This report provides the Board with an overview of the development of the Medway Mental Health Strategy ahead of the draft strategy being presented to a future meeting.
The update was introduced by the Head of Mental Health Commissioning at NHS Medway CCG. Work on development of the Medway Mental Strategy was on-going. An advisory group had been set up which was meeting every four weeks. Stakeholder analysis was being undertaken and the current mental health provision in Medway mapped. The Public Health Team at Medway Council was due to be providing a refreshed Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) chapter on mental health. This had originally been due in July. The Council’s Director of Public Health advised that, following the recent National Mental Health Concordat there were new data requirements. These needed to be reviewed ahead of completion of the JSNA chapter.
A Board Member was concerned about Section 136 provision. Section 136 of the Mental Health Act enables Police to take a person to a place of safety where the person is believed to be suffering from a mental illness and is in immediate need of treatment or care. The Member was concerned that within Medway there was no alternative to accommodating people in Police cells and sought reassurance that this would be addressed as part of the Strategy. The Board was informed that a Kent and Medway wide steering group had been established as part of the Mental Health Concordat and that a North Kent Concordat group had been established. This would be looking at places of safety. There were already five safe suites for people to be taken to in Kent, although the nearest one to Medway was in Dartford. It was hoped that the use of Street Triage in Medway, which saw a mental health nurse going out on patrol with a Police Officer, would help to reduce the need for Section 136 powers to be used.
In response to a question about how the Children’s Wellbeing Service (a separate item on the agenda) would link to the Mental Health Strategy, officers advised that the Children’s Wellbeing Service had been re-procured and that it had not yet been determined whether the Strategy would cover children and young people. There was a need to link to existing CAMHS provision and to help ensure effective transition from children’s to adult services. Tackling health issues was increasingly about prevention and promoting wellness rather than simply dealing with illness.
It was clarified that Red Zebra was a company that undertook communications and engagement for NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group.
A Member considered the report to be informative and that the work being undertaken was looking to keep people well and to reduce the need for admission to acute care facilities. However, the fact that Medway had lost its acute mental health facility was wrong and he was keen to see provision of an acute facility in Medway once again. The Member considered that the needs of families had not been considered and that promised transport provision for family members to see their relatives at out of area facilities had not materialised. The Member was also concerned that the Street Triage provision was only for three nights a week.
The Board noted the update provided and noted that it was anticipated that the draft Medway Mental Health Strategy would be presented the Board at the February 2018 meeting.