The Women’s Secure Blended Service is being piloted by St Andrew’s Healthcare one of the nine providers in the IMPACT partnership.
The service was designed to respond to the findings of extensive research commissioned by NHS England which captured insight from a range of service-users and those with ‘lived experience’ of secure services.
The study explored reasons for poor patient experience and outcomes in secure women’s services nationally. It highlighted difficulties with transitions, poor experience of multi-stage secure care settings for traumatised women, a lack of clarity and hope about treatment pathways and a dependence-generating culture.
Stowe Ward, a medium secure women’s unit at St Andrew’s in Northampton, was one of three hospital locations chosen nationally as part of a competitive process to run an NHS-funded pilot.
The Women’s Blended Service launched in September 2019 and aims to reduce overall length of stay by providing an innovative model of care that negates the need for transitions between medium and low security levels, using a hybrid model.
Key elements of the service include a trauma-informed approach, responsive relational security and an enhanced therapeutic offer. This aims to offer better experience and outcomes for patients with a clear emphasis on recovery and progression.
The two-year pilot includes independent evaluation to quantify cost savings and inform future commissioning decisions on medium and low secure care and the efficacy of blended provision.