NHS trust praised for its mental health hub
SWIFT action to provide a 24-hour service supporting people with urgent mental health needs during the pandemic has been praised by NHS England.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust set up a dedicated mental health urgent care hub for people of all ages in 11 days.
Individuals are referred to the hub, at the Glenfield Hospital site, by agencies including police, NHS 111, GPs, emergency department staff and other trust services.
It has been acknowledged as a national example of rapid innovation, resilience and resourcefulness in a report from NHS Providers published this week.
Saskya Falope, mental health urgent care hub team manager, said: “The pandemic has seen an increased number of people seeking support for their mental health, many for the first time.
“The hub approach has helped more patients to be supported in the community.
“If you look nationally, of people who present in acute mental health crisis to A&E, 20 per cent will need inpatient care. The hub is at about 2 per cent.
“The hospital environment is a last resort. Some people need that little bit of time and someone to talk to, so they feel supported and there’s a plan for them.”
Trust chief executive Angela Hillery said: “In the past we would have waited to be commissioned to provide support, but Covid provided us with the power to act.
“It’s not just that it’s a response to Covid; it’s about improving opportunities to signpost and get patients to the right place.
“As we go into the winter months we want to continue to support our colleagues in the acute hospitals to be able to manage winter as well.
“We also expect the economic impact of the pandemic to impact on people’s mental health needs.
“This hub represents a huge opportunity not only for winter but also for future mental health models.”
Saskya said: “The patient feedback for me has been the biggest win. We ask about 85 per cent of our patients to give feedback and they’ve all been positive about their experience.”
The trust’s Central Access Point can be accessed directly by patients for urgent mental health support, on 0116 295 3060.