Q
Search for a condition, service or location
Translate this page

 

Q

Help in a crisis

 

If there is an immediate danger to life, please dial 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

I am in Gloucestershire

If you or someone you know needs help in a mental health crisis, call our crisis teams.

Call 0800 169 0398.

And choose one of the following options depending on your location:

  • Option 1 for Stroud and Cotswolds
  • Option 2 for Gloucester and Forest
  • Option 3 for Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and North Cotswolds

Please note: telephone calls may be recorded. If you do not want that to happen, please tell the person who answers your call and they will phone you back on a ‘non-recordable’ telephone.

The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

PLEASE NOTE: 9/1/20 12:30pm – We are currently experiencing issues with accessing answerphone messages. We will update when the issue has been resolved.

Occasionally, callers may be asked to leave their name and number on an answerphone. In these circumstances, staff will return the call within one hour.

I am in Herefordshire

If you are in Herefordshire and need support, please call us using one of the following numbers:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, please contact the team or service who currently provide your care.
  • Monday to Friday, 5pm – 9am and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays, please call our Mental Health Matters Helpline on: 0800 015 7271

These contact numbers are for people already in contact with our services. If you are not currently in contact with us, please call 111 or your GP.

Our out of hours, weekend and bank holiday service is provided by Mental Health Matters.

If you need help but are not in crisis, please contact your GP if in opening hours, or 111. If you don’t have a GP use the NHS service search to locate the nearest one to you. If your query is not urgent, you can find our contact details here.

Are you feeling vulnerable? Do you need to talk to somebody now?

samaritans

Call free on 116 123
If you are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide, you can call the Samaritans.

Stay Alive App

A pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. The app can be accessed through the Apple Store, Google Play and downloaded as a pdf.

childline

Call free on 0800 11 11
If you are a child or a young person you may want to speak to Childline.

selfharm

Call 0808 816 0606
Or text 07537 410 022
A safe, supportive, non-judgmental and informative service for people who self harm, their friends, families and carers.
Open every day 5pm – 10pm for phone and text support.

selfharm

Text 85258
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Alison Curson, Head of Nursing and Quality, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, reflects on her nursing career

It was never my intention to become a nurse. Aged 18, I wanted to be a social worker, and I was recommended to come back when I was 21.

I signed up to be a healthcare assistant on a hospital respiratory ward; it was a wonderful location, with beautiful grounds and peacocks!

Then, I was offered a place on the Registered General Nurse course at the Gloucestershire School of Nursing, and I’ve never looked back, remaining in Gloucestershire for all of my career.

It was a fantastic community. You were an employee of the trust, with a guaranteed post at the end of training, and it’s interesting how things are now going full circle, with the introduction of apprenticeships and offers of posts earlier and earlier before qualifying.

It was quite formal. Everyone was addressed by their surname and uniform was often inspected by the nursing officers.  I remember when my first ward manager received a computer and didn’t know what to do with it; I heard some interesting language coming from the office that day! While systems come and go, we are now in a position, some 35 years later, where we are starting to share information across different organisations.

I remember my first afternoon at Gloucestershire Royal ward 13 medicine.  There was a cardiac arrest and everyone came running. Sadly, the gentleman did not survive.  I was introduced to doing last offices for a gentleman I never knew and this has been a lasting memory for me, as it was such a very personal things to do, and the last dignified thing you can do for someone.

During my training, I had a placement at Coney Hill Hospital, on a long stay rehabilitation ward.  I took a group of patients on holiday for five days and had a large box of medication that needed to be administered daily.

My first job was in surgery at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital ward 8 gastric.  I loved the fast pace of surgery.

I changed direction in my career, as I was concerned about patients’ mental health ahead of their surgery.  While we now have pre-op clinics, then people were often brought into hospital days before their operation.  This inspired me to undertake my RMN qualification as I thought we could do so much more for patients’ mental health to prepare them for surgery. Eighteen months later I was a dual qualified nurse.

I stayed in psychiatry and did not return to adult nursing.  I did briefly do bank shifts to keep my skills up to date, but as a parent, this was not sustainable.  I was always dedicated to my passion of nursing and only had six weeks off for maternity leave and went straight back to full time hours.  I found I was missing my work within days.

I spent a long period of my nursing career in psychiatric rehabilitation homes, within the community setting, with patients with a serious mental illness.  As the large psychiatric hospitals were closing, people returning to the community became the new normal.  I became a deputy head of home within one year of qualifying, where I learnt the skills of truly holistic person-centred care.

I would work night duty across Gloucestershire peripatetically, as the only qualified nurse across five homes.  In the ‘90s the, homes started to be decommissioned, with the progression of newer services.  I returned to the psychiatric hospital to refresh my skills of inpatient care as there was to be a new ward with ‘hospital status’ in the community, housing patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act.  Once this was up and running I decommissioned the last home in Gloucestershire.

I then worked for former East Gloucestershire trust from 2000. When I joined, the same process that of decommissioning was taking place and, within a year, I decommissioned the home I was managing in Cheltenham.  I then ran a 20-bed dementia ward and learnt about a lot about change management and governance.  I entered the building and the ward was facing a lot of challenges. When I left a year later, there had been improvements in all areas.

I returned to working with adults with serious mental illness, managing a community rehabilitation team.  The objective at that time was to discharge patients back to their GP. We opened a purpose-built recovery unit in the community, which is still in operation now.

I also set up the first Assertive Outreach Team in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the North Cotswolds, to deliver a seven-day service for patients with serious mental illness, forensic histories or those detained under the Mental Health Act. This required true engagement with all areas of living and family work.

The highlights of my career have been making a difference to patients’ and carers’ lives.

I moved on to become an operational manager with increased responsibility, before becoming the modern matron at Wotton Lawn Hospital. This was a pivotal time in my career, and I faced a lot of challenges in the running of the hospital, but I found the best thing about being a matron is that the first and last person you see every day is a patient.

Community nursing has always been my passion, and I returned to this in the role of Community Services Manager, before being appointed as Deputy Director of Nursing in the former 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. When we merged with Gloucestershire Care Service NHS Trust, I became Head of Nursing and Quality of the newly formed Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

I believe the following qualities have shaped my career:

  • Determination to deliver 100 per cent for patients, all the time
  • Determination to look after colleagues at all times
  • Address any poor practice, train and invest in staff, as they are our greatest asset
  • Embrace change and not to be frightened of it

If I could give one piece of advice to those embarking on careers in nursing, it would be to be kind; demonstrate true kindness every day.

Accessibility