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Mental Health

Improving and widening access to care for children and adults needing mental health support is a key priority for the NHS, as outlined in the Long Term Plan.

In addition, the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19 have increased the pressure on mental health services.

At the West of England AHSN we are working with NHS commissioners and providers, industry partners, other AHSNs, local trusts, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and community providers on a wide range of initiatives to support their work to improve mental healthcare and wellbeing.

We build networks to collaborate, share and promote good practice as well as spreading and implementing proven solutions. We also connect innovators with funding, evaluation and partners to allow their innovations to be refined, proven and adopted.

Alongside the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme, here are some examples of the work we are currently doing to support mental health in the West of England…

Working collaboratively

South of England Mental Health Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Collaborative

The collaborative was created in partnership with the South West AHSN and includes 11 mental health trusts across the south of England. The collaborative aims to improve the quality and safety of services for people with mental health conditions through the use of quality improvement methodology. Read more about the South of England Mental Health Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Collaborative here. 

Implementing evidence

Early Intervention Eating Disorder (FREED)

First-episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders (also referred to as FREED) is an innovative, evidence-based, specialist care package for 16 to 25-year-olds with a first-episode eating disorder of less than three years in duration. Read more about FREED here.

Focus ADHD

Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can take significant time and resources, with an average 18 month wait for accurate diagnosis. Along with other AHSNs across the country we are working to implement objective testing, using QbTest to support diagnosis and reduce waiting times through our Focus ADHD project. Read more about Focus ADHD here. 

Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM)

Serenity Impact Modelling (known as SIM) is a mental health workforce model that brings together the police and community mental health services in order to better support people with complex mental health needs. Read more about SIM here. 

Supporting high impact users in Emergency Departments (SHarED)

Supporting high impact users in Emergency Departments (known as SHarED) aims to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a High Impact User team in the Emergency Departments of all five acute trusts in the West of England. Read more about SHarED here. 

Supporting innovation

Future Challenges: Young People and Mental Health Resilience

Our Future Challenges Programme supports innovators and local partners to pilot innovations in a real-world setting and, if they are successful, generate evidence to support their wider adoption.

Two innovations were selected under the Young People and Mental Health Resilience theme. Read more about Future Challenges: Young People and Mental Health Resilience here. 

S12 Solutions

S12 Solutions have developed an app and web based software to make Mental Health Act assessment and claim form processes quicker and, simpler by identifying approved mental health professionals. The West of England AHSN has provided support to Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and S12 Solutions as they implement this innovation. Read more about S12 Solutions here. 

Early Intervention Eating Disorders Programme

As part of the AHSN Network, we are assisting the national adoption of evidenced based models including FREED (First episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders). This work will support mental health teams across the region to speed up diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders in young people aged 16 to 25.

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Emergency Department

SHarED: Supporting high impact users to Emergency Departments

This project aims to improve outcomes for the most frequent users of Emergency Departments.

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Focus ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness and affects around 5% of school-aged children worldwide. We're working as part of the AHSN Network to speed up the diagnosis of ADHD through use of the QbTest.

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