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Get active and well!

Get active and well, Julie and Sophie standing by the trees at CFT

Two staff members from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been working extremely hard to transform their lives to get active and live well. Here are their stories:

“My name is Julie Wotherspoon and I work as an Executive PA at Carew House, Bodmin.

“I have recently been inspired by a work colleague who completed the Couch to 5k programme. I decided that I would set myself the challenge to get fitter and lose weight in preparation for my summer holiday.

“I started in June by simply going for a short run every other day.  My aim was to complete the nine week Couch to 5k programme before I went on holiday. 

“I prefer to run first thing in the morning before work when it is cooler and I run along the Camel Trail in Wadebridge. If you haven’t been there you should; it’s great and during my early morning runs I saw lots of wildlife and enjoyed the fresh air which felt so good for my health and wellbeing.

“Couch to 5k is an app you can put onto your phone and it gives a nine week exercise programme.   It is like having your own personal trainer and my ‘trainer’ was called Michael Johnson.  You start with brisk walking with a little a running and the aim is to gradually build up to running 5k in 30 minutes.

“Sounds too hard?  Considering that I haven’t ran since I was at school – 45 years ago, I feel I am doing fairly well and in August I managed 5k in half an hour.   

“There have been lots of benefits too.  I have lost a few pounds and have dropped a dress size! The other positives are that I have more energy.  I don’t want to run a marathon but I am aiming to run regularly to keep fit.

“I would encourage anybody of any age or fitness level to complete this programme.  You can down load this for free by logging into app store on your mobile phone and search for Couch to 5k. You can do it!”



“My name is Sophie Scott and I am Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Healthy Eating Champion.  I was inspired by Jess and Rach, who are our Health and Wellbeing Leads to eat well and for me this meant swapping a few of my favourite snacks for healthier options.

"My top five favourites have been:

  • Breadsticks instead of crisps (I love the sticks with sesame seeds!)
  • Making my own granola for breakfast and stopping buying shop-bought cereals that can be full of sugar (see my recipe below)
  • Instead of a sandwich I make a salad to take to work and pack it full of seeds, olives, and tinned pulses such as chick peas or butter beans – it’s really filling!
  • I have been trying out the sugar free sweets (not quite as tasty) but Aldi and M&S offer  delicious alternatives
  • For a healthy snack, I have swapped cheese, cake and biscuits for either an avocado, hard-boiled egg, home-made granola with fat free yogurt or dried fruit; dates are gorgeous.

"Of course I haven’t given up chocolate and crisps completely but what has been really surprising is that the less I eat of them the less I want, and that is after 40 years of eating them most days!”

Sophie’s granola recipe


  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 300g (11oz )of porridge oats
  • 50 g (2oz) of sunflower seeds
  • 50g (2oz) of pumpkin seeds
  • 110g (4oz) of either flaked almonds/chopped walnuts/chopped cashew nuts (or nuts of your choice)
  • 110g (4oz) raisins or chopped apricots/dates or other dried fruit of your choice.

(you can also  add other things such as  sesame seeds or coconut flakes depending on your preference!)


  • Mix the oil, honey and vanilla essence in a large bowl.
  • Tip in all the ingredients (excluding the fruit) and mix well until coated in the oil/honey/essence mixture.
  • Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 150/300/Mark 2
  • Remove from oven, stir and add the dried fruit
  • Bake for a further 15 minutes
  • Cool and keep in an air-tight container.


Success for Bodmin Community Hospital fete!

Success for Bodmin Community Hospital fete!

A remarkable £4,500 was raised at this year’s Bodmin Community Hospital summer fete.

After having to postpone the fete in June due to unforeseen circumstances, the Bodmin Community Hospital League of Friends, who organise the event each year, rearranged the fete for Saturday 21 September.

The £4,500 raised at the event will go onto provide equipment and additional services to Bodmin Community Hospital which are not usually supplied by the NHS.

The annual fete was opened by author Jill Murphy, aided by Bodmin Town Crier, Terry Williams and Matthew the Balloon Man.

As she does every year, Tina Roberts, otherwise known as ‘Firebird’ give her time, talent, music and entertainment to MC the fete completely free of charge, and this year added another talent to her cast of stars: her young quadriplegic son, Bobby Roberts. Bobby opened the proceedings by playing “‘World in Union’ faultlessly on his keyboard which left not a dry eye in the house”, according to the hospital’s League of Friends.

