Global health leaders to learn about work of CPFT

Sue and Sharon to tell delegates at Canada conference about ground-breaking support for patients and staff

Global health leaders to learn about work of CPFT
08 November 2019

Health leaders from across the world are to learn how Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has developed a network of peer support workers to help patients and how staff with their own long-term conditions are supported.

Head of Inclusion Sharon Gilfoyle and psychological therapist and counsellor Sue Preston-Eyles will be among the keynote speakers at the 19th AQRP Congress in Montreal, Canada, from 11 to 13 November.

The conference attracts delegates from across the globe as it examines and debates innovations in mental health care and support.

Sharon and Sue have been invited to speak by Canadian experts, including representatives of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, after they visited CPFT’s Recovery College East earlier this year.

The Canadian delegates heard how the college – which has sites at the Gloucester Centre, Peterborough, and at Tenison Road, Cambridge – offers a host of courses for people who have had mental or physical health issues.

It also runs a highly-successful peer support programme which trains those with their own experiences of mental health conditions to help and support others.

Since it began in 2010, CPFT have trained 178 Peer Workers, and more than 60 people are still working for the CPFT in a variety of roles.

They include those who have gone on to further their careers by completing their nurse training, progressing to other more senior roles, while others have set up their own private businesses. Overall, more than 80 per cent of trained peer workers are currently in some form of employment or volunteering

Sharon (above right, pictured with Sue) said: “We are delighted to be asked to speak at such a renowned conference. We are really proud of our Recovery College East and the peer support worker developments, and the opportunities these offer to people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“This conference will be chance to tell delegates from across the world about how our programmes work and how they can replicate its work in their countries.

“Our peer support programme has given those with their own lived experiences of mental health issues the opportunity to use those experiences as a positive, to show them they have an incredible role to play in helping others on their recovery journey.

“While it has been hugely successful here, in many other countries those who experience mental ill-health have to step away from the roles or aren’t allowed to work. We have shown that doesn’t have to be the case, and that will be one of the main messages during our address.”

Also during their lecture, Sharon and Sue will talk about the Trust’s Wearing Two Hats forum which was established to support any of the organisation’s 4,000 staff who have their own mental or physical health challenges.

Sharon said: “We’re a big organisation and people who work for the NHS – whether that is in mental health or physical health care – aren’t immune to their own health challenges and may well be supporting family members while also carrying out their daily duties. The forum has provided a lifeline for our staff, and we’ll be proudly telling delegates of the conference about it, and sharing our own experiences.”

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health services for adults and children, and physical health care for older people and those with long-term conditions.

For more details about the Recovery College East visit the Trust’s website, www.cpft.nhs.uk.


Notes: AQRP is the L'Association Québécoise Pour la Réadaptation Psychosociale which translates as The Quebec Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation

For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Interim Head of Communications
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 219467

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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