Thames Reach sign UNISON End Violence at Work Charter

Thames Reach have signed UNISON’s landmark End Violence at Work Charter.

Thames Reach sign UNISON End Violence at Work Charter

Thames Reach are pleased to announce that we have signed UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter. Thames Reach are working on UNISON’s ten-point plan in order to ensure safer working conditions for staff across all our services.

On Wednesday 23 February, UNISON reps Ezequiel Kramer and John Bond visited Thames Reach’s Employment Academy to sign the document with our Chief Executive Bill Tidnam, and were joined by Director of People, Joanna Mark-Richards, and Director of Central Services and Finance, Paul Jackson, to express support for the charter across Thames Reach as an organisation.

To qualify for the UNISON End Violence at Work Charter mark, employers must meet the following standards:
1. The employer has a written violence and aggression at work policy, including lone working, which is available to all staff.
2. Responsibility for implementing these policies lies with a senior manager.
3. Measures are taken to reduce staff working in isolated buildings, offices or other work areas to a minimum.
4. Staff are encouraged to report all violent incidents and they are told how to do this.
5. The employer collects and monitors data on violent incidents on a regular and ongoing basis.
6. Where they are in place, union safety reps are able to access this data and are consulted on solutions to issues relating to violence in the workplace.
7. Thorough risk assessments are conducted for staff placed in vulnerable situations.
8. The employer has support pathways in place for staff who are victims of violence at work, so that they know where to turn for advice and support.
9. Training to ensure staff are aware of the appropriate way to deal with threatening situations.
10. Where appropriate, independent counselling services are available to staff who are the victims of violence at work.

Thames Reach Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, says: “Our response to violence whether physical or through abuse targeted at an individual, or group, requires a more sensitive approach than simple exclusion from a service. In many cases we are the only service working with an individual who has had a long history of service exclusion. That is why we wanted to work with UNISON to sign up to the End Violence at Work Charter.  This wasn’t simply a matter of signing on the dotted line; getting to this point has meant looking at how we manage and mitigate risk, how we respond to violence as an organisation, how we record and review incidents, how we train and support staff, as well as how we work in partnership. We look forward to continuing this important work.”

More on UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter can be found on their website.

New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

New CHAIN figures released today show a reduction in new people coming onto the streets

New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

We welcome the publication of the Quarter 3 2021/2 CHAIN (Combined Homelessness and Information Network) figures by the Greater London Authority today.   The figures cover the months September to December 2021, and show a slow but welcome reduction in the overall numbers of people sleeping rough across London in the quarter, 11% down on the same period last year.

However, within this headline figure we see a worrying rise in the number of people experiencing rough sleeping in the long-term (19% increase on last year, and 16% higher than the previous quarter), defined in the report as ‘People Living on the Streets’.  The factors behind this rise are complex, but include the lack of options for people with unclear immigration status, difficulties in accessing suitable health and drug and alcohol services, as well as a shortage of supported accommodation spaces for people with complex needs.

This increase in people who are sleeping rough long-term further highlights the importance of targeted prevention and early intervention aimed at those at risk of street homelessness.  In the work we do, there is clear evidence that support at an early stage helps prevent the devastating experience and impact of rough sleeping on an individual’s health and future well-being. Providing support at this level as well as helping an individual to find and stay in suitable accommodation is how we will keep working to reduce the numbers we see in today’s report.

The report is available to read online here.

Lambeth Together starts 2022 with a pledge to improve health and wellbeing for all

Leaders of Lambeth’s health organisations have made a pledge which describes the work of the Lambeth Together Care Partnership to improve health and care and reduce health inequalities in the borough

Lambeth Together starts 2022 with a pledge to improve health and wellbeing for all

Leaders of Lambeth’s NHS, council and voluntary and community organisations have recorded a video of their pledge which describes how they will work as the Lambeth Together Care Partnership to improve health and care and reduce health inequalities in the borough. This comes at a time when partners are preparing for new formalised arrangements in line with the Government’s Health and Care Bill to build better joined up systems around health and care. Watch their pledge here.

From 1 January 2022, the Lambeth Together Care Partnership began to operate in shadow form, in anticipation of the legislation placing integrated care systems on a statutory footing in the summer of 2022. The new arrangements will improve the borough’s shared planning and delivery of services, as one of six place-based partnerships of south east London’s developing integrated care system. The Lambeth Together Care Partnership will have responsibility for delivering a new Lambeth Together Health & Wellbeing Strategy and the borough’s Health & Care Plan.

Councillor Jim Dickson, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, and Dr Di Aitken, Clinical Lead for the Lambeth Neighbourhood & Wellbeing Delivery Alliance, will jointly chair the Lambeth Together Care Partnership Board, reflecting shared leadership across the NHS and the local authority. Andrew Eyres, Strategic Director for Integrated Health and Care across the NHS and Lambeth Council, will be the executive lead for Lambeth Together. Other members of the board include representatives from Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts, Lambeth general practice, Healthwatch and the local community including the voluntary sector.

Dr Di Aitken said: “I’m delighted to see us take this important step forward in integrated care, and I look forward to hearing from local people about what matters most to them as we develop our local Health and Care Plan.”

“We want to make our Pledge known to the community as this underpins all the work we do. It represents our shared values, behaviours and, in particular, the ways we will come together to tackle health inequalities in Lambeth.”

Councillor Jim Dickson said: “We need to continue listening and learning as we’ve done throughout the coronavirus pandemic so that we emerge stronger, more connected and less unequal as a community. We welcome these developments in the Health & Care Bill. And we will continue to work more closely with NHS colleagues and our communities to take forward our shared ambitions to improve health and shape what we do around local need as well as our best evidence of what works”.

Integrated care systems (ICSs) bring together NHS providers and commissioners with local authorities and other partners to collectively plan health and care services to meet the needs of their populations. By integrating care across different organisations and settings, joining up hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and health and social care, integrated care systems aim to improve population health and reduce inequalities, support sustainability of services; and help the NHS to support social and economic development. All parts of England are now covered by one of 42 ICSs.

With relationships and arrangements for working together developed since 2018 through the Lambeth Together Strategic Board, Lambeth health and care partners are well placed to assume delegated responsibility for planning and managing the majority of services to support health at borough level. Find out more about Lambeth Together and its leadership.

The Lambeth Together Care Partnership holds its board meetings in public every two months, with the opportunity to ask question in a public forum at the start of every meeting. If you have an interest in health and wellbeing in Lambeth, you’re welcome to come along and share your views. Find out about the next public forum here.

Lambeth Living Well Alliance shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Award

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance has been nominated for the ‘Best Mental Health Partnership in the NHS’ category at the HSJ Partnership Awards

Lambeth Living Well Alliance shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Award

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance are pleased to have been shortlisted for ‘Best Mental Health Partnership Award with the NHS’ award in the HSJ Partnership Awards.

The Alliance is part of the Lambeth Together Partnership and brings together member organisations: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Council, Certitude, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) and Thames Reach, to deliver a transformation in the way people in Lambeth recover from mental ill health and to help them stay well. Its objective is to offer users of its services a wider breadth of options to do so.

Judges are selected from across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. Judges contribute valuable time and effort to work through hundreds of entries, reviewing against strict criteria and attributing scores against a transparent system aimed at rewarding and recognising the best of UK Healthcare.

Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive of Thames Reach, said: “Being shortlisted for the partnership awards is a great recognition of the Alliance staff. Working as an Alliance gives us the opportunity to draw the best from all the partner organisations whether the NHS, the council or the voluntary sector.”

Sabrina Phillips, Director of the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance, said: “I am extremely proud that we have been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the HSJ Partnership Awards in the category of Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS. This a positive reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff, and recognises the collaborative efforts of our  Alliance Partners to successfully implement The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance. We are committed to delivering improved access, experience and outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.  This nomination has been a tremendous boost to staff in the Alliance, and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services for the people of Lambeth.”

The winners will be announced on 24 March 2022, at a ceremony in London.

Lambeth Living Well Alliance appoints new director

Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director, Sabrina Phillips. Following a competitive recruitment process including external candidates, Sabrina has been selected by the panel after holding the post of interim director for eighteen months. Prior to that, she had worked at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) for seventeen years.

