Agenda item - Mental Health: Update from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT)

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Agenda item

Mental Health: Update from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT)

Samantha Allen, Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT); and Dr Gurprit Singh Pannu, SPFT Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical & Service Director, Brighton & Hove, will present.


29.1    This item was introduced by Samantha Allen, SPFT Chief Executive, and by John Child, SPFT Service Director, Brighton & Hove.


29.2    Sam Allen told members that she has now been in post for around 10 months. This has been a very busy time, with the development of the STP mental health work-stream and of the trust’s clinical Strategy. There is a clear need to change the way that mental health services are delivered, in order to meet rising demand and ensure that there are no gaps in services. There needs to be an increased focus on crisis services and also on prevention and early intervention, particularly for younger people experiencing mental health problems. There are also severe pressures on acute beds, in part due to delayed transfers of care as suitable supported accommodation may not be available.


29.3    Changes to the rules governing Section 136 (the section of the mental health act that allows the police to detain people who may be suffering mental health episodes for assessment) mean that people now have to receive assessments in 24 hours (previously 72) and that people should no longer be detained in police custody whilst waiting for assessment. These are necessary changes, but they present a challenge to services.


29.4    John Child told the committee that plans to improve city dementia services by providing single-sex acute facilities were progressing, with the refurbished ward due to be opened at Mill View in the new year. HOSC members would be welcome to attend the ward opening.


29.5    Cllr Allen commented that he was disappointed that the report was so general. It would have been helpful if there was a greater focus on Brighton & Hove. This was echoed by other members. Ms Allen responded that the trust’s brief had been to give a general overview of service developments, which the report does provide. If members require more detailed briefing on specific service areas, the trust will be happy to provide this.


29.6    In response to a question from Cllr Allen about a lack of mention about mental health services for younger people in the STP mental health report, Ms Allen assured members that the STP plans do focus on youth services. The trust would be happy to discuss detailed plans for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services with the HOSC.


29.7    In answer to a question from Cllr Deane on funding for preventative/early intervention services, Ms Allen told members that there was very strong evidence for the effectiveness of early intervention (e.g. the Early Intervention in Psychosis initiative), so it should be possible to develop strong business cases for funding. Mental health is a Government priority and there has already been significant investment locally (for example in perinatal mental health care).


29.8    In response to a question from Cllr Deane on mental healthcare in the penal system, Ms Allen confirmed that SPFT provides services to HMP Lewes and Ford. The trust is also one of the national pilot areas for a criminal justice liaison service which seeks to divert people with mental health problems from prison.


29.9    In response to a question from Cllr Bewick about demographic data, Ms Allen told members that the trust publishes performance data at local level. This can be shared with the HOSC. Mr Child added that the statistics about mortality of people with severe and enduring mental health conditions were particularly stark and clearly needed to be addressed.

Supporting documents:


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