Update on primary care
Local GP surgeries are running additional clinics for Grenfell affected residents as a result of the increased needs, with longer appointments available of up to 30 minutes available if they are needed opposed to the standard 10 minutes.
The appointments are for anyone who feels they need help but, we are also calling in patients proactively. Those from the Tower, walkways, estates like Silchester and Bramley and residents from the wider North Kensington affected area.
Local GPs have designed a comprehensive patient review specific to those affected; looking for respiratory symptoms, checking for diabetes, weight, reviewing mental health well-being, drug and alcohol use, suicidal risk, social issues such as relationship break, gang involvement in teenagers, help with back to work, linking to third sector organisations such as Family Action.
A lot of these patients are extremely complex, with pre-existing mental and physical health needs prior to the Grenfell Tower fire. Some have been subject to torture or trafficking or may have just had a very difficult journey through life. All of this has been exacerbated by the tragedy. Such complex patients are also being helped with case managers within surgeries. Their main role is to help patients navigate services, health promotion and self care, for example, around diabetes which is huge in Notting Dale. They also raise issues with key workers where problems arise.
In addition, we have established a rapid access respiratory clinic at St Mary’s Hospital for anyone concerned about their breathing or people with a cough. They will be seen by a respiratory consultant who will carry out appropriate tests.
We would encourage all patients to contact their GP if they have any concerns about their health.
Out of hours GP access
GPs and practice nurses are available to people who need them in the West London CCG area at the weekend and on weekday evenings. To see a GP or practice nurse outside of usual office hours, contact your registered practice or call 111 to book an appointment.
CCG sends letter to Grenfell United setting out position on toxicity in soil
Young Grenfell community speak out about mental health
Young people from the Grenfell community have decided to speak out about mental health and how they were affected by the Grenfell tragedy in support of World Mental Health Day, Wednesday 10 October.
Every year World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and the work being done to support those that need it. The focus this year is on young people and mental health at a time of life when many changes are occurring such as new schools, exam stress, moving from home and generally finding their place in the world. This transition was made even more difficult for children who experienced the Grenfell tragedy. Since the disaster, young people in the community have been active in sharing their experiences and have been encouraging others to talk about mental health.
Riana, 17, who lives in the local area said: “Lots of my friends and peers have been affected by what happened at the Grenfell Tower. It’s really important that we are aware of the mental health issues that may be affecting us. It is also important for us to come together and speak about mental health in a way that is empowering and positive for us.”
The NHS has been active within the community since the devastation of Grenfell and has been treating people for issues related to mental health and trauma. Young people are often less likely to access services that are available to them or ask for help due to the stigma related with mental health, resulting in them dismissing their feelings.
Mona Hayat, Director of North Kensington Recovery, NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It’s essential that young people who have been affected by the Grenfell tragedy recognise the signs of poor mental health and feel safe and comfortable to open up. By giving young people in the community a platform to share their thoughts and experiences we can ensure their voice is heard and that other young people know that it’s okay, not to feel okay, because there are people here to speak with and who will understand.”
Short videos of the young people from Grenfell talking about mental health can be found here. You can also join the conversation about mental health online, search #worldmentalhealthday and #OKnottofeelOK on social media.
Notes to editors
1. World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018) is hosted by the World Health Organisation. This year the focus is on young people and mental health in a changing world. More information can be found here.
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Local health services welcome funding commitment
Local health services welcome funding commitment
Local health services have welcomed todays funding commitment made by NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens for those affected by the Grenfell tragedy and allow us to build on the work that had already taken place.
The announcement will provide reassurance to local residents that the NHS will be here long term to provide physical and mental health services and will also be able to put in place a screening service for Grenfell community.
Mona Hayat, Director of North Kensington Recovery, West London CCG and Robyn Doran, Chief Operating Officer, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said, “This is really good news and underlies our commitment to listening and working with the community to develop services that meet their needs. This is something many have wanted to see; a coordinated service for mental and physical health concerns, and now, with the communities support, we will be as Simon Stevens said, imminently introducing a new screening service.”
Over the next few weeks and months we will be working with people from Grenfell Tower and the local community to develop the new service.
Creating Stronger Communities: Community Conversations and website
Kensington and Chelsea Council has launched a series of community conversations, workshops, drop-in sessions as well as a new website - strongercommunities.rbkc.gov.uk – to ask local residents, community organisations and businesses in North Kensington what matters most to them.