Susie Gore, Chairman of the League of Friends said: “The fete could not have gone ahead the second time around without the help of Cornwall Council, Bodmin Town Council and Midas, who all worked together to ensure the rose garden of the old St Lawrence’s Hospital site was available for the hospital fete prior to being developed.

“We are so grateful to so many. To Jill Murphy, whose presence at the fete was delightful and so much appreciated, especially by all the young and not so young Worst Witch fans. To Tina and to all the organisations who helped, including, Norman Trebilcock of FLEET (the land ambulance charity), to the Bodmin Lions and Rotary Clubs who did a wonderful job helping to set up and dismantle the gazebos, tables and everything else. To the young performers who were all outstanding: Bodmin Town Youth Band, Future Youth Dance and Bodmin Musical Theatre Company, to the Bodmin Army Reserves who erected two of their gazebos to shelter the band and who helped with dismantling. 

“We would also like to thank Jenny Hick, the dog show judge who turns out every year to make this event so popular; the Kernow Party Karts team; face painter, Louise Wadsworth;  Matthew Adams, the Balloon Man and the fire engine team – all who braved the weather to put on a great show.

“Many thanks to all the wonderful Friends who baked a second time around and who came to help on the day; to all the local businesses who donated plants, cup-cakes, scones, prizes and so much more. Thanks to the staff at the hospital who, despite their busy jobs, set up a wonderful selection of stalls and games; to all friends and families and last but not least, the brave public who came to spend their hard earned cash, generously making the fete against all odds a very successful and enjoyable day”

Thank you to the following businesses who supported the Bodmin Community Hospital fete: Mid Cornwall Brokers, Howdens, West End Motors, Hawkins Motors, Bodmin Flooring Centre, Gynn Construction, WTW Cinemas, North & Mid Cornwall Advertisers, Bodmin Funeral Directors, Eventzuk Marquees, Midas, Sharps Brewery, Pencarrow, Marlin Rosettes, Moor Pets, Wadebridge Wines, Ruses Gas, Bodmin Nursery, Pinsla Nursery, Trelawney Garden Centre, Brandon Hire, Bridge Bike Hire, Malcolm Barnecutt Bakery, St Austell Brewery, Williams Dairy, Trevathan Farm, Jai the Jeweller, RJ Bray & Son, Sundown by ROCS, Auto-Graph Signs, Golden Fry, Aruba Blu, Jai the Jeweller, Torch Fire Protection, Peter Ford Electrics and Phoenix Print.


£16,220 raised for ‘Grow Outdoors’ Crowdfunder

grow outdoors

In just over three months, 70 supporters recognised the value of therapeutic horticulture, and donated a total of £16,220 to support the ‘Grow Outdoors’ campaign, exceeding the initial target of £12,000.

‘Grow Outdoors’ was launched to raise money to go towards raised beds, sensory planters, and a blackboard wall for outdoor art expression and therapy at Sowenna – Cornwall’s first child and adolescent mental health unit.

Every pledge that was made will enable the young people to plant, nurture and sow herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The £4000 beyond the target will help fund more gardening packs so Sowenna staff can keep running horticultural therapy sessions for as long as possible.

Dr Sebastian Rotheray, CAMHS Crisis and Inpatient Consultant, commented: ‘The importance of ‘green therapies’ for young people with mental health difficulties is well established. Having a well-developed and nurtured green space at Sowenna will be of a great holistic benefit to the unwell young people receiving treatment at the hospital.’ 

Sowing seeds and tending to plants is a process that not all of us experience, but is something that can have massive benefits to mental wellbeing. Nurturing something bigger than you gives a sense of stability and control.

Having these resources at Sowenna will make a massive difference to young people and their recovery. By nurturing plants, the patients will learn to nurture themselves, and invest in the beauty of their lives – they are planning for a future.

Sowenna opened earlier this month and is now supporting its first patients.


First patients to be admitted to Sowenna unit

Cornwall’s very first Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit is accepting its first patients.

Sowenna Opening Entrance

The £11m unit run by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) is now taking admissions of boys and girls up to the age of 18 and is located at the Bodmin Hospital site.

It has been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement under a national strategy to move beds closer to the people who need them.

The new 14 bed unit means that for the very first time children and adolescents have access to specialist mental health beds in the county. This initiative delivers on NHS England’s commitment to reduce out of area placements for children and young people by improving access to beds whilst strengthening community services, so that any admission is for the shortest period of time.

It is reported that one in 10 children aged five to 16 have a mental health condition. Most young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties are treated and supported within the community, however sometimes for those with severe mental health problems, often with accompanying high risk, require specialist inpatient care.

