Case study summary
The café aims to keep people “Happy, Healthy and at Home” and supports local people to improve their own health and wellbeing or when they are ill or need support, help them receive the best possible joined-up care. The café is open 6pm-11pm Monday-Friday and 12.30pm-11pm on weekends and bank holidays.
The Aldershot Safe Haven Café opened in April 2014 to give patients another option to A&E. The café is open every day and evening, each day of the year, for people in mental health crisis or at risk of developing a crisis. The safe haven approach encourages self-management and independence, with the requirements of the services users at the heart of their provision.
The partnership approach to care provision, demonstrated in the café, is something Stanley Masawi, Safe Haven Manager is pleased about. Both statutory and voluntary sector working together to provide a service in the community exemplifies the vision articulated in the Five Year Forward View.
Ruth Webster Wellbeing Centre Manager said: “It is really going well. It is calm environment and the staff work well together as a team”
The people using the service were keen to share their experiences and appreciation of the cafe. One service user said: “I arrived at the Safe Haven not knowing what to expect. However I was greeted at the door by a nurse who was working that evening. She seemed friendly and personable. I was made to feel relaxed and welcome. I was offered a cuppa and staff sat with me to find out how I was. I was offered an opportunity and choice to talk in privacy. The nurse asked me questions so that she could understand my difficulties and why I felt distressed. At the end of our talk we were able to come up with a plan. I chose to return to the Safe Haven again for a few times and with support I was helped to write a crisis and contingency plan”.
Another service user reported that: “I haven’t been back into hospital since coming to the Safe Haven (about 2 years)”
Other people using the services reported: “By coming to the Safe Haven I have not had to use diazepam for ages” “The Safe Haven is a stepping stone to doing activities that are not around mental health” “Coming to the Safe Haven helped me after I lost my job”
Service users and carers are able to use the Safe Haven for preventative reasons or when they are in crisis. The Haven welcomes anyone in, without the need to make an appointment, with staff on hand to talk. “It is uncomfortable sitting on your own in a pub sipping diet coke. Coming to the Safe Haven is a better choice” Another person using services felt that ‘The staff listened to you and your concerns were taken seriously’ and said if staff didn’t take my concerns seriously I wouldn’t come here.
The opening times of the Haven had been carefully considered. A person using the service felt that “the times ‘between 5-7pm my anxiety increases, I worry that I will hear my voices so I come to the Safe Haven to distract me during these times. If I didn’t I would have to take prn diazepam to curb the anxiety”
Another service user felt that by ‘talking to others I find out how they are doing. It also distracts me from the voices’.
The service is going from strength to strength, providing a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
The café is part of the North East Hampshire and Farnham Vanguard which aims to keep people “Happy, Healthy and at Home” and will support local people to improve their own health and wellbeing or when they are ill or need support, help them receive the best possible joined-up care.
The café is funded through NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG and delivered by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with the charities mcch (commissioned by Hampshire County Council and Catalyst).
The café is open 6pm-11pm Monday-Friday and 12.30pm-11pm on weekends and bank holidays.