Guest Blog: Buki Adeyemo – Our new service helps to make Time To Talk

Hi all

I’m your guest blogger this week, as Caroline is on annual leave. Last week was a week when we looked to the future, delivered some great engagement and consultation with our service users and prepared to mark Time to Talk Day 2019 by unveiling a great new service to raise awareness and understanding of mental health.



Wednesday saw us host our Service User and Carer Council Open Space event 2019. The event is one of our most important annual opportunities to get together with service users to help shape our Quality Priorities for the coming year.

Hosted by our Executive Director of Nursing and Quality, Maria Nelligan, there was an amazing turnout of nearly 100 people at Port Vale FC who braved the snow to take part and it was a fabulous event.

The centrepiece of the day was a live voting and discussion session on our draft Quality Priorities. This showed that our service users attached particular importance to:

  • leading and collaborating with health and social care agencies for a system-wide approach to zero suicide
  • embedding our Person Centredness framework in collaboration with service users and carers
  • transforming our community pathways to promote person centredness
  • embedding the use of technology via the CAMHS Digital Exemplar to improve access and be more responsive



We also carried out the official public launch of our Wellbeing Academy, following the internal launch a couple of weeks ago and there was real enthusiasm for the venture. You can visit the Academy and sign up for free courses at

Congratulations to the patient engagement team for putting on another fantastic event.



We’re very proud of our use of staff, service user and carer stories at our Trust Board and Committees to bring real-life experience to the heart of our decision making. And we’re also proud or our reputation as an innovator in communications and engagement – particularly digital and social communications.  

So I’m really proud to be able to let you know about  a new section on our public website dedicated to promoting our staff, service user and carer stories as well as plans for a brand new service we’re unveiling to mark Time to Talk Day 2019 – which is this Thursday 7 February.

Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health.

Having conversations about mental health helps break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

The national campaign quite rightly recognises there are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk.

In that spirit, what better time to unveil our plans for a dedicated Combined Healthcare Podcast – which we’re calling ‘Combinations’. Those of you who are familiar with podcasting will know that it gives organisations and communities an opportunity to publish and promote longer format conversations – typically around 20 minutes or so – bringing together experts, clinicians, service users and members of the public to discuss ideas and issues in a much deeper and informative way than can be done in normal social media short films or web stories.

We’ll be letting everyone know about how to access the Podcast as soon as it goes live shortly with its first episodes.

But in the meantime, we’re inviting everyone to submit their ideas for a short film or Podcast via a webform on the staff, service users and carers page. It could be a fantastic initiative going on across Combined and its partners that you think the wider world would want to hear about, or a service that really deserves promotion, or a mental health condition or treatment that you think needs greater understanding or profile. Or even a compelling human interest story.

​Whatever your suggestion, please take the time to give it to us. All ideas will be considered by our Communications Team and, if selected, they will be able to work with you to turn your idea into a film or Podcast.

Across to you all – we really look forward to hearing your ideas!!


Our track record of securing awards nominations for Combined continues unabated and last week we had two bits of great news.

The first is that our finance team have been shortlisted for ‘Finance Team of the Year – Health’ in the annual Public Finance Awards. It’s been a great year for our Finance Team, as they prepare to deliver our 20th consecutive year of financial balance – which is quite unprecedented and makes us one of the strongest financial performers in the region. The winners will be announced on 1 May.

The second is that we have shortlisted as Provider of the Year in the Leading Healthcare Awards. This was particularly welcome to myself as I submitted the award nomination! The awards will be announced on 6 March.

We will, of course, keep you updated when the final winners are announced.

Buki Adeyemo, Medical Director