About Central and North West London NHS Foundations Trust
The response to the trauma caused by the Grenfell Tower fire is provided by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL). Screen and treat is the approach they have used to deal with the high incidence of trauma. This approach is based on strong clinical evidence and the therapy team is probably the largest trauma service in the country.
Screen and treat is a long term programme delivered in phases. Phase 1 focused on reaching those most likely to be at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CNWL teams are ensuring that all residents of the tower have been offered screening and treatment. To date, all residents have been contacted on at least one occasion to offer screening and the team continue to attempt to reach those who did not answer or who have previously declined screening.
This planned approach to reaching all evacuated residents and bereaved families and friends is being supplemented by outreach - door knocking and offering screening and support services to residents who are still living in their flats surrounding the tower. This will ensure that the wider community who have also been affected by the fire are also offered support and treatment.
The wellbeing response will develop into a longer-term offer to support trauma, emotional health and other physical and mental health needs.
About the CNWL Outreach team
The CNWL outreach team is a multi-disciplinary team of 25 mental health professionals and support workers (some of whom come from the local community) who work within the North Kensington community to provide information and support to residents affected by the Grenfell fire. Their approach is flexible, proactive and creative and is informed by continual dialogue and engagement with a wide range of community stakeholders.
The Outreach team also provide initial assessments for PTSD – often in community settings like the Curve or in people’s homes, and where indicated and with patient consent will refer into the adults Grenfell service in CNWL for clinical assessment and treatment. Patients can be referred for PTSD, depression, anxiety, or any mental health issues.
In addition to screening, the Outreach team provides emotional and mental health support, practical assistance to navigate support services, and works closely with local community groups to help build community resilience.
Outreach services are provided in the daytime at the Curve and in hotels. This service is available overnight at Notting Hill Methodist Church, where team members from Hestia [another support service], CNWL and the Blenheim Drug & Alcohol Service are working together.
The 24/7 Mental Health phone line remains available as a gateway into all CNWL services.
Suicide prevention is not only about dedicated suicide prevention services, but also about effectively identifying those at risk and providing easy access to good mental health services.
In order to help identify those that are at risk of suicide, the NHS are proactively monitoring a number of areas to identify any changes in activity, including CNWL Serious Incidents, attendance at A&E and inpatient admissions for self-harm. Training is also being provided to staff and volunteers to equip them with the skills to identify risk and understand appropriate and effective responses.
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