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Mental health tsar is impressed by our trust’s innovative RAID service

April 15, 2011

Dr Hugh Griffiths, the Government’s mental health tsar, praised Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s innovative Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge (RAID) Service, during a visit  on Friday, April 15.

The trust’s RAID Service, which has won a HSJ Award for mental health innovation, provides a round-the-clock service at City Hospital in Winson Green, via its busy A&E department and inpatient wards.

Dr Griffiths was taken on the patients’ journey from arriving in A&E to being assessed and treated by the RAID team, before being discharged.

During the tour, Dr Griffiths saw how our clinicians work in partnership with colleagues at City Hospital, which is run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr Griffiths, who is also a consultant psychiatrist for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The RAID service is pioneering new approaches to mental health care and partnership working across the NHS. This ground-breaking service is clearly at the forefront of mental health innovation, improving patient experience while making significant savings.”
From LtoR Dr George Tadros, Nick Hutchinson, Dr Hugh Griffiths, Emma Steele, Dr Peter Lewis, Jean Payne and Kerry Webb.jpg
From LtoR Dr George Tadros, Nick Hutchinson, Dr Hugh Griffiths, Emma Steele, Dr Peter Lewis, Jean Payne and Kerry Webb
RAID’s specialist team work closely with doctors and nurses at City Hospital and the charity Aquarius to ensure patients with mental health, alcohol or drugs problems are assessed and treated much earlier. Clinicians aim to see patients in A&E within an hour, and those referred from inpatient wards within 24 hours.

This partnership approach has not only resulted in better patient care but has also avoided unnecessary admissions to busy medical wards. RAID has shown it can reduce the length of stay for patients with dementia, to save the equivalent of two medical wards.

Professor George Tadros, consultant in old age psychiatry and clinical lead for RAID, gave a presentation about the service, how it has improved patient experience and saved the NHS more than £6 million during an 18-month pilot launched in December 2009.

Following tour and presentation, Dr Griffiths added: “I’m impressed by what I’ve seen and heard during today’s visit. Birmingham’s RAID Service is a clear example of innovation within the NHS that provides useful learning for other trusts across the country.

Professor Tadros, who led Dr Griffiths around City Hospital and our trust’s headquarters in Ladywood, said: “RAID is a great innovation in the way we provide mental health care to patients at acute hospitals. At City our service saves 60 beds per day, not through cuts but by improving quality and taking out waste.

“RAID is also an intelligent service which has improved patient experience while driving down costs, and I hope it will soon be adopted by other hospitals.”