Historically, these have only been available in units which are a considerable distance from homes, visits and support from family and friends, which play a key element in people’s recovery, especially in the case of children.

First patients admitted to Sowenna unit

A fundraising appeal for the unit launched in September last year, which has seen in excess of £420,000 raised for ‘icing on the cake items’. Vital funds from community groups, local councils, Duchy Health Charity, Garfield Weston Foundation, National Lottery and Wooden Spoon have meant that CFT is able to provide additional and specialist items that will really make a difference to the lives of young people.

Items include a minibus; a multipurpose activity barn for team sports and performance arts; parental accommodation to allow families to stay over and make admission less unsettling; a café to allow visits with family and friends to happen in a friendly space; therapeutic gardens, and equipment for music, arts and cooking.

Additionally, Sowenna will feature a state-of-the-art sensory room to host innovative virtual reality (VR) environments that will be offered to young people during periods of emotional distress. Users will be able to touch, feel, walk or even lie down during their five minute long VR experience, which will be supervised by a clinician at all times.

Dr Barbara Vann, CFT Chair commented:

“Sowenna is the outcome of much hard work by many people but I would like to thank particularly the young people who have acted as our advisors from the very beginning of this journey; they have worked hard to bring their thoughts to fruition. We all still have much to do but Sowenna makes an outstanding statement about how much we value our young people and their families.

“I look forward to seeing how the innovative work, virtual reality for example, will develop with our patients in Sowenna.”

The Invictus Trust who are a charity which aims to support young people in Cornwall with poor mental health. They have lobbied for eight years for a first class in-patient unit for the young people of Cornwall. The Invictus Trust so far have contributed £87,000 to significantly enhance the offer at Sowenna by working with many committed local people and businesses to provide a minibus, equip the on-site cafe and start a virtual reality research project.

Steve Cowburn, Invictus Trustee, commented: "As a family who lost a vibrant 18 year old, we are delighted to have contributed to securing this wonderful facility for Cornish young people. However, we have long campaigned for an innovative 13-25 year facility and we will continue to make this case, in line with the NHS 10 year plan."

Inpatients will also benefit from a specialist education block within the unit. The Wave Multi-Academy Trust, who will form part of the specialist team, will be providing a comprehensive education programme tailored to each inpatient’s individual learning requirements whilst receiving treatment at Sowenna. ­

Dr. Liz Myers, CAMHS Consultant Psychiatrist for Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust commented:

Admissions will be a mix of new patients and some young people returning from out of county. We will build up to full capacity over a number of weeks.

“We are thrilled to now have a local unit for Cornish young people so they can stay close to their homes and communities. Young people can stay connected with family and friends. This will enable swifter recovery and hopefully shorten the length of time they need to stay in hospital.”

First patients admitted to Sowenna unit

Elizabeth O’Mahony, Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West said:

“We’re delighted to see the Sowenna unit opening, as part of our strategy to bring in-patient care closer to home for people in the South West. For too long, young people from Cornwall have had to travel too far away from the family and friends who can be so important in their recovery.

“The new unit is the final safety net for our most-vulnerable young people. It’s important to remember, though, that our real priority as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan is to keep young people well and to intervene early if they need help, so ultimately we reduce the need for in-patient care.”



Doggy fun show to raise funds for Sowenna


Dog lying on the grass

On Saturday 7 September from 1pm, Camborne Redruth Community Hospital will be hosting a doggy fun show to raise funds for Sowenna, Cornwall's very first Child and Adolescent mental health unit. 

Ahead of the NHS Five Year Forward View, the new 14 bed Sowenna unit means that soon children and adolescents will have access to specialist mental health beds in the county. This initiative delivers on NHS England’s commitment to reduce out of area placements for children and young people by increasing bed numbers nationally by 10%.

There are 12 categories to enter your four legged furry friend into, including Best Puppy, Best Veteran (over 8), Best Crossbreed, Best Rescue/Rehomed and Judges Favourite. Entry is £1 per class. 

The fun show will also include stalls for all the family including a tombola and raffle. 

Address: Barncoose Terrace, Redruth, TR15 3ER



Community Treatment Centre Opens its doors to patients at Stratton Community Hospital

An exciting new service model which is being described as a Community Treatment Centre will open its ‘virtual’ doors to its first patients on Friday 23 August 2019. The new service can be accessed by calling 111 and will be available between 10pm and 8am every day. 

The new service has been developed in partnership with the local community, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Kernow Health CIC which provides the county’s urgent care service – NHS Cornwall 111. 

