From Jonathan O’Brien, Programme Director
We have been successful in receiving additional funding to continue with improvements across suicide prevention and awareness. We will be providing training to mental health staff and GP practices to spot the signs and respond. We will be developing local community champions and raising awareness to encourage people to seek help at the earliest opportunity. We will also be providing more support to people who self-harm as they are more likely to attempt suicide.
Building on the success of last year, we are holding another Suicide Prevention Conference on 11 October which will cover key topics such as progress on the Zero Suicide initiative, the latest research, findings on suicide bereavement and an update on the progress made locally.
In response to NHS England’s Mental Health Implementation Plan published in July, we are working with our colleagues across the STP to develop plans to meet the improvements expected of us.
Feedback on mental health services gathered through the recent listening exercise will be used to shape the plans for the next five years. We are hoping for a final version by mid-November, so we can progress with implementing the necessary local changes.
A faster pathway to specialist alcohol services for people arriving at the emergency services at Royal Stoke and Queen’s hospital is helping people get the specialist support that they need more quickly to avoid admission.
A specific team is now established to follow-up people who frequently use urgent care services due to their mental health issues. The team will understand and meet their needs, with the aim of supporting them in the community without the need to visit hospital or their GP.
Psychiatric intensive care services at Harplands Hospital (Stoke-on-Trent) and St George’s Hospital (Stafford) are working together to ensure anyone who needs this high intensity service can stay within the county. Our aim is to eliminate any ‘out of area’ admissions which are much better for the person and their families because they can keep in touch and the pathway to community services is better. A further two beds will be opened on a permanent basis in October 2019.