A group of healthcare providers are working in collaboration to develop how forensic mental health services are delivered in the East Midlands. Together, they will form a New Care Model (NCM) site that aims to improve the way that care is provided to patients across the region. This is in line with the national direction of travel as NHS England seeks to devolve budgets for specialist mental health services to groups of providers across a given region. This follows a number of pilot sites that have been in place since 2016.
The focus of this new approach is to reduce reliance on inpatient services and specialist placements which are often many miles away from the person’s home and family, and provide care closer to home. Better pathways of care where different services work more closely together will be developed as well as improved community infrastructures through partnership working including third and voluntary sectors and non-NHS services.
There are a lot of forensic mental health services provided by both the NHS and independent sector within the East Midlands region including a relatively high number of secure inpatient beds compared with other areas. Nottinghamshire Healthcare provides the greatest volume of forensic services including High Secure at Rampton Hospital. The Trust is therefore taking the lead with establishing the NCM programme in conjunction with the eight other providers: Derbyshire Healthcare, Leicestershire Partnership, Lincoln Partnership, Northamptonshire Healthcare, Cygnet Healthcare, Elysium Healthcare, Priory Group and St Andrew’s Healthcare.
Peter Wright, Executive Director of Forensic Services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “This is a great opportunity to redesign forensic mental health services across the East Midlands; we are already beginning to work collaboratively with our partner organisations in order to provide much better services to service users and their families.”
The East Midlands NCM programme is in its early stages, but has just been given ‘emerging site’ status by NHS England. This means that due diligence work around becoming a formal NCM site has begun. A formal contract will then be agreed about the transfer of budgetary and commissioning responsibilities from NHS England specialised commissioners to the provider collaborative.
A Clinical Lead has also recently been appointed to the programme. Dr Katina Anagnostakis, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist & Clinical Director with St Andrew’s Healthcare is seconded to the role for six months and brings considerable expert clinical experience in her field as well as vision, energy and enthusiasm to drive the development of a new care model. Katina joins Claire Holmes, Programme Lead and Emma Pierce as programme support.
Recovery and wellbeing is central to the development of the new care model and the programme will be supported by ImROC to ensure that the new model is co-produced from the outset in a collaborative yet challenging way. A series of workshops hosted by ImROC including service users and carer representatives as well as stakeholders across the East Midlands is already underway. The work to develop the new model will be ‘tested’ and informed by this workshop approach over the coming months.