesfield. These visits were enormously informative and I enjoyed them immensely.
Whilst I was aware of the great work that the Recovery Colleges undertook, I wanted to experience first-hand what was involved. This could only really be achieved by taking part in a session. I attended a course on Anger Management which was very interactive, with participants asked to describe what had caused their own episodes of anger and how their reaction had made others feel and the resulting consequences.
With regards to my staff visits, there is only so much that can be learnt from board papers and discussions. Better insight and understanding can be gained through "seeing things for yourself", especially because we have such a large number of sites spread over two counties! Therefore, it is really important for me to visit our services and to talk to our staff directly.
In Congleton, Michael Hadfield, Early Intervention Team Manager, introduced me to the Early Intervention team and explained how they sought to help persons on their recovery who have experienced for first time symptoms of psychosis and guiding and encouraging them to improve their physical health too.
Jez Ambrose, Clinical Lead ARMS Service, explained the work undertaken under CAARMS, (Comprehensive Assessment At Risk Mental State), a tool to ascertain those at risk of their first psychosis. Jane Critchley, Clinical services Manager, and Jane Tyrer, Therapy Lead, outlined the role of the Home Treatment Team in helping those acutely unwell and preventing where appropriate admission into hospital.
Janie Shaw, Community Mental Health Practitioner and Staff Governor, explained the role of the Single Point of Access team at Jocelyn Solley House and introduced me to various other services located there, such as the Eating Disorders Team and the Recovery College.
At each visit, I was impressed by how open the staff were in explaining, not only the wonderful service provided, but also how candid they were about what could be done further and the pressures and stresses they faced. My enduring memory is that so many voiced that they love what they do each day for the people they serve.
And that is one reason why I am so looking forward to the visits planned over the coming months!
We are also currently looking to honour the great work of our staff. With this in mind, I would encourage all CWP staff members, volunteers and involvement reps to submit award nominations for our inaugural Recognition Awards: Celebrating our Workforce event. This event will be held on Thursday 26 October at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall between 3.30pm and 7.30pm and aims to recognise the great and good of CWP. To find out more, including what categories are available and how to nominate, search "Recognition Awards" on our staff intranet. Deadline for nominations is Thursday 7 September.