Hard work of NHS staff sees them hand-picked as role models for positive care

The hard work of North East NHS staff has been recognised as they are included in a national one-stop-shop guide for people wanting examples of positive mental health care.

The new and unique online guide, called the Guide to Positive Practice in Mental Health, offers a directory of positive examples of mental health care that can act as role models to others across the country.

Several initiatives from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) have been listed in the guide, demonstrating just how the North East is continuing to improve mental health services and share good practice with others around the country.

NTW chief executive, John Lawlor, said: “We at NTW are delighted to support the launch of this directory. It enables all providers, staff, GPs and particularly service users and carers to know what an excellent mental health service looks like by sharing positive practice.

“If we are to improve mental health care for people, then we need to know what positive care looks like. We’re honoured to have had some of our services chosen to feature, and look forward to learning from colleagues elsewhere in the country as we continue in our efforts to improve our services further.”

Members of the public, GPs, care providers and others will be able to search the guide to find case studies of mental health care working effectively – from the moment someone first becomes involved in services, up until discharge, as well as all the specialist services in between.

Each of the 200+ services in the directory has been judged as a positive example of mental health care. Every service listed has been hand-picked by a group of service users, carers, and healthcare staff for being an example of ‘positive practice’ that others could learn from.

Four of the NTW services/role included the guide are: the Sunderland Psychiatric Liaison Team (based at Sunderland Royal Hospital); Tyneside Recovery College (Recovery College Collective, based at Broadacre House, Newcastle); Alnwick Ward at Northgate Hospital; and the role of Clinical Police Liaison Lead (Claire Andre, who works across the North East).

Other NTW services are in the process of being added to the guide, which will continue to grow.

Angie Russell is the co-founder of Positive Practice in Mental Health Collaborative, a national group of different groups working together, which is behind the new online directory. She said: “This original new online guide will be very useful for commissioners, GPs and indeed any provider seeking to improve or add to the services they have.  Importantly it will negate the need to waste time, money and effort in reinventing the wheel.”

This is just the latest example of how the North East is leading the way to improve mental health care for the people it serves. NTW was recently hand-picked by national body NHS Improvement to be its ‘strategic partner’ to lead the way in transforming mental health care services across the country.

Mr Lawlor, who was recently ranked as the best mental health NHS  trust chief executive in the country, added: “It’s heartening to hear that we are getting things right in mental health care, but we are very aware that we still have a very long way to go. As I stressed after our outstanding rating from the CQC, we are encouraged, but certainly not complacent.

“We know there are still areas we need to do better in. Our job is to offer services that match the best in the world and we are committed to keep working towards that.

“This is just the start of the journey, not the end. We must always keep fighting to improve our services so the people of the North East get the mental health care and support they deserve – in other words – the best of the best.”