Ground-breaking and successful new approaches to mental health care have resulted in plans for an £8.5million low-secure unit in Oxford being shelved.
The proposed forensic unit was aimed at supporting mental health patients with learning difficulties and autism and was earmarked to be built at Littlemore Mental Health Centre, serving those in need of specialist inpatient care from across the south of England.
Service users, families and carers were all asked to comment on initial plans when they were originally drawn up in 2018. During the consultation, they advocated for better services to prevent people needing to go into hospital and for better experiences at those times when they did need inpatient care.
Since then the Thames Valley and Wessex Forensic Network Provider Collaborative – a collection of seven NHS Trusts and a charity, led by Oxford Health – listened to feedback and has implemented a range of improvements and innovations.
This has created better person-centred services for patients and their families and delivers care closer to home – one of the key tenets of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The Provider Collaborative’s Forensic Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (FIND) team ensures people have the care they need in their own homes and communities, preventing admissions where possible and improving discharge processes for inpatients ready to leave hospital care.
This transformative approach, coupled with a reduction in the number of people requiring inpatient care, has meant a proposed centre is no longer needed and the low-secure unit will not be progressed.
Kirsten Prance, Oxford Health’s Associate Clinical Director for Learning Disability Services, said: “The Provider Collaborative and the FIND team put patients, families and carers and their needs at the heart of what they do – working with people to identify and support individual needs and create opportunities for them to thrive.
“We’ve significantly improved planning of local services and the way they work together, meaning people are more fully supported in the community, lessening a need for inpatient services.
”We are really keen to hear how we can continue to improve and develop our services in future.”
If you would like to share views and get involved, please email Getinvolved@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk
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Published: 27 April 2021