Stratton MIU

The service will be provided by staff from Kernow Health CIC working from Stratton Community Hospital.

Kernow  Health CIC, Chief Executive – Carolyn Andrews said, “We are excited to trial the new service for people in the far North of Cornwall. Our clinicians will work at Stratton hospital to ensure patients are seen by the right practitioner and are able to stay closer to home to receive their treatment and advice. 

“The practitioner’s additional skills will allow patients to access both the out of hours GP service and treatment for minor injuries outside the normal hours of the minor injury unit.” 

Phil Confue, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, “We hope this new model will maximise the impact of our shared resources for the people of Stratton, Bude and the wider area including those over the border in Devon.

“We will work with the local community to test and evaluate the Community Treatment Centre; if successful, our goal will be to make the service permanent.”

The Community Treatment Centre will initially be in place until the end of March 2020. 

Don’t Flush Your Life Away campaign launches in St Austell Brewery pubs across Cornwall

A campaign to combat mental health has been launched to get the undivided attention of men, while in the washroom of their local St Austell Brewery owned pub.

Don’t Flush Your Life Away campaign launches in St Austell Brewery pubs across Cornw

The poster campaign is aimed at destigmatising mental health and directing men to organisations which they can talk to and seek help.

The initiative is part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness of men's mental health in Cornwall, which has a higher than national average rate of suicide, with the most at-risk group being middle aged men.

Posters have gone up in pub toilets across Cornwall and are supported by further messaging on beer mats. The posters have also been adopted in police stations, health centres and council offices.

The Don’t Flush Your Life Away campaign is a collaboration between Cornwall Council, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, Outlook SW, Samaritans, BBC Radio Cornwall and St Austell Brewery, which runs 129 pubs in the Duchy.

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council Wellbeing and Public Health team said:

“Everyone has mental health, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not! We ask someone who we can see who has hurt themselves if they are okay, and we need to do the same when it comes to mental health, even though we can’t always see it in our friends and family.

“It’s so important that we start having these conversations. Lots of people socialise in a pub, so it’s the perfect place to have that initial chat.”

Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Medical Director Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust said: “Each person who dies by suicide is one too many, and we’re working hard to try and reduce those to zero. Talking about mental health is something we need everyone to do. We know it’s hard for men to open up and not bottle up emotions, but we want them to know it’s okay to not be okay. Being able to talk openly can and does save lives”.

Steve Worrall, retail director, St Austell Brewery: “Pubs are very often the hub of a community and are a great place to start the conversation. This campaign has a very important message and we’re delighted to be able to play our part in getting it out there.

“Supporting all mental health is part of the well-being ethos at St Austell Brewery and we want to continue to be industry leaders in our approach to supporting customers and employees who may be experiencing mental health issues.”

Anyone struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide can contact the Samaritans at any time of day or night, 24/7 365 days a year. Or people can refer themselves and get support online to learn how to cope with mental health from Outlook South West.

If you would like to take part in the campaign and display posters in your workplace, sports club or social place please email

This is the third campaign to run under the Don’t Flush Your Life Away title. It was originally started in The William pub in Truro and then championed on Radio Cornwall’s regular mental health slot. Listeners were then asked to give a name to the campaign and the winning suggestions from over 100 entries was adopted.


Newquay's pubs and clubs back longer opening hours of MIU

Newquay's pubs and clubs back longer opening hours of Minor Injury Unit

Praise has been heaped on Newquay’s clubs and pubs for backing the extended opening hours of the town’s Minor Injury Unit (MIU) – helping to take the pressure off Treliske’s emergency department.

Ahead of the August bank holiday weekend, Kieran Bignell,  from Cornwall 111 – the team behind making sure Newquay’s MIU is open around the clock – has hailed the extended opening hours a “wonderful success”, and thanked the support of the town’s night time economy.

The additional opening hours from 10pm to 8am mean the MIU is open 24 hours a day until 14 September.

The MIU will also be open from 10pm Friday 23 August until 8am Monday 26 August.

It is staffed by a 111 clinician and an assistant who are able to see and treat people who have minor injuries or illnesses and who would otherwise need to visit the emergency department at Truro, or call for an ambulance.

Kieran, consultant paramedic with Cornwall 111 IUCS and head of Integrated Urgent Care, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how the pubs and clubs of Newquay are supporting the MIU’s longer opening hours’’.

“About two weeks ago a young woman had fallen while in a nightclub in Newquay and had twisted her ankle. The door staff called a taxi for the patient to be transported to the MIU where she was able to have an immediate assessment’’.

