2018 in review

28 December 2018

As we near the end of another year, we write to offer our appreciation to all our service users, stakeholders and partner organisations for what has been achieved at the Trust in the last year and highlight the outstanding work from our services and staff.

Tavistock centre grey in the snow

The quality of our services was formally recognised by Care Quality Commission this year, who rated our Trust as ‘Good’, with ‘Outstanding’ effectiveness, praising our skilled workforce, high-calibre board, and innovative specialist services.

It was a particularly good result in the context of increasing demand for our services. In 2014/15 we had 5560 services users. This year it more than doubled, with 11,985 service users across the Trust, and to continue to deliver excellence as numbers increase so rapidly is a real credit to our staff, both clinical and on the administration and support side.  We very much recognise the pressure staff are working under in responding to increased demand.

Reflecting on 2018, we are struck not only by the numbers, but also the sheer breadth of activities taking place across the Tavistock and Portman. While we are a comparatively small Trust in terms of our workforce, we encompass a range of treatments and services for children and adults, innovative research and advocacy, and of course, our education offering which again saw record student numbers this year.

China MoUThank you to all our tutors and visiting lecturers for their continuing dedication to their students. Our educational focus turned international as we signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing Huatong Guokang Foundation, China. On two occasions this year we played host to a delegation of Chinese visitors, looking to learn from our Trust and share their knowledge. We are excited by the possibilities ahead – we have much to learn from each other to better address global challenges in mental health care.

We also welcomed another special visitor to the Trust this year, our royal Patron Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, whose mother, Princess Marina originally opened the Tavistock Centre back in May 1967. During her visit, her Royal Highness met with clinicians, patients, and service users from five services across the Trust, plus their parents and carers. One of the highlights was when the Princess met pupils from Gloucester House, our children's day unit, who showed her a magic card trick and read a poem.Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra

For 50 years Gloucester House has pioneered therapeutic educational work with children, and we celebrated the anniversary of the school this year with a special conference event, welcoming back former pupils, staff, and stakeholders connected to this very special place. 

Another anniversary celebrated this year was 85 years of our Portman Clinic, dubbed the UK’s leading psychotherapy clinic in a recent feature article. We supported a special conference event with colleagues at the London Metropolitan Archive presenting historical material from the rich history of the clinic, and the history and future of the clinic was also the focus of this year’s Trust AGM.

As a Trust we’re proud to be home to the Portman Clinic, not only for its pioneering history and psychoanalytic legacy, but also as it expands its expertise into new areas, including the recently launched Forensic CAMHS service. Our expertise is always in demand, and we also recently shared in nearly £4 million in government funding to support people with health conditions to manage their conditions at work.

HSJ value awardsOur outstanding individuals and teams received external recognition this year, including FDAC Project Manager Beverley Barnett-Jones recognised at the 2018 Queens Birthday Honours, and our Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) project nominated in the Children and Young People Now awards.  We were also delighted to be shortlisted for an HSJ Value Award for our child and adolescent mental health service redesign in Camden with our CCG and local authority partners.  Nursing continued to be a vital area of our work, and we were pleased to welcome our new Clinical Professor in Nursing, Professor Fiona Nolan, and see members of our outstanding nursing teams from CAISS and Gloucester House profiled in Mental Health Practice.

This year marked the first full year that the Adult Gender Identity Clinic was under our auspices, and we were proud to have clinicians from GIC contribute to new guidelines for speech and language therapists working with trans and gender-diverse people across the UK, published by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Patient numbers across both the adult clinic and the Gender Identity Development Service continue to increase, and these teams are working hard to do all we can address the growing demand in this area. 

Putting service users at the heart of all work remains a crucial priority and really good example of this was the wonderful TAP (Team around the Practice) and PCPCS (Primary Care Psychotherapy Consultation Service) Group Community Photography Exhibition, which brought together pictures from a community photography project run within these two Tavistock adult services.Frame of Mind exhibition

We also draw our public governors from the community, and an election was held this year to determine the latest additions to our board of governors. We were delighted to have such a strong field of candidates put themselves forward, and we look forward to working closely with our new and continuing governors as we enter 2019 and strive to continue to be outstanding.  


-Paul Burstow, Chair

-Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive



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