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NHS England pledges £750k to Bristol Royal Infirmary for 24 hour psychiatric liaison service

5 April 2017

NHS England has awarded University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) £750k to extend psychiatric liaison services in the emergency department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. This means they will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The award is part of NHS England’s new delivery plan to push through the changes set out in its Five Year Forward View.

The trust has already extended its psychiatric liaison service into evenings and weekends, as a result of the work of the Improving Care in Self-Harm Health Integration Team (STITCH HIT). The STITCH team had identified that most people attending the emergency department following self-harm did so outside the normal weekday, 9am-5pm service. Funding secured from Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group enables the service to go some way towards better meeting the needs of these patients. The new funding will build on this successful foundation which has saved the trust £170k a year.

The award is part of a larger NHS England investment to meet the priorities of patients and the public across the region over the next two years by better integrating health and care services. Patients in the South West will see services increasingly delivered in a joined-up way, helping to deliver greater access to services in primary care and in patients’ own homes, as well as more options for accessing urgent care.

Two-and-a-half years on since the publication of the widely-welcomed NHS Five Year Forward View, the NHS Delivery Plan sets out the changes which will take place across the health service in key areas, including:

  • Boosting mental health services
    • A national commitment to end out-of-area care placements for children and young people by increasing the number of beds available by 10 per cent
    • Mental health services for new mothers will also be increased and more mental health professionals in the community and hospitals will help prevent crisis admissions by ensuring more patients get help sooner
    • NHS England has offered £30m to 74 sites around the country that have made successful bids to achieve the ‘Core 24’ standard for mental health liaison, meaning a fully-staffed team operating 24/7 in a hospital, offering a one-hour response to emergency mental health referrals in A&E. One of the successful sites was UH Bristol
  • Improved cancer care - aimed at saving an additional 5,000 lives a year across England, patients will have access to state-of-the-art linear accelerator radiotherapy machines, as well as new national screening programmes for bowel cancer. Funding for linear accelerators has also been awarded to University Hospitals Bristol as part of this programme
  • Better access to GP services - with every area of the country benefiting from extended opening in the evenings and weekends
  • More options for urgent and emergency care - New Urgent Treatment Centres will be rolled out across the country, and a beefed up NHS 111 service – with more access to clinical advice – will help ease pressure on A&Es, where GPs and mental health professionals will be stationed to help divert patients to more appropriate care

Dr Caroline Gamlin, Medical Director for NHS England in the South West, said:

“This announcement sets out how services will be improved for patients over the next two years, whether it’s better access to family doctors, cancer treatment or mental health care.

“We’ll be working closely with local health and care leaders and frontline staff as they now work in partnership to deliver on the priorities that patients and members of the public have told us matter.”

The national plan – Next Steps On The NHS Five Year Forward View – sets out the imperative to break down barriers between NHS organisations and wrap services around patients. It describes how learning from the 50 ‘vanguard’ projects across England – including those at Yeovil and South Devon and Torbay – will be adopted by Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to provide better care for older people by bringing together services provided by GPs, hospitals, therapists, nurses and care staff, cutting emergency admissions and time spent in hospitals.

The plan also sets out how national and local bodies will take action to increase efficiency and tackle waste to make money invested in the NHS go further in delivering the services and staff that patients want, including the latest treatments and technology.

Launching the Delivery Plan, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said:

“Heading into our 70th year, public support for the NHS is as strong as ever but so too are the pressures on our frontline staff.

“Today we chart a course for practical care improvements for the next few years. We do not underestimate the challenges but, get these right, and patients, staff and the tax-paying public will notice the benefits.

“The document outlines significant progress made over the last three years, including record high cancer survival rates, 8,000 extra doctors and nurses, the first ever waiting time standards for mental health treatment being introduced and met, and cutting waste – in particular agency staffing bills.

“It also, however, frankly sets out where progress has not been as quick, with rising pressure on A&E and acute wards partly caused by delayed transfers of care.”

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“We welcome this delivery plan, and will work with NHS England to ensure it is delivered successfully and engages with patients nationally and locally.

“This is essential both to ensure that the importance of change is understood by everyone, and to get input from patients about how new and re-designed services can meet their needs.

“We call on decision-makers nationally and locally to support this process, to ensure that NHS services work well for patients now and in the future.”
NHS England pledges £750k to Bristol Royal Infirmary for 24 hour psychiatric liaison service
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