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Transcript for VIT Introductory Video

Hello and welcome to the Virtual Intensive Treatment team – that we call VIT.  My name is Tanya Lovett and I am the manager of the team.  We have made this video to give you a taste of what the team is designed to do, who we are and what we are asking of you.  It is a new team and at the moment is just being run as a pilot, so along the way, we will ask you and your families, or people supporting you, what you think of the service in order to decide whether it should become a permanently funded team.

So welcome, and thank you for considering allowing us to support you in your recovery.

The VIT programme is designed for people who might need to go into an eating disorders unit at some point soon, giving them an alternative to that, if they feel able to use it.  If the VIT helps you, you then won’t need to go into hospital.  If it doesn’t, it may just be that you need that greater intensity of support.  We are also going to be supporting people to come out of hospital sooner than they might have done, giving them intensive support so they are less alone when they are first home.

So what do I mean by intensive support?

The VIT programme is a partnership between you, your community team and us.  We will also include and offer support to your home network (families and friends) if that is helpful. 

Your commitment is to attend the online programme, to be weighed weekly and have any necessary physical health checks, support and ask for support from others on the programme, use the staff to help you in your recovery and gain at least half a kilo a week.  Some of this may feel difficult to you, but we think it will be the best way to start a sustainable recovery that can mean you don’t have to go into hospital.  We will be alongside you throughout the challenges as well as the successes – you won’t be alone.

Your community team will help you decide on a meal plan that will allow you to gain that half a kilo.  They’ll discuss this with you before you start with us.  They will organise to weigh you weekly and will be in charge of monitoring anything like refeeding syndrome or any other abnormalities that show up in your blood tests or your physical health checks.  If you are in therapy already with your community team, that will continue and you will step out of the VIT programme at that time.  Your community team will be in charge of your overall care, so they will make any decisions that are needed in relation to inpatient admissions, but we hope we will all work together to support them in this.

The VIT team will provide you with an online programme that lasts for up to 12 weeks.  It’s like a Day Unit but all online.  We will run the programme between Mondays and Fridays from 8.30am until 3.30pm.  On Wednesdays we will finish at 2 most weeks although once every 2 months the team will have a training day, so there won’t be any VIT provision.  However, we’d like you to think of it as a 7 day a week programme as we want you to incorporate changes into your evenings and weekends as well.  We will support you with this with groups such as weekend planning and weekend review to troubleshoot issues that arise.

The programme will include online support for breakfast, lunch and morning and afternoon snacks.  You will prepare your food and bring it to a place at home where you can eat privately – where you won’t  be disturbed by anyone else in your household – and join the MS Teams link to have a group, virtual meal support session.  The team will support you to eat your food and there will be a time after the meal where we will just chat or do some kind of distraction activity.  During the rest of the time, we will run a variety of groups, some dealing with day-to-day issues, such as the community meeting, some that are practical, like meal preparation (you may need access to a kitchen for this, but this will only be occasionally) and some that are more therapeutic or skills based, to help you understand and manage the emotional impact of your eating disorder and this programme.  These will use tools from MANTRA (the Maudsley therapy model that you may well have come across), CBT and DBT.   You will also have 1 to 1 meetings with a couple of members of staff who are your particular workers.  We understand that not every group or intervention will feel relevant or helpful to you, but we ask you to attend and work within all of them, as you never know what might help. 

Once a week, the community team, a member of the VIT team, you and ideally a family member or supporter, will meet together online to discuss the week, your overall progress, and any decisions that need to be made to support you best during the following week.

Some of you might have support from both VIT and the Intensive Community Support Team in your area (which is part of your community team).  If ICS are involved, they will also be part of the weekly meetings as we will all work together to decide what support is best for you.

For the last 4 weeks of the programme, we may decide that it would be useful for you to reduce your days with the VIT each week.  We will discuss together whether it would be helpful for you to gradually take greater responsibility on your own or whether it’s better to continue the intensive support for the full 12 weeks.  We can decide that at the relevant time.

After you complete the 12 weeks, you will be discharged from VIT but continue to work with your community team.  If you need VIT again in the future, this can be considered.

As Team Manager, I may meet you when you are first referred to us to answer any questions you have and prepare you to join us.  If I don’t do this, it is likely that Gemma, the Team Leader and my deputy, will meet you at that time.  I will also attend the weekly community meeting and I will contact your carers at least once a fortnight to see if they need any support.  I may occasionally cover meal support sessions, but will spend more of my time ensuring the staff feel supported and happy at work in order that they can be present for you.  If you need, please email the team email, which will be given to you, and ask to meet with me.  I am very happy to listen to your feedback and thoughts.

You will meet the rest of the team gradually, if you come to us.  The team is made up of: an administrator who is likely to email you the Teams links and any letters or records of meetings; support workers who will take part in meal support sessions, some of the groups and be named staff for some service users; nurses who will have a similar role but obviously have their nursing training to enhance certain skills and knowledge; Occupational therapists and an Assistant Therapy Practitioner who will look particularly at how you are managing the life skills needed to support you to eat as well as how you function and want to function outside of your eating disorder; and a Team Leader who will act as my deputy and be the senior clinician on the team for most of the week.  The team are supported by other staff in HPFT – the Trust that we are based within – and by other staff in the East of England Provider Collaborative.

I hope this video has given you a taste of what the VIT is and I very much hope you will come and work with us, if it feels like it could be beneficial to you to have us alongside.

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