A radical redesign of urgent mental health care in Bradford has resulted in people being cared for closer to home, with no out of area placements in the last year, under the care of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Pictures of Members of the Board, staff and patients celebrating

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has hosted a celebration event to mark the achievement on Wednesday 9 March 2016.

Members of the Board, including Nicola Lees, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing and Debra Gilderdale, Deputy Director of Mental Health Acute and Community Services, attended the event hosted at the Visitors Centre, Lynfield Mount Hospital.

Leading mental health experts were on hand to discuss how the Trust has successfully adopted a zero approach to out of area placements.  In 2014-15 out of area beds cost the Trust £1.8 million and meant that patients often had to travel a significant distance to receive mental health care at a time when they were in crisis. Following a redesign of services, patients are getting the help they need within their own communities without having to travel long distances.

Thanks to the reorganisation and the launch of the First Response service in February 2015, mental health crisis support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Accessed through a single phone number, people in crisis can ring for help from trained staff, who can identify the most appropriate course of action.

The service is operated by the Trust in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, West Yorkshire Police and Sanctuary, a new service developed with mental health charity Mind.

Debra Gilderdale, Deputy Director of Mental Health Acute and Community Services said: “Partnership working has been key to the success of caring for people locally with acute mental health needs. We have worked closely with local voluntary care services, the local authority and other providers to ensure the highest quality of crisis care in Bradford.”

The care trust has been leading the way and cited as best practice in the national five year strategy mental health taskforce report – published by NHS England.  With the aim of fulfilling the vision to becoming a national centre of excellence for mental health, the Trust have been ensuring people get the right care, in the right place, with the right healthcare professional, close to home.

Patients that have accessed the service have credited First Response with “making a massive difference.”

Nicola Lees, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing said: “The reaction to our First Response service has been really positive, our local A&E departments have reported a reduction in waiting times and West Yorkshire Police have reported a 50% reduction in people sectioned under 136, of the mental health act. Officers receive immediate 24 hour access to health professionals, allowing for informed decisions to be made on how best to support people without being placed in custody.  We would like to thank everyone involved for their continued commitment to the First Response service – and ensuring people in crisis get the help they need. ”

Sarah Deacon, Clinical Lead with First response added: “We want to reassure people that trained professionals are only a phone call away and there are a number of interventions from rapid response within an hour to advice and signposting.”