Your health matters to us. Being healthy doesn’t just mean eating fruit, exercising regularly and keeping your teeth clean. It also means feeling strong and well emotionally, and being sexually healthy and safe. There are lots of services and support out there for you.
Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing can reduce your risk of more serious illness and promote your overall health and wellbeing. Making just a few simple changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.
Whilst you are in care there is a designated nurse who can help you with:
- Advice on health promotion services
- Stopping smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, genito urinary medicine (GUM), contraception and counselling
- Health appointments at a venue suitable for you (at home, a health clinic or over the telephone)
- Finding some for you to talk to when you are feeling down or if you need some specialist help with your mood or mental health.
Slough Children First’s Leaving Care Service also has clinicians as part of its core team, they are able to identify unmet clinical/mental health/wellbeing issues, and assist social workers and personal advisors with assessments and advice on potential support.
Clinicians participate in team case discussions where they are able to identify unmet clinical/mental health/wellbeing issues and contribute to the understanding of the young person. Clinicians may accompany personal advisors on visits to the care leaver to assist with assessment of emotional mental health needs and to advise on the appropriate level of intervention.
Clinicians are able to offer a responsive intervention, particularly where the care leaver is initially not willing to engage in formal services. For example:
- A young woman has been helped to address depression through a Behavioural Activation approach. The Residential care staff have engaged in assisting the young person to engage with the plan.
- A clinician attended a professionals meeting for young man where the young man became increasingly emotionally dysregulated. The clinician was able to reflect on the process with the professionals and enable the situation to de-escalate. The professionals were encouraged to consider the young man’s experience of power/powerlessness and plan future meetings differently.
- A young person struggling with excessive anxiety and past trauma was linked with Adult mental Health Services, and accompanied to see GP and advocating for an urgent referral. Outcome: the referral was promptly accepted and a psychotherapeutic intervention was offered. The young person is doing very well right now.
- Clinician addressed misconceptions about anti-depression medication that had led to discontinuation of medication. The young person subsequently responded well. This was combined with cognitive behaviour therapy CBT aimed at addressing negative thought patterns.
- A young person was linked with mental health services and liaising with the community mental health team (CMHT) around dual diagnosis.
- A young person with a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder who was not engaging with services: A mental health chronology was prepared for care leavers service that supported an understanding of this young person enabling them to get the right care.
- Clinicians (together with leaving care team) offer drop in service for emotional/ mental health support. Following a young persons’ move to independent accommodation, it transpired that the young person did not know how to plumb in washing machine or use cooker, but had felt unable to tell people about this. He was linked to the right support and continues to use the drop in sessions frequently.
- A care leaver was supported to re-connect with the birth family through the provision of family sessions. He subsequently chose a level of contact and independence that met his needs.
- We have supported the transition of a young man with a learning disability (LD) who was previously open to the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult services, particularly as change was a challenging time.
- Facilitated transfer between CAMHS and Adult Mental Health, offering emotion regulation support in a transition period.
- Facilitated the transfer of care from CAMHS (out-of-area) back to Slough and over to CMHT.
Thus, where young people meet criteria for Talking Therapies, Secondary Mental Health Services or Substance Misuse services, they are helped to engage with these services.
When you leave care your personal advisor will help you to register with a GP and dentist if necessary. It can be difficult being responsible for your own health, so it is important that you known when and how to seek help or advice when you need to.
You will also be given a Health Passport at your final Health Assessment when you turn 18. This will contain information on your immunisations, key information regarding your health and any ongoing health needs. This passport is an easy reference of your medical and health care history. It is designed to help you keep track and take control of your health into adulthood.
If you have a long-term health condition or disability you may still need support after you turn 18. If you have been receiving care and treatment from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for your physical or mental health, you and your social worker will have been involved in planning for the transition of support from child and adolescent to adult services. Your transition care plan will set out what ongoing support you will require, and by the time you reach 18 you will have met with the healthcare staff who will support you going forward.
Slough has a multi-disciplinary approach to supporting transition, with the main teams being:
- Adult social care
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- Slough Children First
- Special Education Needs and Disability Team
- Mental Health Services.
From the age of 18, adult social care can offer a range of support including housing, money, training, relationships, health and wellbeing, SEND support. They can also help with:
- Preparing for independent living (consider supported living accommodation)
- Finding work, or starting a training course
- Making the change from care into your own home (when you are ready)
- Planning for the unexpected (respite options)
- Achieving your goals and ambitions
- Organising your finances
You should call 999 if you or someone else is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
111 is the NHS number to dial for urgent (non emergency) medical concerns. NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you are worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist of even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one; they can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.
