Trust welcomes new mental health taskforce report

by CWP News - 16 February 2016

To support the national Five Year Forward View for the NHS in England, a new strategy specifically for mental health has been published to drive mental health priorities (15 February 2016).

Two key priority areas identified in the report are to reduce the amount of people needing to go out of their local area to access care and crisis care.

Director of Operations for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), Andy Styring, says: “A focused strategy purely for mental health has been long awaited - I welcome the opportunity to put mental health on a par with physical health. We will look to continually raise the bar by learning from experience, encouraging feedback and striving for excellent care that we would feel more than happy for ourselves or loved ones to access should they need to.”

CWP has introduced a new way of working to provide care closer to home for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Nationally, up to 1:7 acute admissions have to go out of areas due to no local beds. The Trust found that 30% of adults accessing mental health support in hospital required a higher level of support than the standard package of care, and this group of people were also more likely to be inappropriately placed out of area away from their families.

Through the work of their Complex Recovery Assessment and Consultation Team (CRAC), less than 10 people have gone out of area for acute care in the past 12 months and patients’ average lengths of stay in hospital has been significantly reduced. The CRAC Team is made up of a range of health professionals with expertise in complex care management and provides specialist support across the Trust for people with complex needs who require frequent or prolonged acute inpatient treatment.

Clair Jones, CWP’s Trustwide Strategic Lead for Complex Care says, “People with complex needs being the sole focus of one specialist team ensures that they are in sight and in mind, that they have improved outcomes such as shorter inpatient stays, fewer readmissions and certainty that best use is made of available investment.”

Together Western Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCCG) and CWP have also developed a lead provider model for delivering mental healthcare through an Integrated Provider Hub. CWP leads the ‘Integrated Provider Hub’ which brings together people and organisations to support people with mental health conditions within the local area. The hub acts as a decision making forum to provide bespoke packages of care for people within a defined budget and criteria for mental health which includes financial, clinical, patient and local community outcomes.

To improve crisis care and support people with mental health issues that come into contact with the police, CWP has been working alongside Cheshire Police to reduce Mental Health Act detentions by over 90%. As part of Operation ‘Street Triage’ a team of mental health community nurses now accompany dedicated police officers to 999 and 101 call-outs to offer advice and support. Over 1,600 referrals have been received, and without this intervention, a further 247 incidents would have ended up in accident and emergency services.

By working collaboratively, the aim is to help vulnerable people to receive appropriate support and reduce the number of people being arrested under section 136 of the Mental Health Act or being unnecessarily taken to hospital for treatment - easing pressure on police and hospital resources and improving the lives of local communities.

The national strategy was developed by a mental health taskforce made up of health and care leaders, people using services and experts in the field to bring together personal experience, clinical and economic evidence.

Over 2,000 people provided their views to the taskforce to develop the first strategic approach to improving mental health outcomes for people of all ages in the health and social care system.

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