Dear partners, members, friends and supporters
As the National Health Service continues to respond to the pandemic, our services – like all those across the NHS – remain under considerable levels of demand.
I could not be more proud of the ongoing work of our staff and their continuing support for patients, carers and for each other throughout these challenging times.
In order to ensure that we best support the acute trusts, community Covid-related demands and the vaccination programme, many of our staff have been asked to change where they work, how they work and the teams they’re working in.
This has enabled us to focus our resources on people affected by Covid-19 and those who need our help the most. However, this does have an impact on our ability to maintain things like waiting times for our less urgent services.
All CPFT services remain open except for the Wisbech and Doddington Minor Injury Units which remain temporarily closed as we have had to redeploy our experienced nursing staff to provide vital additional local capacity to support patients.
Many of our staff are providing additional services in response to the pandemic including:
- Increasing capacity within our crisis mental health services for people of all ages.
- Colleagues from our First Response Service are now crewing a mental health ambulance car, which is on patrol in Peterborough as part of a pilot project. They will offer rapid support to those in mental health crisis in their own home.
- The opening of over 30 new intermediate care beds across the county for those able to be discharged from our local acute hospitals, but not ready to go home. This will help relieve pressures on beds within acute hospitals.
- The expansion of the Trust’s Discharge to Assess Team, which works alongside the local acute hospitals and local authorities to ensure patients are able to return home from hospital as soon as they are medically fit to do so. This helps to ensure hospitals have enough empty beds to cope with the number of patients needing admission.
- Joining the vaccination programme for both frontline NHS and social care colleagues, and to vaccinate house-bound patients and people in care homes across the county.
- Providing a mental health service to support all NHS staff working across the hospitals in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, where the impact of Covid has affected their wellbeing.
This clearly has had an impact on capacity within our existing services. So, while our services remain open, we are currently prioritising patients who need our help the most. This means that there may be longer waits for routine non-urgent appointments and referrals.
We are communicating directly with patients about any potential changes to their appointments. If you have any concerns about your own, or your loved one’s care, please get in touch with your clinical team.
We all hope that this wave of the pandemic will soon resolve, and we have high hopes for the success of the vaccination programme in beating this pandemic. We will get services back up and running to full capacity as soon as we are able to but ask that you work with us in the meantime.
There is a system-wide approach being taken with the Covid staff vaccination programme involving CPFT, acute Trusts, social care partners and the third sector.
Over 20 CPFT staff are now working on vaccinating from four sites set up at Peterborough, Hinchingbrooke, Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospital.
CPFT staff are also vaccinating house-bound patients and more than 470 staff have volunteered to work extra hours to take part in this programme.
Information about public vaccinations and general advice can be found on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group website. People will be contacted directly about when and where they can receive the vaccination.
Mental health support
We are concerned about the longer-term impact the pandemic will have on the populations mental health and are already thinking, together with our partners in the third sector and local authority, about how we support our local communities in future.
Our crisis services are running as normal, and anyone of any age can contact our First Response Service by calling 111 and selecting option 2 (in Wisbech call 111, then select option 1 and ask to be put through to FRS).
Other support and advice is available in the community, and if you are struggling we would urge you to seek help:
- For wellbeing support and advice people can contact the Lifeline Helpline 11am-11pm on freephone 0808 808 2121.
- People can self-refer to our Psychological Wellbeing Service for people struggling with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.
- For details of other support available within the community, for all ages, please visit the Keep Your Head website.
Last year saw incredible achievements within our research department, from delivering vaccine trials to urgent public health studies. I have been so impressed by the enthusiasm from our staff and patients to get involved in our research studies, helping to find the best ways to beat Covid-19 and keep vital research in physical and mental health running to improve care and services. You can find out more about what’s been happening in our research department in their latest newsletter.
Finally, I’d like to thank you for your continued support and understanding, especially at this time when we need it most. I hope that you are able to keep safe and if you do need support, please contact our services in the usual ways.
For more information please contact:
Head of Communications and Engagement