THE annual Peer-supported Open Dialogue Conference took place in central London on Monday 25 April. The event organised by NELFT at Logan Hall in Russell Square was attended by around 500 people from across the UK – but from as far afield as America, Canada and Japan.
NELFT’s Associate Medical Director Dr Russell Razzaque hosted the conference, which involved presentations from over 20 speakers, and also question and answer sessions. As well as clinicians, some of the speakers at the event were service users who gave inspirational speeches describing how the treatment had transformed their lives and helped their families.
The NELFT Dialogue First team opened the late afternoon session with a presentation on the new service the Trust is providing, before hosting a question and answer session for the delegates.
Dialogue First, launched on Wednesday 4 May, is a non-crisis community mental health service which specialises in working not just with individuals, but with families and extended networks as part of a holistic approach to patient care. The treatment recognises that mental health problems exist within a context and the issues that arise sit between people, rather than being endured by one person alone. Clinicians meet with the patient but also with all significant others who want to join in the collaborative approach to care.
All staff providing the service have undertaken training in Open Dialogue – the first to be trained in the NHS. This includes psychiatrists, therapists, nurses and support workers. Staff are trained in a foundation level qualification in family therapy and are all registered with the Academy of Peer-supported Open Dialogue.
Dialogue First is a non-crisis community mental health service offering treatment at NELFT’s group and family therapy rooms in north east London, but the service accepts referrals from primary care anywhere in the UK.
John Brouder said: ‘Dr Russell Razzaque and the team deserve great credit for organising an inspirational conference. I was proud to be a part of such an amazing event. The speeches by clinicians and service users were moving and I’m delighted NELFT is playing such a key role in the development of Dialogue First’.
The conference was also notable for featuring a Twitter wall (using the hashtag #POD4NHS) where members of the public could interact with the conference via social media.
For further information on Dialogue First, visit the NELFT website: