News Round Up - January 2020 | News

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News Round Up - January 2020

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Update on Herefordshire’s Mental Health and Learning Disability Services

We (Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust) will take over delivery responsibility for Herefordshire’s mental health and learning disability services from April 2020. The decision follows a strengthening of relationships and links across Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s mental health and learning disability teams in recent years and has been agreed by the current provider Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, ourselves and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Since 2015 organisations and services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been working in partnership (Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) looking at how to improve local healthcare and address known local challenges in a more collaborative way. Within mental health services this has led to improvements in the care available to support parents and families across both counties, and teams are currently working together to transform the support available in the community as one of a handful of national pilots (see below article for more on this). Staff are also talking to local communities to develop the first joint Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Strategy which will be published next year.

GPs and Neighbourhood Team working together to reduce admissions

Since November a pilot project has been set up with one of the county’s new Neighbourhood Teams in-reaching into care homes to provide more proactive support to elderly residents. The pilot is being led by the Droitwich and Ombersley Neighbourhood Team which is one of 13 integrated community teams across Worcestershire, working closely with the local Primary Care Network of GP practices to support three local care homes in the area initially, with a plan to roll out to the other 5 homes in the future. The aim of the pilot is to provide more proactive and responsive care and treatment to their residents without the upheaval of a hospital admission.

The Neighbourhood Teams bring together a range of community staff, including advanced nurse practitioners, community nurses, GPs, therapists, community pharmacists and social care staff to form integrated teams focussed on providing care and treatment for local people at home, reducing avoidable hospital admissions.

Although early days the pilot is already seeing benefits in terms of improved relationships between practice staff and the Neighbourhood Team, and is supporting care home residents to stay at home, avoiding unnecessary ambulance call outs and/or hospital admissions.

Transforming community mental health support

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) has been successful in a bid for national investment to help transform community mental health services across both counties.

The Community Mental Health Transformation Programme will focus on closing the gap between primary and secondary mental health provision with the aim of providing fully integrated services that protects patients from falling between gaps in support. For example we know there is sometimes a gap for patients who don’t require secondary care mental health care, but who may need support beyond what our Healthy Minds/IAPT services offer. This can lead to repeat assessments, patients feeling they are being passed around between different teams, and delays in accessing appropriate support.

The new service will initially cover parts of Worcestershire (Malvern, Wyre Forest and Tenbury, Great Witley and Knightwick) and all of Herefordshire as one of 12 pilots across the country testing new ways of working. If successful the new model will then be rolled out across the whole of Worcestershire and potentially across the UK. For more information contact

Introducing our new Crisis Assessment Suite

Our new countywide Crisis Assessment Suite will be opening early in the New Year providing care and support for people across the county who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Located at the Elgar Unit in Worcester, the aim is to ensureElgar unit external image people experiencing a mental health crisis get the expert help and support they need, while also alleviating pressure and demand on other services. The Crisis Assessment Suite has a refurbished reception area and triage rooms and will provide a more timely and efficient service to those in mental health crisis. Initially access to the suite will be via professional referral only. It will be operational 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.

For more information on this contact who leads the Crisis Resolution Team.

Starting Well Partnership confirmed as 0-19 public health nursing provider

The Trust and our partners – Barnardo’s, Action for Children, and Redditch and Bromsgrove Council – have Starting Well Partnership logo been successful in securing the contract to provide the county’s 0-19 public health nursing services for the next 5 years. The Starting Well Partnership will go live in April 2020 and will build on the existing Starting Well service which has been provided by the Trust for the last few years. It will bring together local Health Visitors, School Health Nurses and the Breastfeeding Support team and will work with parents, families, children and young people to deliver the key priorities as set out in the national Healthy Child Programme as well as offering a wider range of support, information and intervention. For more information on the new service email

Future development opportunities for our Community Hospitals

In the New Year we will be holding some public engagement sessions as part of a project to develop the role of Role of community hospitals within health care graphic our community hospitals. We have seven community hospitals across the county including the Wyre Forest Ward and Worcester City Inpatient Unit and they play a really crucial role in supporting our patients to rehabilitate from illness, hopefully before they continue their recovery back home. The sites will continue to be a key part of our future strategy and this project is about identifying how we could do even more to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve; continue to meet the clinical needs of patients; and support the wider health economy manage future demand.

We think this is a really exciting opportunity and we want to be proactive in working with our communities from the outset to start thinking about how we can deliver a model for community hospitals which is fit for the future. Visit for more details of events and other ways to get involved.

Improved respite service for children with disabilities

The Trust and our partners at Worcestershire Children First will be working with families affected by changes to our overnight short breaks service for children with disabilities. The new model which was formally agreed last year will see the service provided from Ludlow Road in Kidderminster close, with a new enhanced service being developed at Osborne Court in Malvern. There are extensive upgrades being carried out at Osborne Court which will provide a much improved environment for children and their families. Adult short breaks services are already provided on the site, so children will benefit from a more seamless transition to adult support where appropriate. The developments at Osborne Court, which already has a hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms and extensive gardens, should be completed early in April.

Now We’re Talking for Healthy MindsNow Were Talking Right Column Image

You may have heard of the Trust’s Now We’re Talking campaign which we launched over 12months ago to raise awareness of Worcestershire Healthy Minds, a self-referral service supporting those experiencing more common mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. Since we launched we have seen a massive increase in self-referrals of over 90%. If you want to get involved in the campaign or want some publicity materials to share contact - for more information on the Healthy Minds service visit our website:

New and improved Trust website

In November we went live with a new Trust website. The address remains but it now has a new design built for phones and tablets, an improved search function, and a new format which will meet all national accessibility standards. Check it out and all feedback welcome; please email

Thank you for reading, if you have any feedback or want more information on any of the above email: Head of Communications, Gary Morgan on gary.morgan7@nhs,net