The Hot Potato Project Twitter chat – Monday 15 October 2018

To mark World Mental Health Day, Leading Change, Adding Value are holding the third in a series of Twitter chats on Monday 15 October at 8pm with our guest tweeter Zoe Butler, Adult Nurse, University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation trust and Hot Potato project lead.  We’re delighted to have Zoe joining us to share how the Hot Potato project has addressed the unwarranted variation of mental health issues amongst young people within her community and the role that stigma plays, as a deterrent to seeking help.

This Twitter chat provides an excellent learning opportunity to hear about Leading Change, Adding Value in practice and how, by tackling this unwarranted variation, the Hot Potato project led to raised mental health awareness, positive feedback and an education programme rolled out across local schools.

Zoe will also be joined by Joanne McDonnell, Senior Nurse for Mental Health, Nursing Directorate at NHS England and who will be chairing the chat from @6CsLive.

The Twitter handles to follow during the event are:

We will be using #Lead2Add for the Twitter chat – so please don’t forget to include this in your tweets so we can respond and include you in the chat.

Pre-chat reading

Leading Change, Adding Value (LCAV) is the national framework for all nursing, midwifery and care staff.  It can be used by everyone, whatever their role, wherever they work.

LCAV was developed to help nursing, midwifery and care staff to apply equal importance to ‘quantifying’ and ‘measuring’ the outcomes of their work as they do to demonstrating the quality and compassion that the professions are recognised for.

The framework specifically looks at reducing ‘unwarranted variation’, where differences in health and care outcomes and patients’ experience can’t be justified by geography or other local circumstances, and how we can make sure that by seeing where variation exists and looking to tackle it, that everyone can receive the same highest standards.

The Hot Potato project was devised by Zoe Butler, a student nurse at the time, who after contributing to an independent review  identified unwarranted variation within her community of mental health issues amongst local young people and the role that stigma plays, as a deterrent to seeking help (Born in South Lakeland, 2014).

The Hot Potato Project and with support from the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS) created workshops where the young people could express their fears and anxieties regarding mental health and wellbeing whilst in a safe and secure peer environment. A DVD of 40 monologues was produced, which is now being used as an educational tool amongst the schools in Cumbria, educating both the young people but also the health professionals such as school nurses who are using it. It has also been used in a university for pre-registration students when discussing holistic care.

The project focuses on developing emotional resilience within young people, therefore improving their overall mental wellbeing. The culture created by the project is one where mental wellbeing is discussed openly; promoting the young people’s health as it ensures they seek help with mental illness if needed and are able to identify signs when requiring help or intervention.

There is evidence that early intervention and prevention is particularly important in affecting outcomes for children and young people and can have a significant positive impact on a person’s prognosis. Within Kendal, there has been a very positive increase in young people accessing support at an early stage when they find that they are struggling to talk about mental health.

This chat is one of the many ways we are engaging with nursing, midwifery and care staff to share learning, and encourage the implementation of Leading Change, Adding Value.


Here you will find a selection of resources that provides further background reading:

Introducing our guest tweeter and chair

Zoe ButlerZoe Butler, Adult Nurse, University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation trust and Hot Potato project lead.

Zoe Butler is a Registered Nurse and a Lecturer at University of Cumbria. Zoe works within Trauma and Orthopaedics, and assists with the training of Assistant Practitioners within the Cumbria and Lancashire areas. With keen interest in Mental Health provision, Zoe is the lead of the Hot Potato Project, which focuses on developing emotional resilience within young people, therefore improving their overall mental wellbeing and access to further support.

Joanne McDonnellJoanne McDonnell, Senior Nurse for Mental Health, Nursing Directorate at NHS England

A published writer and book reviewer with a Masters in Research in Health Sciences, Joanne is Senior Nurse for Mental Health in the Nursing and Midwifery Team at NHS England. She has won several national awards including Health Writer of the Year and Dementia Care Manager of the Year. She has starred in numerous promotional nursing films and has been a regular contributor to various national media such as Radio 4. A member of the Expert Advisory Board for RCN Mental Health Practice, Joanne has extensive experience of presenting at local, national and international conferences. She is currently undertaking a second Masters degree in Healthcare Leadership.