Mental Health Programme - March 2019

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Mental Health update from Jonathan O'Brien, Programme Director

We are currently looking at how we can deliver better services for the most vulnerable people in the population who use services in our main hospitals when their need is for mental health support or help with their alcohol addiction.

We’re aiming to work with community services to provide joined up care for people who have attended Accident & Emergency departments several times over a short period. People will be supported by a team of skilled staff who will give treatment and advice to enable them to manage their health and improve their quality of life. This expands on the successful High Volume and High Intensity User services which are already delivered across parts of our health economy.

We are also planning to provide a better link from A&E to specialist alcohol services so that people can be supported at an earlier stage and begin their recovery journey in a more planned way.

Specialist Learning Disability services are undertaking a review of how people can be discharged quickly from hospital and return to their usual homes in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Sometimes people have very particular needs that mean they need to spend some time in other areas; however, our aim is to ensure they can re-connect with their family and communities as soon as possible. This supports the national focus of enabling people with learning disabilities to live ordinary lives and to only access healthcare and treatment when they need it.

The Children and Young People’s Trailblazer project is progressing well and has started to make progress connecting to schools across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We have recruited 30 trainees and nearly 20 other support staff, who will now be able to support pupils who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health. This is really exciting and will make a huge difference to the future mental wellbeing of the youngest in our population. Following on from the success of the wave one bid, we are planning follow-up bids for other CCG areas to ensure the programme is rolled out across the STP.

Local people can now receive their urgent and intensive mental health care without the need to go outside of Staffordshire for bed-based care. Combined Healthcare and Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are working together to make out of area treatment unnecessary so links with family and loved ones can be maintained and access to recovery services made easier. The most recent work has focused on jointly working to provide acute beds and psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) beds, working across the organisations to ensure pathways are clear and care is provided as close to home as possible.

Finally, the programme is changing its leadership due to the current Chief Executive of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, Caroline Donovan, leaving to take up her new post as CEO of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Peter Axon, Combined Healthcare’s new Chief Executive will take the programme forward from April as Senior Responsible Officer. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Caroline for her leadership and guidance provided to the programme over the past two years. Jonathan O’Brien, Executive Director of Operations at Combined Healthcare, will continue as Programme Director.