Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) is expanding its mental health services, providing specialist support and care to patients with mental health needs across the trust’s hospitals through new expert roles, extended services and outreach programmes.
Following on from the creation of the new role of lead nurse for mental health in 2020, the trust which runs three hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, has now put in place specialist mental health clinicians to work alongside patients on wards and is working to expand collaborative work with local mental health services and charities.
Adam Smith who was appointed in the role as lead nurse for mental health said: “We are seeing an increased need for robust mental health services following the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented our communities over the last almost 18 months – and this is certainly not going away. Our priority is to provide the best possible care to our patients – this includes their physical recovery as well as their mental health needs.
“We know that one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness in the UK. When put into context with HHFT’s served population of approx. 600,000 people, this statistic is sobering. We are working in collaboration with partners across the Integrated Care System to provide the best possible care for everyone who needs us, including Mental Health Trusts Sussex Partnership and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trusts, South Central Ambulance Service, Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Police.
“In a general acute hospital setting, patients may find themselves in situations that may feel stressful or scary and this may exacerbate mental health issues. It’s vital that we can support our patients in this aspect to ensure they are receiving the very best comprehensive care possible - whether it’s in our emergency departments, or on our wards.”
To support this, the trust has appointed two specialist mental health practitioners – with two additional posts planned in August. These roles are for mental health professionals with extensive experience, who can support the lead nurse for mental health in the delivery of clinical support to ward teams across the hospitals.
In addition, and in collaboration with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, a Hampshire Liaison Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) will be operational within HHFT’s emergency departments from July. This service will carry out key assessments and care planning for children and young people that attend hospital for urgent or unscheduled care.
Adam said: “The Hampshire Liaison CAMHS service will strive for early assessment and intervention for child and young people, ensuring more relevant and most appropriate support for patients and keeping them out of an acute hospital setting where appropriate– improving our continuity of care and ensuring the right services are available at the right time.
“Our emergency departments are also supported by youth workers through an outreach programme run by No Limits, a charity that supports children and young people in Hampshire through a range of issues including housing, debt, mental health and substance misuse.
“In addition to all of the expansion of mental health services at HHFT, our collaborative relationship with the charitable sector through enables us to ensure we are providing full-range care to our patients in our community and our emergency departments.”
Julie Dawes, chief nurse at the trust, said: “Caring for our patients means looking after their physical and mental health, and I am incredibly proud of the team and all the ways we have worked hard to expand our mental health services.
“The work already underway has been a success thanks to close working with our health and social care partners to ensure the right care is given at the right time, in the right place. I am looking forward to seeing how we can continue to develop this work and provide the best possible care to everyone who needs us.”
To hear more from Adam on exciting Mental Health developments at HHFT, watch HHFT’s Annual General Meeting 2021.
Notes to Editors
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides hospital services to a population of approximately 600,000 people in Hampshire and parts of West Berkshire.
HHFT has around 8,600 staff and a turnover of over £500 million a year.
HHFT delivers one hospital service across multiple locations including its own hospitals, Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. It also provides outpatient and assessment services from Alton Community Hospital.
As a Foundation Trust, HHFT is accountable to the local community through a system of local ownership with members and elected governors. HHFT has around 15,000 staff and public members. Foundation Trusts are free from central government control and can reinvest any surplus to develop clinical services. They are authorised and regulated by NHS Improvement, an independent regulator.
Hampshire Hospitals Charity (Registered Charity 1060133) is managed by the Foundation Trust itself and is split into ward and department funds. The funds are used to provide items that will benefit both patients and staff as well as to brighten up patient treatment areas and staff facilities. Most wards and departments have their own funds and the decisions as to how the funds are to be used are made at ward and departmental level, subject to guidelines issued by the Charity Commission.