Ratcliffe & Brown CIC become a lifeline for NHS frontline workers

Ratcliffe and Brown CIC are a not-for-profit mental health and crisis support organisation providing crisis interventions, counselling services, suicidal client prevention and safeguarding assessments to members from the most deprived areas in Cornwall.

More recently, Ratcliffe & Brown have been offering its services to NHS workers across the county. Pressure on the NHS due to the pandemic has caused a sharp rise in frontline staff suicides within its workforce but recent research has shown that NHS workers are less likely to attend internal mental health support due to the lack of confidentiality and the potential impact on their careers.

Thanks to a £3,960 grant from the Cornwall Community Foundation Emergency Fund -Build Back Better, Ratcliffe & Brown has not only been a lifeline to frontline staff including A&E nurses, maternity ward nurses and CMHT workers who are overstretched and understaffed, the grant has also enabled Ratcliffe & Brown to become the essential link to the social prescribing model, ensuring reduction of stress and strain on the NHS. A&E departments can now triage their patients to Ratcliffe & Brown for support instead of turning these patients away due to the increased demand.

The funding from CCF has meant Ratcliffe & Brown have become busier than they expected. They have been able to provide specialist training to their volunteers and made sure that no trainee volunteer has paid for the clinical supervision needed to become a fully qualified counsellor. The grant has enabled Ratcliffe & Brown to support over 100 clients including five clients that wanted to stop their cannabis use and instead engage with community resources, two clients that were homeless and needed help to gain mental stability in turn, helping them to gain housing and through the social prescribing link, eighty-three new clients, reducing the pressure and wait times on GP surgeries and at NHS hospitals. The organisation has also seen a decline in medication being prescribed to their clients after they have worked with the qualified councillors.

CCF are delighted to see that funding has enabled Ratcliffe & Brown to increase their capacity and find themselves in the unique position of their services becoming the essential option for support workers within the social prescribing system. Because of their tremendous work helping to ease the pressure slightly off the NHS during such a difficult time, Ratcliffe & Brown have recently received a top-up from the Emergency Fund – Build Back Better of a further £6,360 and £3,000 from the Amaranth Fund to continue their support to frontline workers.