The Alliance is a delivery of the Lambeth Together Partnership and brings together member organisations: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Council, Certitude, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) and Thames Reach, to deliver a transformation in the way people in Lambeth recover from mental ill health and to help them stay well. Its objective is to offer users of its services a wider breadth of options to do so. By working in collaboration, the vision of the Alliance, now with Sabrina at its helm, will work towards being more joined up; quicker and easier to access and focus more on prevention, avoiding crises and unnecessary admissions to hospital.

Sabrina Phillips said: “I am delighted to take up the role as Substantive Alliance Director. Having acted in the role for the past 18 months, I have seen first-hand the resilience of the service users we care for and the people that care for them at an unprecedented time. The passion and drive of Alliance staff to improve the quality of care we deliver to the communities of Lambeth is truly inspiring, but there is more to do. I am committed to working collaboratively with service users, carers, staff and other partners to deliver on our vision to transform mental health care for the people of Lambeth and to deliver the outcomes that matter to them that we committed to as an Alliance.”

James Lowell, chief operating officer at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I know that many people will be delighted to hear that Sabrina Phillips has been appointed permanently into the role of alliance director following a competitive process.”

Bill Tidnam, chief executive at Thames Reach, said: “We’re really pleased that Sabrina has been successful in her application to the permanent alliance director role and we look forward to working closely with her over the years to come.”


Learn more about the Living Well Network Alliance on their website.

Further enquiries including press and media can be directed to: Isobel Scott, communications lead, Thames Reach: media@thamesreach.org.uk

Meet the new Senior Management Team

Catherine Parsons and Paul Jackson join chief executive Bill Tidnam to complete new team

Meet the new Senior Management Team

Thames Reach is delighted to announce the appointment of two new Senior Management Team (SMT) members.

Back in July, Bill Tidnam was announced as the new chief executive of Thames Reach for the coming year, and now Catherine Parsons joins him as the new director of operations, accompanied by Paul Jackson, who has taken the position of the director of finance and central services.

Bill, Catherine and Paul collectively bring a wealth of knowledge, frontline experience and an in depth understanding of the sector, and together have over 50 years’ experience working for homelessness charities across London.

Catherine Parsons started her career working as a trainee at homeless charity ‘SPEAR’ before going on to  work at Centrepoint, Broadway and East Thames in a range of support work and project management roles.

She first joined Thames Reach in 2014 as an operational manager. After briefly moving to Crisis to manage their employment services, she re-joined Thames Reach in 2016 this time as an area director.

Catherine commented on her new role saying;

“With a whole new team, it’s a great opportunity for us to review both our services and the way we work. This includes looking at the training we offer staff, updating our policies and procedures and thinking about how we deliver our services”.

“In the future, I’d like to see more services to help people stay off the streets and maintain accommodation, more prevention work and options for alternative accommodation so that we reduce the numbers of people coming onto the streets.

“We think it’s important to continue looking at the way we work with people, and trialing different ways of working to continue making an impact.

Completing the team is Paul Jackson who moved to London in 2009 from South Africa – where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and had also worked as a volunteer on different charitable projects with the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Shortly after moving, he joined Thames Reach as the financial manager and later progressed onto becoming the head of finance.

Now in his new role as the director of finance and central Services, Paul has already begun making significant changes to support the development of his teams.

Paul said:

“Thames Reach supports homeless and former homeless people and others who, although they have not been homeless in the past, require assistance and interventions to sustain themselves in accommodation and to improve their quality of life.

“A large part of this work is achieved through the dedication and passion of our frontline staff, combined with support from our central services team who work to enable those frontline roles to run to their upmost potential.

“I’m looking forward to having more input and weight in making decisions about the organisation, and the opportunity to focus on staff welfare and effectiveness”.

Bill Tidnam, chief executive at Thames Reach, said:

“I’ve worked with both Catherine and Paul for some years, and I’m looking forward to continuing this in our new roles as the new Senior Management Team.

“I’ve always appreciated the enthusiasm and skills that they bring to their work, but I’m impressed with how they’re getting to grips with, and energised by, their new jobs.

“I’m looking forward to working with them to build on our strength and credibility as an organisation that is both effective in the work that we do and widely respected by our peers”.