It's been almost 8 weeks since we last discussed our new ways of working during these challenging times. Since then, our staff have continued to work tirelessly to ensure we're still here for those who need us most. We continue to deliver services remotely, contacting service users and carrying out welfare checks via telephone and digital platforms. The introduction of our virtual groups has proven hugely successful and is something we will no doubt continue to offer alongside our usual offerings.
The Well-being Service continues to contact all known service users via welfare telephone calls and Zoom groups and has recently introduced socially distant face-to-face appointments in open spaces. We have been fortunate with the good weather which has enabled us to do this, allowing us to meet our most vulnerable service users. In addition, we have been working extended hours, carrying out welfare calls on Saturday mornings across the Well-being Service. Since the lockdown began, nearly 3000 calls have been made to our service users and just under 70 hours of virtual groups have been provided. We are now providing virtual anxiety courses in partnership with RCS which has been welcomed by service users and the Well-being service alike.
We are now working towards providing a limited service from our Well-being Centres in Andover and Basingstoke, focusing on putting all the necessary steps in place to ensure the safety of all service users and staff. We are also in the process of moving from our current Well-being Centre in Aldershot to our new building in Farnborough.
Carer Support and Dementia Advice
The Carer Support and Dementia Advice Service continues to contact all known service users via welfare telephone checks, ensuring to contact those who have been identified as most vulnerable weekly. The service continues to work over extended hours, operating on Saturdays as well as throughout the week. Virtual groups continue to be hugely successful and something we will no doubt continue to offer, alongside our usual offerings, for the foreseeable future. Since March, the team have carried out 8350 telephone calls and sent just under 1000 text messages.
Whilst we are still unable to deliver face-to-face sessions, we have continued to offer counselling sessions online and by telephone. We have 3 new counsellors joining us soon and hope to be able to offer more sessions going forward.
With the closure of secondary schools, we have ceased our face-to-face youth counselling sessions in schools. We are though still seeing both existing and new school clients in virtual counselling sessions. We are very much guided by the young person on whether we use telephone or online methods. Both have proved popular. We are also still working with community clients ie. those who are perhaps at college or at work. Again we use both telephone or online programmes such as Zoom, Google Meet or Skype. We work with 11-23 year olds and welcome new referrals.
Primary Care Services
Our work with GP patients across Hampshire continues, albeit in a virtual setting. April saw the start of a new Andover primary care mental health service. Our Well-being Practitioners work delivering telephone appointments to all Andover GP surgeries. The team includes ITalk practitioners, and we have input from The Community Mental Health Team staff. Basingstoke Primary Care Network works across all Basingstoke surgeries, again via telephone appointments. Romsey Out of Hours Hub continues again via telephone. We are also looking at expanding services in one of the Basingstoke practices very shortly, as well as being part of an NHS project in Aldershot & Farnborough, and a potential new service in Fleet.