“We’ve had a real mix of injuries including a chef who had cut his head open while at work. He walked into the MIU  with a cut to the head and we were able assess and treat the injury within 15 minutes and he was able to return to work and finish his shift.

“A large proportion of patients attending the emergency department have a minor injury but attend the emergency department because there are limited availability of alternative resources.’’

“The pilot scheme of opening up the MIU has seen us treating and average of five to seven patients a night which is taking some pressure off the main hospital.”

What you need to know about the Newquay MIU:

  • People are advised to call NHS 111 first to determine the best route of care for their condition.
  • A person who has called NHS 111 may still be referred to Truro’s emergency department for the treatment and management of a wide range of medical conditions.
  • Overnight cover at Newquay MIU is provided by highly skilled clinicians (an NHS 111 advanced practitioner and an assistant) from Cornwall 111 IUCS who are able to treat a range of minor conditions which have occurred during the previous 14 days. These include sprains and strains; broken bones; minor burns and scalds; head injuries (but not if someone is unconscious); insect and animal bites and stings; minor eye injuries, cuts, bruising and grazes. 
  • X-ray is available at Newquay MIU from 9am to 5pm. It is not available during the extended period (10pm to 8am).

For more Choose Well information visit 


Farewell Maureen!

Maureen and her team on her retirement party

Maureen Geen who is a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse will be retiring at the end of the month after 14 years.

Janet Norman, Cardiac Administrator commented: “When Maureen arrived, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service was still in its infancy. Maureen was instrumental in helping to move it forward, shaping the service that we deliver today.  She initiated the start of a community based rehabilitation programme in north of Cornwall to support the patients living in that area who otherwise would not have attended a rehabilitation programme because of travelling distance.

“In her time with the service she also chaired the cardiac network and helped bring other cardiac services together from the south west so that we could share best practices and use these meetings to support ongoing educational needs. 

“We could not let Maureen leave without mentioning her tireless dedication to the National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation, something we are so familiar with now thanks to Maureen’s persistence to the cause!

“Maureen has been pinnacle to the team’s success and she has seen its many changes. She will be greatly missed by her team and colleagues but we wish her all the best in her retirement.”  


Rachael Brandreath wins national ‘emerging leader’ award

Rachael Brandreath wins national ‘emerging leader’ award

Congratulations to Rachael Brandreth, Joint Professional Lead for Dietetics across RCHT and CFT who is the national winner of Health Education England’s Emerging Leader of the Year award.

Rachael has been recognised in HEE’s Health Eduation and Training awards as one of the outstanding, inspirational staff who embody the values of the NHS

Judges said ‘Rachael possesses all the characteristics needed to inspire her staff and to drive the profession forward. Rachael has had an influence on the national stage by being one of the driving forces behind the first ever AHP’s day. Along with her colleague she managed to inspire AHPs across the nation to get behind a one-day focus on the contribution of the allied health professions.’

The annual Healthcare Education and Training (HEAT) Awards, run by Health Education England (HEE), aim to celebrate all that is very best about education and training in the NHS workforce and help foster an environment of compassionate, high-quality care.

This year’s winners and finalists came from all corners of the NHS, ranging from students and apprentices to tutors, directors and operational managers as well as doctors, nurses, scientists and specialists in a wide array of fields.

Following news of her win, Rachael said,

“I love my job as a dietitian and in leadership, and I am really honoured to be receiving this award. I feel very lucky to be working at a time in which local and national leaders are recognising both the worth and the potential of the allied health professions. The last couple of years have taught me that ideas are worth sharing, it’s OK to think big, collaboration is where you see the real benefits and to believe in myself.”

Entrants were nominated by colleagues with the winners chosen after three rounds of judging. Winners were announced tonight (18 July) at the Royal College of Physicians in London, at the culmination of NHS Values Week. Values Week seeks to encourage staff to think about and share how they put the values of the NHS into practice, helping to make the NHS the very best place to work.

Sir David Behan, Chair, Health Education England, said:

“Our winners, and all nominees, are examples to all of us and remind us that the strength of the NHS lies in its people.”

Prof Ian Cumming OBE, Chief Executive, Health Education England, added: “Our 790 entries this year were of an extremely high calibre, and choosing the winners was no simple process."

HEAT awards were presented in 13 categories, ranging from Inspirational Trainee and Inspirational Leader to Champion of Diversity, Champion of the NHS Constitution and Inspiring Return To Practice.

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