Excitement and relief, in that order

This shiny new website isn't the only exciting thing to happen here in the last week. Last Friday we also started our new Mind Psychological Therapies service. Check out the details on our Mind Psychological Therapies page.

It's been in the making for more than 9 months. I remember thinking about how it could work out whilst on holiday in January, so it’s been a long process and in my head for a while. We've all put masses of work into the preparation (big thanks to Jane, Lucy and Anne); it's a relief that it’s finally time to start and it's going to be brilliant!

One of the challenges is a new contract with the NHS. It’s one of the new NHS 'Any Qualified Provider' contracts. This means any organisation that meets the qualifying criteria gets a contract. Previous arrangements meant one organisation held the contract. On Teesside now, 6 organisations will begin providing the service, so people have a choice of where they go. Choice is great, providing people have all the information they need, of course.

We will be competing for customers, and will have to improve our marketing and make sure people know about us. This beautiful new website will help! We are absolutely committed to delivering the best service we can, but there's a risk under these arrangements that some other services might go for quantity rather than quality. If you're thinking of using a service other than ours, watch out for this.

It's also risky for a small charity like us because we're employing staff and don't know how many people will come through our door, or how much income we'll generate. But we're all committed to making it work because but it's easily the best opportunity we’ve had to provide really high quality therapy and improve people's well-being and quality of life - and that's what we're about.

I answered the main phone line at our offices on Friday and spoke to someone who'd been given our leaflet by her GP. I felt sure we could help and that makes it all worthwhile.   

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