First day of the 3 day training course completed today for our brand new team in Gloucestershire. A great group of mental health nurses, mental health specialist police officers and social workers are with us this week. It is such a pleasure training such a passionate bunch of people who are keen to further improve the lives of people who habitually use front line services in crisis. The first team in the newly founded Gloucestershire High Intensity Network will launch on Wednesday in Gloucester. They are our 10th team to go live.
Great to see some familiar faces from 2016 when we first presented a model of care we had just developed called SIM to our neighbours in Surrey. Little did we know at the time that Surrey and Borders NHS and Surrey Police would grab the opportunity to adopt our model and form SHIPP, their own team based on SIM principles. Here we are over 2 years later with 17 NHS Trusts/Forces live or launching teams and another 10 teams highly likely. Thank you Surrey for trusting our leadership.
This morning, HMICFRS published its report about how the Police Service responds to mental health in our communities, the challenges faced by all crisis care teams and the opportunities for improvement.
We wholeheartedly agree with the report, that in some areas of crisis care, the Police Service is being relied on too much to care for people in crisis. We believe the fundamental cause of this problem is the widely discussed and reported, under-funding of NHS mental health services nationally over several decades. This under funding has unfortunately left our 60 MH Trusts more than 20,000 mental health nurses short. As a result, the police service is 'Picking Up the Pieces' and will continue to do so until the MH service is sufficiently resourced.
Staff across all 60 MH Trusts and 43 Police forces continue to do an amazing job in very challenging circumstances.
Once we have built a MH service that is more fit for purpose, it will then be possible to find a much healthier balance between the role of Police, Ambulance, A&E departments and MH teams in responding to crisis calls. However, we also believe that the Police will always have a role to play in safeguarding and caring for people living in our communities who present with specific mental, behavioural and neurological challenges.
Looking forward optimistically, the report has made 5 Key Recommendations and we are confident that the High Intensity Network can take a leading role in 4 of them, as follows:
Recommendation 2 - Developing more accurate ways of collating mental health demand, most notably through digital data systems. We are leading the way in the digitisation of crisis care for our highest risk patients.
Recommendation 3 - Police forces have been asked today to review their Street Triage response teams. What we think they will find is that no matter what quality of response they offer, Street Triage does not prevent repeat callers from calling. This is where our SIM model of care fills the gap and this is why nearly half of all NHS MH Trusts are already making a commitment to start high intensity intervention teams based on our SIM principles. We are an NHS England and NPCC endorsed solution, working with all 15 Academic and Health Science Network (AHSN) teams to deliver our model of care in every region of the UK.
Recommendation 4 - Review of Police MH training. We are the only organisation in the UK that provides a national, specialist training course (both classroom based and online) for high intensity MH patient care.
Recommendation 5 - The Dept of Health and Social Care have been asked to explore whether there is' sustainable and integrated support to prevent repeat contact' by September 2019. We will continue to play the lead, national role in delivering integrated solutions that better support people struggling with repeat crises.
To read the report in full, please go to:
This week we spent more time with NHS managers from two Mental Health providers in Yorkshire & Humber. Humber NHS and Navigo (together with STP MH Leads) will be working with Humberside Police over the next few weeks to discuss their highest risk. highest frequency patients and how the SIM principles can be designed into their local mental health programme. We will hopefully be returning in February. Thanks to Ruth and Vicky from Yorkshire & Humber AHSN for hosting the event and coordinating our ongoing discussions.
Great to spend the day with the newly formed team in Derby. The morning was spent briefing senior legal managers from the IPOC, Derbyshire Police Professional Standards and Derbyshire NHS Legal Services about the importance of consistently supporting the Jet team's decisions and how this consistency will give a firm foundation to patient outcomes and safety. The afternoon was spent with the JET team themselves reviewing the 6 patients they are now supporting.
Today we met with two organisations passionate about diagnosing and supporting people with ADHD. We are keen as a network to understand what 'high intensity' might mean for someone with ADHD, especially where these intensive behaviours 'externalise' and pose repeating risks to others and the community.
There is much research around the world indicating that young offenders with a history of violence are much more likely to have ADHD. Many of them will be undiagnosed.
Today we made the decision to form a project team from Police, NHS, ADHD specialists, IT diagnostics and Academics to see if we can help London tackle this problem. This team will be formed fully by February 2019, at which point we will be approaching the Mayor's Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC) with our ideas.
An incredibly useful report giving insight into the factors that influence why NHS trusts choose to adopt an innovation.
One of our teams (SHIPP) was interviewed during this study and is profiled in the report. The report can be found in our 'Resources' section.
The first ever NHS Trust and Police force to adopt the SIM model is Surrey & Borders NHS and Surrey Police. Today they have released their 18 month report to us and have allowed us to share their results with other teams across the network. The report demonstrates outcomes that are helping everyone involved.
- Patients feel better supported and are presenting with less risk because of the support they are receiving.
- NHS clinicians feel more supported in their management of their service users.
- Police officers are starting to understand that repeating the same responses and making the same decisions sometimes increases risk of harm - not decreases it.
- Officers are deploying less to specific service users so they are able to deploy to other incidents.
- Whilst patient care and risk management remains the focus of these teams, the Surrey team have also helped to reduce the costs of crisis response too.
National police statistics released this month reported a 5% increase of s136 mental health detentions by police. Surrey Police's use of mental health related detentions however continue to fall.
A big congratulations to everyone involved, most notably the 3 police officers and their clinical colleagues who are providing the direct care.
A special thank you goes to Acting Sgt Julia Davis who has led this project on the ground from the start.
We have incredible police officers around the UK working on these projects.
A busy week for NHS staff from SW London & St Georges NHS, Oxleas NHS and South London and Maudsley NHS as they joint trained with Met police officers. As a result, more staff are now deployable for service users in the London boroughs of Greenwich, Sothwark, Wandsworth and Merton.