Northamptonshire mental health services in line for national award

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Northamptonshire’s community services for people in mental health crisis have been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust could win a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value Award for its services available to manage and reduce the risk of mental health crisis for people in the county.

These community services have reduced the burden on emergency services and acute inpatient mental health, resulting in significant financial system savings.

Mental health service users were closely involved in the design, development and ongoing review of the crisis community services, meaning they are ‘co-produced’ by both NHFT and the community.

The Crisis House (known as The Warren) was launched in Northampton in August 2016 to offer an alternative to acute mental health admission for people in mental health crisis.

Rooms are available in a dedicated bungalow for short stays where individuals can engage in collaborative, non-judgemental recovery.

Building on the success of The Warren Crisis Cafes were piloted in early 2017, in collaboration with MIND, with the primary aim to provide a safe out-of-hours space for people to seek help for a mental health crisis without having to rely on A&E departments or other emergency services.

Due to success and positive feedback from service users it was rolled out further, now providing Crisis Cafe coverage all week across Northamptonshire.

In the case of The Warren, the avoided cost of admitting patients to acute inpatient mental health wards is between £117,718 and £1.3 million.

Adam Smith, assistant director of the Crisis Pathway, said: “This award nomination has gravitated from our service users, carers and third sector partners and their incredibly valuable input into the development of mental health services in Northamptonshire.

“Any award nomination must focus on the strength and determination of service users and carers to have their voices heard in the shaping of services, and in holding NHFT and the third sector to account for ensuring that future community mental health care in the county is linked directly to the needs of our population.

“Both NHFT and Mind staff have been able to work outside of historical service boundaries in order to develop truly innovative crisis provisions for the county.

“These collaborative resources are now becoming the bedrock of mental health service provision within Northamptonshire and it is through them, and the vision of the staff within them, that we will continue to grow services for our population in the coming years.”

The shortlisting comes after NHFT won the coveted Trust of the Year award in November 2018, and being rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in August 2018.

The winner of each category will be announced at the HSJ Value Awards on May 23.