Guest blog: Listen again to BBC Stoke’s spotlight on Mental Health

Hi all

It’s time once again for me to be your guest CEO Blogger as Caroline is on a well-earned break. Can I start by thanking everyone who was working over the Bank Holiday. Your support for our service users is truly appreciated.


I had the pleasure of exploring wider opportunities with how to use video consultation which was successfully piloted within older adults community. There is some further work required to broaden this out Trust wide. I’m really looking forward to getting this going more widely across Combined. Watch this space!

I also had the pleasure of meeting with some of our senior psychologists together with Jonathan O’Brien, Director of Operations. We discussed the locality structure and how to ensure we are able to support strengthened multidisciplinary team working.


As you will know, we have developed a strong and productive relationship with our local radio station, BBC Radio Stoke – and in particular with the breakfast programme “Liz Ellis and John Acres at Breakfast”. This has included working with the programme’s presenters and producers on developing and/or contributing to story ideas that raise the profile of mental health in an informed way, promote a recovery-based approach, and raise awareness of the services and support available either directly from ourselves, from our partners or more widely across our patch.

Some of you may have heard this week that the breakfast programme devoted a slot every day to stories on mental health – many of which featured input from ourselves or our partners. The stories were approached from the perspective of the service user or their families and provided a fascinating insight – not pulling punches, but also being positive and fair in the way they explained and included the input and perspective of services as well.

For those of you who didn’t have the chance to hear them when they were broadcast, you may like to have a listen via the BBC iPlayer links below.  They really are worth a listen.

Monday – the personal journey of recovery of a service user

Tuesday – Coping with OCD

Wednesday – Brighter Futures

Thursday – Step On

Friday – Coping with Eating Disorders and out of area placements


At this year’s Annual General Meeting, we’ll be unveiling our new Intranet.  The new Intranet will feature a whole host of new features, including

  • a new staff directory
  • real-time news feeds and content
  • an events calendar
  • much greater use of social media, video and interactive content.

We will be working with teams across the Trust over the coming weeks and months to migrate content to the new platform, and we think you’ll really like it!

Thanks to everyone who got involved with the Comms Team and their developers on sessions throughout the summer on what you’d like from the Intranet and feeding back on its look and feel. Thanks also for everyone who fed their ideas in on what we should name the new Intranet.

We’re pleased to announce that it will be called CAT (Combined Access Tool).

So, it’s time to say goodbye to SID and hello to CAT!