Looking to exciting times ahead as we unveil our new £1.1m Crisis Centre

Autumn is here! And as we say farewell to another Summer, the last week has given us an opportunity to look back with pride on a great year for Combined Healthcare and, just as importantly, look forward to some really exciting times ahead. 


The 2019 North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust Annual General Meeting took place last Thursday 26 September. 

This year, we held the AGM on our own premises in the gym at Harplands Hospital, which enabled us to put on the event at reduced cost and accompany it with a celebration of all we do with stalls from a wide variety of Combined Healthcare teams,  meeting the Board and guests and talking to them about their team, showcasing the work they do and some of the latest projects they’ve been busy working on.

Our Chairman was even able to try out equipment that simulates what an elderly service user can feel when they have visual or muscular impairment.

Many thanks to the staff who usually use the gym on a Thursday, for rearranging their activities to free up the space. It’s a great example of us all working together and was really appreciated by myself and the Board. Shout out to:

  • Lynne Stopani
  • Ann Jones – physio tech
  • Martin Cork – activity worker Ward 2
  • Claire L Moore and Deborah Robinson – activity workers Ward 4
  • Amy Stubbs and Steven Thompson – activity workers Ward 6
  • David Hilton and Amy Stanton – activity workers Ward 7

Thanks to our Chairman, David Rogers, for acting as MC for the event, to our Medical Director, Buki Adeyemo, for presenting our Quality Account and to our Executive Director of Finance, Performance and Estates, Lorraine Hooper, for presenting our Financial Review and Accounts.

As promised, we streamed the whole event live, so if you want to relive the whole event, you can do so below:

Or to watch one of the three films unveiled at the AGM, choose them from below. This includes a film thanking and celebrating our staff for all their efforts and achievements this past year. You never know, you may spot yourself or one of your teams on there!


It was a particularly enjoyable Trust Board, which preceded the AGM.

We were delighted to award the REACH Team Award to the team who successfully delivered the relocation of our Community Drug and Alcohol Services to new premises – with no service interruption and no complaints from service users. Well done, everyone!

We also congratulated Jean Meigh – Ward Manager Edwards Myers – on the occasion of her retirement.

Jean commenced her nursing career with North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust on 22 May 1995, working in her first role as a Health Care Support Worker at Saint Edwards Hospital in Cheddleton on a part-time fixed-term contract. In the latter years of her nursing career Jean worked in the Duty Senior Nurse Position for the Harplands Hospital where she flourished within the role, expanding her knowledge which led to Jean’s final placement again on the Edward Myers as the Ward Manager.


We were thrilled to be shortlisted by the HSJ for the award of Mental Health Provider of the Year. 

Myself, Buki Adeyemo and our Executive Director of Operations, Jonathan O’Brien, travelled down to London to present our case to the Awards panel.

It was quite a grilling!  But we had a fantastic case to make and now it’s fingers crossed for the announcement of the winner at the awards ceremony in November.

What made it doubly exciting was that a fellow shortlisted nominee were our friends at Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust. It really is a testament to the great things going on across the whole of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire that no less than 2 out of 5 of the shortlisted nominees come from our patch.


To finish on a really high note, next Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October, we will be proud to hold Open Days for our brand new £1.1 million Mental Health Crisis Centre, based at the Harplands Hospital. The Open Days run from 10am to 4pm on both days and are open to all.

The new service is unique in the NHS in bringing together under one roof a whole range of teams offering a service to people of all ages, 24/7, 365 days a year.  

Anyone feeling they are in distress – or needing advice or reassurance – can ring 0300 123 0907 to speak to a mental health professional, who will be able to direct them to the most appropriate and accessible service to meet their individual needs.

Everyone is welcome – including our own staff – to attend either opening day for free, where they can view the new facilities and meet the staff who will be providing the new service. Please let Sandra Wright know if you would like to attend by e-mailing sandra.wright@combined.nhs.uk.

You can also click here to listen to a Podcast featuring four of the key individuals involved in setting up the new service sharing their expectations and hopes for what it will provide, as well as showcasing new recruitment opportunities for anyone wishing to join the fantastic new service.