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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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West Midlands successful in bid to provide innovative secure mental health service

Published: 19/07/2016

A partnership of mental health care providers in the West Midlands has been announced by NHS England as one of just four in the country to be successful in a bid to develop a new and innovative model of care for adults in secure mental health services.

The three core partners - Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and St Andrew’s Healthcare – currently provide all adult secure inpatient services in the region. They have come together formally for the first time to develop a transformational new model, ‘Reach Out’, which will be supported by a range of NHS, charitable and private sector providers.

There are approximately 600 people from the West Midlands currently in medium or low secure care, of whom around 40 per cent are cared for in units outside of the region.  The new model will introduce a more personalised intensive outreach service and provide comprehensive and responsive support in the community.  This will focus on aiding recovery, enabling earlier discharge and reducing the likelihood of readmission to hospital. As well as clinical care, the new service will provide practical support such as accommodation, community activities, social networks and employment advice. As a result, outcomes for service users will improve and inpatient beds will be freed up to allow those currently placed out of the area to be brought back to the West Midlands, closer to their home and family.  It is estimated that, in the first two years alone, around 90 people from the West Midlands will come back to the region for their inpatient care.

Carers and families of people in these services will have better support for their relatives’ recovery, more involvement in care planning and the social and economic benefits of having their relatives closer to home.  The new approach will also have a positive impact for the wider community, with rapid response to crisis meaning safer communities, alongside the economic regeneration and growth that comes with investment in local services.

The new model will see a significant change in the way the budget for these services is managed.  Currently budgets are held by NHS England, with those providing the service having limited ability to influence the use of resources. Now the local providers will take responsibility for the budget, giving them more control over how decisions about care for local people are made.

John Short, Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted that our partnership is one of the four given the go ahead to take forward exciting new models of care in secure services. This means we will be able to provide a service tailored to meet the needs of those people from the West Midlands who require these specialist services, ensuring that their recovery is at the heart of the service we provide and they receive care as close to their home, family and carers as possible.”

Neil Carr OBE, Chief Executive of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“It is important for a sustainable and effective future healthcare system that we have strong and productive partnerships across the region and SSSFT are delighted to be part of this innovative approach to secure mental health services.  Undoubtedly we are better together and our services users and the community as a whole, will benefit.”

Gil Baldwin, Chief Executive Officer at St Andrew’s Healthcare, said:

“We welcome this opportunity, as improving clinical partnerships in this way can only strengthen our ability to care for our patients. The present system often fails to support those ready to leave secure mental healthcare, and can even set some patients back in their recovery. St Andrew’s is committed to driving innovation and personalised care in mental health, and by bringing patients care closer to their home, this pilot will help us do that.”


Click here to read the NHS England press release.