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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?


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.


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


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.


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.

Activity Provision

The Gloucestershire meaningful activity and wellbeing network is a network for activity co-ordinators and activity providers to meet, share information and learn new skills.

The network Facebook page is here.

The network’s Terms of Reference are available here.

Activity Toolkit

An  activities toolkit is available from the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

Piloted in care homes across the UK, the Toolkit has been endorsed by the Care Inspectorate Scotland, English Community Care Association (ECCA), the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA), Skills for Care, Carers UK, Carers Trust, and the British Geriatrics Society.

Directory of Resources

This Directory of Resources is compiled by members of the Gloucestershire Activity Coordinator network and contains information as used by Activity co-ordinators in homes throughout Gloucestershire.

This Directory of resources is hosted by Gloucestershire Care Services through the Care Home Support Team but does not represent the opinions or recommendations of Gloucestershire Health and Care or its staff. It is currently being updated (as of June 2019).

Activity Provision: Legislation and Guidelines – Useful Links

Falls Management

Mental Health

Our team primarily focuses on dementia and person centred care in care homes. There are various training packages available to care homes, to support their practice. We also have documents to support good practice in care homes available for download below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I refer a resident to the mental health services?

There are two routes to our community mental health nurses.

  • Firstly, you can refer your resident via the GP. This will be sent to the local team, who will visit and assess the needs of that resident. They may then formulate an action plan or a care plan for treatment.
  • Secondly, our team are able to visit informally to provide support, suggestions and advice. If this is insufficient, then a formal referral would be advised. Access is via the team’s single point of access – see details on the contact us page.
What do I do if I think my resident has a memory problem?

In this case, please consider referring to the team to gain support, advice and suggestions. You can refer formally or informally. Please see the information above. You can also contact the Alzeimers Society for advice, support and guidance.

It is important to know that not all memory problems mean your resident has dementia.

What do I do if my resident's behaviour changes?

It is important to exclude physical causes of behaviour changes prior to involvement of the mental health team. These include:

  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Constipation
  • Chest Infection
  • Pain
  • Dehydration

In addition, a GP visit is important, as he or she can exclude any other causes. After these are excluded, it is possible to access the team for advice as above. It may be helpful to have the above information to hand when the team visits to discuss this. You can also download an ABC chart to track behaviour changes and triggers during the course of each day.

ABC Chart

ABC Incident Analysis form
Use this to monitor the triggers for certain behaviours with residents.

My resident has no relatives, friend or advanced directive, and we don't know if they have the capacity to make a decision. What should I do?

You can contact the IMCA services who will let you know if it is appropriate for them to come out and help your resident to make a decision.

Alternatively, you can contact your community mental health team, via a formal referral who may visit and assess for capacity.

The IMCA referral form is available for download below.
If your resident wants to make decisions for the future, in the event that they do lose capacity, please see the information on Lasting Power of Attorney below.

IMCA Referral Form

Lasting Power of Attorney Information

What circumstances does the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards apply?

The circumstances are varied and individual to each resident and situation. However consider:

  1. Are the restrictive practices necessary to prevent harm?
  2. Are the restrictions proportionate to the degree of harm to the person?

If no:
Check care plan and change restrictive practices for less restrictive options.

If yes:
Check care plan and apply for DoL Authorisation to the Supervisory Body.

Restriction does not need an authorisation. For example, A resident who wants to go out but needs to be escorted is restricted but not deprived. A resident who is not allowed to go out under any circumstances is deprived.

Deprivation of liberty safeguards – Code of practice

How do I make a best interests decision for my resident?

Residents are able to make decisions, however unwise, if they have capacity to do so. If they lack the capacity and you are making a best interests decision on their behalf, you must consider the following points:

  • Giving equal consideration and non-discrimination.
  • Considering all relevant circumstances.
  • Regaining capacity.
  • Permitting and encouraging participation.
  • Special considerations for life-sustaining treatment.
  • The person’s wishes and feelings, beliefs and values.
  • The views of other people.

Code of practice for MCA

What do I do if we really can't cope with our resident's behaviour?

Rarely, the intervention does not work and the resident’s behaviour is not managable within the care home.

In this case, your first port of call should be the mental health team, if known to them, or the G.P. if the mental health team is not involved with this resident. They will be able to advise further action.

What do I do if my resident is sexually disinhibited?

This behaviour can be linked to particular illness and, in those cases, is to be managed as part of those illnesses.

Otherwise, it would need to be managed on an individual basis. Advice can be sought from the Care Home Support Team, via the Single Point of Contact.


Medicines Management

Tissue Viability

We offer support concerning tissue viability in care homes. These policies are available to download below:

Recommended Policies

For guidance on the application of emollients, please see ‘Topical Preparations’ guidance on the medicines management section above. 

SKIN Bundles

Speech and Language Therapy

Please be aware that the Care Home Support Team does not have a dedicated Speech and Language Therapist.

A speech and language therapist can help people who are experiencing problems with:

  • speaking
  • understanding
  • reading or writing
  • swallowing
  • voice

They do this by

  • formal and informal assessment
  • diagnosing the difficulty
  • giving therapy- both specific to the identified problem and to increase functionality
  • providing and training in the use of communication aids (if appropriate)
  • using counselling skills
  • educating and supporting family and carers regarding the difficulty and how to help
  • giving training sessions 
  • working with other professionals

How do I access Speech and Language Therapy?

For swallowing issues, you need to ask your resident’s GP to make a formal referral to the service. This can only be done by a doctor.

For communication issues, anyone can refer to the service. You do this by contacting the Speech and Language Therapy Team

Where will I receive Speech and Language Therapy?

The speech and language therapist will initially visit you at your home. If the problem is with swallowing, we will need a referral from a doctor to see you. If the problem is with communication, the person, their family, friends or support workers can refer them. You may be invited for further therapy at out-patient clinics or you may be reviewed at home, depending on your needs.

If you are admitted to hospital the Speech and Language Therapist will see you in hospital and help to get you home as soon as possible.

Continence, UTIs and Hydration

Please contact Gloucestershire Hospitals Continence Service for any specific advice or ongoing training

The Public Health England publication, Urinary Tract Infections: A Leaflet for Older Adults and Carers.