Patients praise CPFT’s online appointment system

Ellie and Sophie share their experiences of therapy via Attend Anywhere

Patients praise CPFT’s online appointment system
12 August 2020

Patients using services provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have praised the introduction of an online appointment system.

Attend Anywhere was rapidly introduced after the coronavirus pandemic meant that in some cases patients and clinicians could not meet face-to-face due to social distancing measures.

The virtual system is now being used for services as diverse as mental health counselling, physical health nursing for people with conditions such as respiratory problems and diabetes, and art therapy.

CPFT provides mental health services for adults and children and community physical health nursing for older people and those with long-term conditions.

More than 2,000 clinical staff now have access to Attend Anywhere and up to 150 consultations are now being carried out per day – the most of any Trust in the East of England.

Chief Executive Tracy Dowling said: “The impact of coronavirus meant we needed to introduce Attend Anywhere far quicker than had been expected, but it has meant that patients and service-users have continued to get the help and support they need.

“Patients and staff have adapted really well. The system is safe, offers complete confidentiality, and the feedback we have received has been really encouraging.

“Our community staff and those who work on our wards have continued to see patients face-to-face every day, but having an online appointment system has allowed us to continue the others areas of our work.”

The Trust’s Psychological Wellbeing Service is among the teams using Attend Anywhere to provide counselling for people who need support with conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Two patients, Sophie Clark and Ellie Leeder, who received help from Laura Bratt, High Intensity Therapist from the service, have told of their experiences of online therapy and can be seen on CPFT’s YouTube channel here (also see further details below).

Laura (pictured, top) said: “I’d really like to thank Sophie and Ellie for being so frank and honest. There’s no doubt that receiving therapy online is different from being in the same room together, but it also brings huge benefits because patients can be in their own surroundings where they feel most comfortable.

“I really hope people will watch their stories and gain confidence from their experiences of cognitive behavioural therapies and using Attend Anywhere.

“Mental ill-health will affect one in four people during their lifetimes and using the virtual system is another way to ensure people get the support, help and advice they need.”

In her film Sophie (pictured, centre) says: “To me it was really helpful. I have done therapy in a clinic before and it is difficult because it’s a clinical place whereas at home you are in your comfort zone and it’s easy to open up. I would really advise people to give it a go. I think they’ll really enjoy doing it.”

Ellie (pictured, bottom) said: “I found with virtual therapy that not going to a clinical room was nice and relaxing. I would recommend therapy generally. But the virtual system is user-friendly, it’s seamless – it’s brilliant.”

People in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can self-refer to the Psychological Wellbeing Service by calling 0300 300 0055. More details about the service can be found here on the CPFT website.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health and community physical health services. With 4,000 staff, the Trust also provides learning disability, social care, and children community healthcare services. It is also renowned for its research work.

To watch Sophie's story in conversation with High Intensity Therapist Laura Bratt and Andy Burrows from CPFT's Communications Team click here.

To watch Ellie's story click here.


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Interim Deputy Head of Communications
T 01223 219467



Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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