Sussex Partnership Launches New Innovative Services Run by Nurses

The Argus

(12 May – every year on this day, nurses across the globe celebrate nurses and nursing in memory of Florence Nightingale who died in 1910)

Sussex Partnership nurses¹ are at the forefront of developing new ways of working and driving up quality across a range of specialist mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services – and in the run up to International Nurses Day on May 12 the Trust is announcing the introduction of three new innovative services in the region.

West Sussex – a new eating disorder pilot

Young people with eating disorders are the focus of attention of a new pilot launched recently in West Sussex. Designed to make treatment more accessible to 11 to 18 year olds and their families, the Intensive Outreach Easting Disorders Service provides support without the need to leave the home or the community.

Developed by the Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) it should also help prevent admission to hospital or if admission is unavoidable, the aim is to reduce their stay.

The Intensive Outreach Eating Disorders Service will initially run for six months and is designed to support CAMHS staff by providing additional resources and support in the community and at Chalkhill in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

Nurse Consultant Sue Kelly said: ‘This is a truly patient centred initiative, that we know supports children and young people to tackle some difficult issues with the support of those close to them at home. From the point of view of specialist CAMHS nurses, this is an approach we have long wanted to adopt. Feedback from nurses and patients involved in the work has been extremely positive and we aim to build on the early successes over the coming months.”

Brighton & Hove – appointment of the first learning disability training nurse

To meet the needs of people who have both a learning disability and a mental health need, Sussex Partnership has appointed its first learning disability training nurse working in Brighton & Hove community mental health services.

Historically people who have dual needs were often passed back and forth between services, each believing that the other was best placed to meet the patient’s specific needs. Thankfully, the model has been transformed through the creation of a new role and the appointment of Sally Chambers. Sally’s role as a specialist learning disability nurse is to work in community mental health services providing short term case management, for up to three months, before handing over the responsibility to a mental health practitioner.

The new role also involves raising awareness of the needs of people with this dual diagnosis and training on methods of support.

The long-term aim is to have a recovery workforce across Sussex that is skilled to support people with learning difficulties. The Trust has introduced a rolling training programme which aims to reach all mental health nurses and practitioners.

Helen Greatorex, Executive Director of Nursing and Governance, warmly welcomed this new initiative. “This is a really good example of nurses working together to ensure seamless, high quality and patient-centred care. Sally’s work in educating nurse colleagues is making a positive difference to the experience of our service users and it is inspirational to see how simple changes can have such a substantial impact.”

Chichester – meditation introduced to reduce anxiety

Meditation is the latest approach being used by Centurion Mental Health Centre, in Chichester, to help service users feel less anxious and distressed.

The implementation of twice daily meditation sessions on an acute admissions ward has so far had an extremely positive impact on the ward atmosphere, according to Pam Fisher, charge nurse on Mercury Ward.

In preparation the introduction of the service, Pam worked closely with the ward manager to gather information on spirituality and meditation, developed a quiet space on the ward and worked with the staff group to understand the concept of spirituality.

Pam Fisher says: “Addressing the spiritual needs for service users is now considered as an integral component of modern and service user focused care.  Spirituality plays an intrinsic link to recovery.

“The meditation has provided a quiet time during the day and assisted service users to feel less anxious and distressed. We meet twice a day after breakfast and supper and it has become an established part of the routine on the ward.”

The meditation lasts no more than six minutes, four minutes of guided meditation where the group is taken through a series of instructions and then a two minute silence to reflect on the meditation experienced. The intention is to introduce the benefits of spiritual practise in a form that may be more acceptable to individuals of different faiths or those who follow no specific religion.

In a recent audit of service users, the top three effects of meditation are that they feel calmer, more peaceful and relaxed.

The hospital has also introduced a spiritual discharge pack which includes a CD of the meditations as well as a leaflet on where to get further information if required.

About 20 staff have now received training in taking the meditation.

Helen Greatorex, Executive Director of Nursing and Governance, said: “The last 12 months have been busy – we have seen fantastic successes. Our Learning Disability Service nurses have been commended by the Royal College of Nursing for providing excellent care for people who have a learning disability and the nurses’ contribution to providing care for the whole person, through delivering our spirituality strategy, is cause for real celebration.”

¹Sussex Partnership employs 2,000 nurses and as a Foundation Trust, our number one priority is to provide the best possible care.


Notes to editors:

1. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides NHS mental health, specialist learning disability and substance misuse services for Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex.

2. Marketing and Communications can arrange interviews with representatives from Sussex Partnership and services users who have benefitted from contact with the Trust. To arrange interviews or for more information call the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust press office on 01903 843130 or email

3. Information about depression is available at from

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Chair John Bacon CB Chief Executive Lisa Rodrigues

Headquarters: Swandean, Arundel Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3EP.


Working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and

West Sussex County Council

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