Annual Members' Meeting

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust held its virtual Annual Members’ Meeting on Wednesday 23rd September 2020. In response to the COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place on social distancing we felt the safest way to bring the event to our members was virtually and we were pleased to see so many people join us. 

Our Chair, Peter Molyneux commenced the meeting with the formal proceedings and our Chief Executive, Samantha Allen gave a presentation on the Trusts achievements throughout the last 12 months. Our Chief Finance Officer presented the Annual Report and Accounts and members had the opportunity to ask questions which including the expenditure for the increasing needs for digital technologies, and the costs incurred for COVID-19. Members were also keen to learn more about the apprenticeship strategy and training opportunities for volunteers. 

After the formal proceedings we moved into our discussion forums where members had the choice of three different topics. Each session was led by a member of the Executive Team and/or our Clinical Director and co-facilitated by our Trust Governors. A summary from each of these sessions is below:

Discussion Forum 1: How Sussex Partnership and the wider community is responding to the public health impact of COVID-19

Led by Nick Lake, Director of Clinical Strategy and co-facilitated by Appointed Governors John Holmstrom and Katie Glover.

The discussion focused on the unprecedented effects COVID-19 has had on our communities, especially with staying connected to each other both personally and when communicating with Trust services. It was acknowledged that care and support was difficult for those in isolation without access to or skills to use digital devices. Action points for the Trust where as follows:

      • Face to face support is essential where appropriate and we mustn't increase digital contact when face to face is possible
      • Need to capture the best of digital training support offered to service-users by the Trust and our partners. This to be uploaded to our website and discussed with service users at local level.
      • To keep the Trust's website up to date with visiting arrangements during COVID-19 measures for acute inpatient wards
      • To look at how we support people to become digital confident through the People Participation Team

Discussion Forum 2: Depression

Led by Jason Reed, Clinical Director and co-facilitated by Angie Culham, Service User Governor and Gill Bowden, Public Governor. 

The discussion focused on the signs and symptoms of depression and the prevalence of this within our communities. Jason described the different ways an individual can be affected by depression and the severity that can be experienced. Treatment options for depression were discussed, and Members debated about the benefits of therapies vs. medication. Trust governor, Angie, discussed her personal experience of depression and hearing voices. She described the things that helped her to become well and cope with her illness, while still experiencing bad days, and the areas of practice that have changed. Trust governor, Gill, discussed the services and charities available to provide support for men, women and children. The full presentation from the discussion is available here

Discussion Forum 3: Children and Young People

Led by Simone Button, Chief Operating Officer and  Alison Wallis, Clinical Director and co-facilitated by Amy Herring, Service User Governor. 

The discussion focused on the I-Thrive Model which was introduced after lockdown and aims to help the Trust identify what types of support will likely be needed by children and young people during and after the pandemic. Members recognised the increase in referral levels and were keen to understand how the service is adapting to the demand. Alison explained that the service has adapted the way they engage with young people with particular focus being on social media and digital platforms for support and consultations. Trust governor, Amy Herring talked about the return for young people into education and the modern day challenges this brings to them and their families, giving an account our young governor Caitlin Hall. The full presentation from the discussion is available here. More information on the work of our services is available through their websites and 

If you attended this event on the day, you can provide your feedback on this short survey to help us shape our future events: