Health Minister, Rosie Winterton, today visited the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust to see how successfully the Trust is modernising services for people with mental health problems. Rosie, whose Ministerial responsibilities include adult mental health services, met with members of the newly established Crisis Resolution and Assertive Outreach teams and Gill Green, Adult Services Manager for the Trust.
These community teams have been set up in response to what people who use services, and their carers, have said they want and have been established across all of the Trust’s localities, in ways that respond to local needs:
Assertive Outreach Teams offer care to people who may be ‘hard to reach’ through other services and all teams were put in place in localities in the spring. The teams offer 24-hour access to support, seven days a week.
Crisis Resolution Teams provide intensive packages of care to people in their own homes. People who use services and their carers consistently say that they want services outside of formal inpatient settings and as close to home and familiar environments as possible. Advances in medication and increased community services also support this.
Rosie Winterton said, ‘I really enjoyed meeting members of staff who provide such essential services in the local community. Thanks to their hard work mental health services have improved considerably in Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees in recent years.
‘The shift in emphasis from in-patient care to delivering care in peoples’ homes and in the community helps to reduce the number of hospital beds being used and means that people can get the treatment they need in their local area. These modernised services support increased choice for care to be provided in community settings or in people’s homes and provide support for all aspects of people’s lives.’
Gill Green explained more about the teams, ‘They work in the community and provide support for people in their own homes, offering care in the least restrictive and stigmatising environments as possible. We were delighted that Rosie Winterton visited the Trust and met with staff who are at the frontline of these services and are responsible for making a difference to people’s lives.’
Rosie Winterton’s visit to Wakefield is part of Local Engagement Event and regional tour of West Yorkshire by the Health Secretary John Reid and his five Health Ministers on Thursday 2 September.
This is the first time ever that the entire ministerial team has visited one region together and they will have visited a whole range of NHS and social care services throughout the region during the day. They also met with around 400 staff and patient representatives to answer questions about local health services and discuss future plans for the NHS in West Yorkshire.