Each year, we offer all staff and community members the opportunity to influence the future direction of NAViGO through proposing and voting on projects and schemes.

Previous winners have included successful projects such as Safespace, Simply You and NAViGate.

Back in September, we received a number of project proposals from staff and community members that have now been approved by the Membership Board.


The shortlist

NAViGO Team Up proposes a ‘reach-in’ service for staff, providing regular informal opportunities to check in and chat with a specialist professional.

Operating across all NAViGO sites, this will bring a regular, safe space for people to talk, unload and unwind with a trusted professional ‘friend’, bringing dedicated time to support their physical and emotional wellbeing.

By providing confidential mental health support for both work-related or personal concerns, it is hoped these opportunities will provide an additional service for staff, reduce referrals to occupational health and help people maintain work live balance.

Introducing regular opportunities for staff to talk about their experiences and concerns, this first contact psychological support will be open access for staff and include listening, coaching, advice for developing team building initiatives, focus for celebrating work and initiatives that provide respite and care.

Child loss in any form is one of the most extremely difficult and painful times for all involved, but more often than not support is centred on the mother.

While a mother has experienced both the physical and emotional pain of loss, the emotional grief of the father who has also lost their child, needs to be considered. Research shows that men not discussing their emotions on a regular basis can be the cause of mental health deterioration, alcohol and substance misuse and a higher risk of suicide.

CLIFF would be a bespoke support group especially for men who have experienced child loss, offering help from peers with lived experience and recognising that it is okay for dads to grieve openly too.

The group would work to address the stigma men often face about discussing their mental health, encourage men to talk about their own bereavement and provide support by working collaboratively across all of NAViGO’s existing services from perinatal to Opens Minds and crisis to community outreach.

Individuals with a long-term condition are two to three times more likely to experience a mental health problem.

But we also know that exercise can have a positive impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.

Care Plus Group already run a pulmonary rehabilitation course to support individuals with respiratory conditions and, prior to lockdown, Open Minds would contribute by giving talks on managing mental health. This project proposes that this collaborative model is used to support service users with other long-term conditions, particularly Type 2 diabetes.

Developed alongside health care professionals, other local organisations and Grimsby Garden Centre, the initial 12 week pilot will involve developing a structured programme containing meal plans, recipes, exercise routines, live cooking events and a closed social media peer group with regular support from the Long Term Conditions team, physios and diabetic specialists, offered one day a week for up to 30 participants.

If we can offer this free service to support people to make lifestyle changes by “holding their hand” through the initial transitional stage, then hopefully participants will be in a stronger position to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not only having a positive impact on individuals, the project would help to reduce the impact on the health sector.

It doesn’t have to stop with Type 2 diabetes, if successful, a similar programme could be explored for individuals with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

Every month, staff would receive a “U” wellbeing box delivered to their door that would be used to encourage relaxation, creativity, and reflection to focus on and improve their individual wellbeing.

The box would contain at least three quality products handpicked, using local suppliers where possible, to nourish, inspire and encourage self-care. The products would change every month and remain top secret until they got delivered to the door. The boxes would be deliberately created to cover all ages and be gender neutral to appeal to as many people as possible.

Initially this would be offered to staff on a trail basis, free for six months. Staff members who, after the free trial, wanted to continue receiving the box, either for themselves or as a gift, would be offered the service at a monthly subscription cost of £7.

The creation of the boxes would provide a training opportunity for service users and, if supported by subscribers thereafter, it would fund paid employment opportunities with any profits going to the Gardiner Hill Foundation – NAViGO’s official charity.

This project would look to expand our mental health conveyancing project (MHERV) with the creation of a further pilot scheme to complement existing provision.

The Joint Response Vehicle would be a shared project with East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and would see the pairing of a mental health clinician with an EMAS Ambulance Technician, responding to patients who have been identified as experiencing a mental health crisis who may also have a medical requirement. Mental health calls are often complex, and take time and specialist expertise to manage effectively, which often leads to patients being conveyed to an emergency department, which is rarely the correct environment.

The vehicle would provide a timely response to individuals in the community, negating the delay in accessing mental health services where low-level clinical (medical) intervention is required and removing the need for inappropriate transfer to A&E.

As well as reducing the demand on other emergency services, it would strengthen pathways between NHS 111, local ambulance service providers, police and specialist mental health services. In addition, this pilot would provide a vital opportunity for specialist training across both specialisms.

A similar project was successfully piloted with the London Ambulance Service in 2019/20, with positive outcomes including:

• 80% of people being discharged at the scene following combined treatment (historically, without the joint project this is a mere 40% meaning the project halved the number of people being conveyed to hospital unnecessarily)

• Instant access to care plans/contingency planning and safer care due to involvement of mental health clinician as 52% of those responded to were already known to mental health services.

The NAViGO pilot would look to draw on these findings to provide an evidence base in procuring funds via the NHSE Ambulance Transformation monies to provide an ongoing service to meet the demands of the local population with the NAViGO philosophy in mind.


What happens next?

If you’re signed up to the membership you are eligible to vote.

Staff and community members will receive a voting link in their email inboxes.

Community members who have chosen communication by mail will soon receive voting forms in the post, along with a prepaid envelope.

If you have any questions, please email navigo.navigomembership@nhs.net or telephone (01472) 583000.

Voting closes on Monday 18 January 2021 and the winning project will be announced by the end of January.