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South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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Older people’s mental health inpatient services consultation

How we developed the proposed options

We heard from staff, patients, carers, families and stakeholders from across health and care, including voluntary and community organisations over eight years. We have listened to the voice and views of nearly 1,000 people from across our local areas to help shape our proposals. Our activity included:

  • conversations with people who use our services, including carers, families and their loved ones.
  • conversations with a range of staff who provide inpatient care.
  • feedback from other public sector and NHS organisations.
  • workshops to share information and feedback.
  • a stakeholder event to test the proposed options.
  • further developing the proposed options through a range of conversations and a workshop.

You can read about our journey below:

  • 2015 – programme of improvement for older people’s community and inpatient services begins
  • Autumn 2015 – conversations with service users and carers to capture feedback on the aspects of a service that were important to them
  • 2016 – events held with staff, service users, carers and partners. Feedback and insight from site visits, including to other NHS Trusts
  • 2017 – further series of workshops with service users and carers to consider a future model of care
  • Equality impact assessment
  • 2017/2018 – ward visits to listen to experiences of care
  • 2018 – further engagement to share progress and capture views. Focus on older people’s community mental health services.
  • Equality impact assessment
  • 2019 – improvements made to older people’s community mental health services
  • 2020 – 2021 – pause due to focus on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • 2021 – focus on transformation of older people’s mental health inpatient services begins
  • Spring/summer 2021 – developing the inpatient model. Initial conversations with a range of partners (GP leads, programme board and internal steering group)
  • Equality impact assessment
  • Autumn/winter 2021 – considering options and approach based on feedback to date
  • Spring/summer 2022 – review of options by the clinical senate
  • Summer 2022 – workshops held with staff
  • Autumn/winter 2022 – engagement workshops held with staff and stakeholders
  • Equality impact assessment
  • Winter 2022-2023 – stakeholder event. Considering engagement feedback, developing options, seeking assurance ahead of a potential consultation.

Considering equality has run through all our work. We use a tool called an impact assessment which tells us who our population are, who uses services now, and what we need to do to improve them. Making sure our services are safe, effective and high quality is driven by a quality impact assessment. This assessment also tells us what good practice looks like, using national standards, good practice and guidance.

All the proposed options have been carefully considered using all this information. The aim is that each proposed option can best meet the needs of the people we serve including our staff and the local population.

A short summary of what people told us

From patients, families and carers we heard that in general, people supported having specialist wards. When we spoke to people on our older people’s mental health inpatient wards, over 70% of people rated their current care and treatment as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. They also said:

  • staff working on our wards are caring, hard-working, and that they ‘couldn’t do enough for them’.
  • they would prefer to be on a specialist ward which is gender specific.
  • a specialist ward would be calmer and better for patients diagnosed with dementia.
  • locations of a specialist ward might be further away from home and they might need to travel further.
  • we could look at ways to help and support people who might need to travel further.
  • there are alternative ways to see family members and loved ones on a ward that they could use such as video calls.
  • we could offer more flexible visiting times.

From our staff we heard that having specialist wards would mean that inpatients would get better care and treatment. We heard how our staff think that:

  • specialist care could make better use of their skills and as a result improve care.
  • patients could spend less time on our wards and be discharged sooner than they are now.
  • there is the opportunity to have ‘dementia friendly’ environments, which can have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
  • treatment could be more focused.
  • our older people’s mental health inpatient service would be more person-centred.

Our health, care and third sector organisations also supported having specialist wards. We heard about:

  • travel and transport, including thinking about public transport, parking, and visiting times.
  • the layout of wards, including how wards could be adapted to better support people diagnosed with dementia, and building in space for families and carers of
  • people who need end of life care.
  • making sure that our proposed options are suitable for the predicted rise in the numbers of older people who might need to use mental health inpatient services in the future.
  • working together with other organisations who provide health, care and support to older people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

The North England Clinical Senate also reviewed our proposed options. They are an independent body who give independent advice and review plans when services propose a change. Their aim is to make sure that proposed changes have the best interests of people who use our services, their families, carers and loved ones at the centre. This includes a focus on improving the quality and safety of care. The North England Clinical Senate findings told us:

  • we could not continue to deliver care in the way that we do now.
  • no change was not an option.
  • we should be making changes so that services meet the needs of everyone in the future

They support the proposed options and strongly agreed that patients with dementia and a functional mental health need should be cared for in separate, dedicated wards.

If you want to read more about all the conversations and feedback, please visit our website: www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/opsconsultation

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