If you are feeling unwell, but it is not an emergency or urgent, you should make an appointment with your GP.
You can also ask your local pharmacist for advice for many common minor illnesses such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats.
General Practitioners (GP)
GPs deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures.
You have the legal right to choose a GP practice that best suits your needs, and the GP practice must accept you, unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse you e.g. they have no capacity at the time, it would not be clinically appropriate or practical as it is far away from your home address.
You will need to formally register with the GP practice you choose by submitting a registration form with them. The practice can provide you with a GMS1 form, as individual practices may have their own forms. When you have completed and returned your form (which your social worker or personal advisor can help you with), NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice and write to you to confirm your registration.
If you move, you will need to inform your GP and sign up with a different local GP if necessary. Your personal advisor can also help with this.
More information on how to choose a GP is available here.
Dentists and Opticians
There is no need to register with a dentist or optician in the same way as with a GP, so you can find a service that is convenient for you.
You can find local NHS dentists here and simply phone to see if there are any appointments available.
Local opticians can be found through a general google search.
You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is given, you:
- Are under 16
- Are 16-18 and in full-time education
- Are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
- Have a specified medical condition and a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- Have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
- Are an NHS inpatient
You will also be entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner (including a civil partner) receive, or you are under the age of 20 and dependent on someone receiving:
- Universal Credit
- PIP (Personal Independent Payment)
These are just some of the criteria, and there is more information available on the NHS website.
You may also qualify for transport costs to attend health appointments. There are specific criteria, and the scheme is a reimbursement scheme so that costs will be paid back to you after your appointment. More information is available here.
NHS Choices has a wide range of information to help you improve your health. The NHS Choices Live Well website has lots of useful advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing.
There are also lots of useful digital tools and apps to help you manage and improve your health:
- NHS smoke free: get daily tips, support and motivation with this free stop smoking app
- Change4life: Smart recipes
- Change4life: Sugar smart
- NHS Live Well: Couch to 5k
- One You Drinks Tracker: keep a track on the alcohol you drink and take control with daily tips
- NHS Live Well: BMI health weight calculator and tracker – measures your body mass index
If you are having a tough time, it’s important that you seek help from someone, either your GP, teacher, parent, carer, social worker or personal advisor or online. There are lots of services that are there to help young people and families with mental health problems.
The NHS Choices Moodzone is there to help. It offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.
Kooth is an anonymous, confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service, and can provide a safe and secure means of accessing support from a professional team of qualified counsellors. Kooth also provides access to useful and practical articles, self-help guides and moderated forums where you can talk about important issues that are relevant to you.
If you would like face to face counselling, you can make an appointment with the Windsor and Maidenhead Youth and Community Counselling Service. Their doors are open to everyone in need of help, especially young people between 12 and 25. They can be contacted on 01753 842 444.
If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, phobias or other mental health problems, it is important that you talk to someone as soon as possible.
- Talking Therapies – you can contact them directly or through a healthcare professional such as your GP. Telephone: 0300 365 2000; Email: email@example.com; Text: ‘Talk’ and your postcode to 07500 915 968.
- Samaritans – free, 24 hour/365 days a year, confidential helpline. Telephone: 116 123; www.samaritans.org
- NHS Choices mental health helpline website has a list of organisations which you can call for immediate help.
Up to the age of 18, the NHS also provides specialist mental health services if you are experiencing significant, severe and complex difficulties with your meant health. The Berkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) works with young people who are experiencing difficulties ranging from feeling low a lot of the time and worrying about lots of things, to hearing voices, having significant difficulties around eating, self-harming and even considering killing themselves. Your PA or GP can also help you with how to refer.
After you turn 18 you can access adult mental health services through the Common Point of Entry (CPE) team which is provided by the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. As with CAMHS you can self refer or ask your PA or GP to help you with this. Telephone: 0300 365 0300/0300 365 0200; Email: Bksfirstname.lastname@example.org
Sexual and reproductive health services in Berkshire provide free, confidential sexual health services, including information on all types of contraception (including emergency contraception) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment. More information on sexual health, support and advice is available here.
Drugs and Alcohol
There are services that can specifically help if you are dealing with issues relating to drug and/or alcohol misuse, along with mental health conditions, offending behaviour, unemployment issues or a learning disability. In Slough the Slough Treatment Advice and Recovery Team (START) of Turning Point is there to help.
Working nation-wide, Turning Point has over 50 years of experience in supporting people with drug and alcohol issues, helping them to discover new possibilities in life.
The START designated young person’s worker offers substance misuse support.
You can self refer to Turning Point, or your personal advisor or GP can refer on your behalf. Telephone 01753 692548.