Councillor Adrian Hardman today welcomed the news that Worcestershire is to receive a share of £2.3million funding to support people with mental health problems.
The West Midlands as a whole has been allocated the money by the Government, with four areas – including Worcestershire – benefitting from a slice of the funding.
The Beyond Places of Safety Scheme will fund clinics, crisis cafés, and other community services designed to prevent people from reaching crisis point, as well as supporting new approaches and facilities for those who do.
Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care, Councillor Adrian Hardman, said: "This funding announcement is great news for Worcestershire.
"Mental health is a growing problem across the whole of the country and further funds are needed to tackle it properly.
"The money we receive here in Worcestershire will be used to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to A&E departments by improving mental health services we already have."
In Worcestershire the money will be used by the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust to improve pathways for patients experiencing a mental health crisis by developing an appropriate clinical area at Newton Hospital in Worcester, staffed by specialist crisis practitioners who can carry out assessments and develop urgent support plans.
The space would comprise of a modern and welcoming ‘handover’ space, wherein staff could confirm essential details about the patient and ask any key clinical or risk information, in order to complete a formal handover process, and determine the correct clinical pathway for referred patients. It would also house a number of ‘triage and assessment’ rooms, which would allow clinicians to determine any immediate safety needs, and thereafter, as required, complete assessment interviews.
The service aims to reduce unnecessary visits to emergency departments by providing easier access routes to mental health services. It would also act as a self-referral point for any patients experiencing crisis.
The Beyond Places of Safety fund was launched last year by the Prime Minister and follows the success of a previous scheme that helped to develop hospital based Places of Safety for people experiencing a crisis to avoid them ending up in police cells. Since this scheme started the numbers of detentions in police cells under the Mental Health Act has fallen by over 90%.
The four organisations that will receive funding for projects are:
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Brighter Futures Housing Association Ltd, Stoke
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust