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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Minister for Health is impressed by our trust’s innovative RAID service

Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Health, praised Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s innovative Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge (RAID) Service, during a visit earlier today.

The trust’s RAID Service, which has won a HSJ Award for mental health innovation, is delivered at five A&E units across Birmingham and Solihull, including Heartlands Hospital – run by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) – where the Minister met clinicians from both trusts.

During his visit, the Minister heard how our clinicians work in partnership with colleagues at Heartlands and how the approach of treating mental health alongside physical health has improved patient experience and in the process saved money.

Minister for health - RAID

The Minister said: “The RAID service is leading the way by pioneering new approaches to mental health care, and partnership working across the NHS. This innovative service has vastly improved patient experience."

“RAID is an inspirational initiative. I was extremely impressed to see a much more original use of resources than we often manage to achieve in the NHS. I am keen that the NHS learns from this model so that similar innovations can be adopted elsewhere.”

RAID’s specialist team work closely with doctors and nurses at Heartlands 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.

Sue Turner, chief executive of BSMHFT, said: “RAID is an innovative mental health model which has significantly improved quality of care in acute hospital for patients with mental illness and alcohol problems and especially for older people with dementia.

“So it was fantastic to see the Minister for Health engaged and interested in how RAID has been developed and delivered successfully in hospitals across Birmingham and Solihull, and how mental health is being treated as a priority in its own right, but also recognised as a major contributor towards solving ‘whole system reform’."

BSMHFT also operates its RAID service at City Hospital in Winson Green, Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in Edgbaston, and Solihull Hospital where its dedicated teams work alongside hospital medics in A&E.

Ian Donnelly, head of logistics and capacity management at HEFT, said: “I welcome the visit by Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Health and who came to discuss the joint service between BSMHFT and HEFT, namely the RAID service and how integrated partnership working can better support patients with a mental health diagnosis.

“The RAID concept, implemented at HEFT’s sites in 2012, has been seen as a successful model to deliver better outcomes for the patients who access this service, delivering improved benefits. The improvement in quality to patients and support to staff has been recognised onsite by emergency department staff and ward teams where this provision of specialist support ensures timely intervention, providing improved patient focused outcomes.”

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, enabling them to return home more quickly.

Since the pilot RAID scheme was launched at City Hospital in December 2009 it has improved patient experience and saved the NHS more than £6 million.