Mental health heroes celebrated at event Held at Victoria Hall in Saltaire, the mental health celebration event was an opportunity for teams to share good practice and highlight the innovative, compassionate and award-winning care that has been cited as best practice nationally and has been making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Attendees, including representatives from partner organisations, heard how the Trust has been working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Police to ensure that people in mental health crisis are given safe and appropriate care, instead of being detained in police cells. The project is the first of its kind in the country. Six mental health nurses have been trained as police specials to go out on patrol, working alongside officers on the frontline on a variety of police duties. The partnership has led to a 90 per cent reduction in the number of inappropriate police detentions of people who require mental health care.

Grainne Eloi, Interim Head of Mental Health Services, gave an address on how the Trust has been working in partnership with the local authority, police and voluntary sector agencies to operate its First Response service, which offers mental health crisis support 24/7 to vulnerable people. The Care Quality Commission’s 2017 report on the quality of mental health services in England highlighted that too many people have to travel out of their local area across England to receive treatment. Since the launch of the First Response service people are being cared for closer to home, with no out of area placements since the service launched on 6 March 2015.

The Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) team shared how it has been tackling long waiting times for young people’s mental health services, working as part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership to buck the trend. While many young people across the country are facing waiting times of up to 18 months to get the mental health care they need, for the past seven years the Care Trust has had a maximum wait of 11 weeks for routine referrals, and 24 hours or less for urgent referrals, exceeding the national waiting targets of 18 weeks. As demand for the service has increased, this work has continued and in some cases been improved upon by setting up specialist teams within CAMHS and designing new treatment pathways in collaboration with non-NHS providers to enable children and young people to continue to access services at an earlier stage.

Delegates also heard how the Trust’s intensive home treatment (IHT) team works with hospital care teams to make sure that people have access to the right care when they are discharged from hospital. This streamlined approach has transformed the way that the Care Trust works with individuals to ensure that people get the care they need in the community.

Grainne Eloi, Interim Head of Mental Health Services, speaking at the event said: “We want to continue to help those most vulnerable before they become seriously unwell through early intervention and prevention services. We’re committed to ensuring those who experience mental health issues are offered caring support, and projects like these from across our mental health services show how our staff are using innovative and creative ideas to constantly improve our services.”