2018 Mental Health Conference review

The NHSBN team closed the week with the 2018 Benchmarking & Good Practice in Mental Health Services conference, held on Friday 9th November. Julian Emms, Chief Executive for Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust and chair of the NHSBN Mental Health Reference Group, Chaired the conference, which offered energetic debate and interaction from the audience. We also welcomed the Institute of Health Visiting and the Centre for Mental Health as exhibitors.

Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive for NHS Providers, presented session one of the programme, with an update on their activity within the Mental Health sector. Saffron discussed how NHS Providers offers a vital resource for addressing healthcare and listed the priorities of the organisation (workforce, core Mental Health, early intervention, and transformation), with a focus on how to tackle the care deficit.

We then moved onto the Mental Health Community & Inpatient Services findings, in a two-part presentation, delivered by NHSBN Director, Stephen Watkins. Some points to take away from the project include:

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  • Both bed numbers and length of stay has reached a steady state over the last few years for adult acute services.

  • Use of the Mental Health Act is decreasing in absolute numbers.

  • The largest staff group in adult acute services is support workers. Nurses and support workers together constitute 79% of the inpatient workforce.

As a last minute addition to the programme, we heard from Justine Faulkner, Programme Lead for NHS England. She detailed how NHS England are using validated data from NHSBN and the Mental Health Service Review to inform The NHS England Mental Health Secure Care Programme, from identifying priorities through to delivery.

The focus then moved to an international perspective, with an insightful presentation from Emily Hewlett from the OECD on the importance of benchmarking internationally, in order to focus on healthcare priorities. Emily reiterated the OECD’s mission to emphasise the importance of outcome measures for Mental Health, which has recently been identified as a high-level priority, and a drive to develop comparability across countries.

We returned from lunch to hear the keynote address, presented by National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch. Claire delivered a succinct presentation, updating delegates on NHS England’s Mental Health Five Year Forward View, exploring the key achievements to date, including a Mental Health investment standard. In addition to this, Claire provided an excellent summary of the digital health innovations in mental health, including the development of specialist modules of clinical triage through NHS 111 for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

We continued our programme with three good practice speakers. Beginning with NHS Wales, Shane Mills detailed the Mental Health initiatives in the Welsh Ambulance Service. We heard the differences between ambulance usage and urgent care demand in relation to mental health concerns, which could evidence further opportunities for deployment and workforce, as well as training. Their report has a huge level of data and information for people to explore further.  

Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust took to the stage, presenting on HoNOS and the ability to feedback to clinicians in a more meaningful way. CNWL are advocates of Tableau and described their activity with regard to clinical intelligence and mental health outcomes. A takeaway comment from CNWL was the work by Donabedian on quality, showing how outcomes are the net result of structure, process and culture.

Our final good practice of the day came from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, who explained how they are using data to inform service change. They have an in-house dashboard, covering quality and performance, experience measures and qualitative measures. Covering thousands of metrics, NTW are able to project activity, improve patient safety and provide more personalised care.

Thank you to delegates and speakers for their input into the event and the project. Project outputs, including bespoke and national reports, have been circulated to Project Leads. If you have any Mental Health project queries, please contact Assistant Project Manager, Dave Barker.