Mental health services that are available in the community to support people with severe mental illness are improving.

We are developing a new way of working and modernising community mental health services for adults and older adults, taking into account the particular needs of our four places (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton).

The animation below shows how someone's journey will change after the community mental health transformation.

There is more information about this transformation and how to get involved below. 

If you have any questions or would like to help please contact us.

Email: bchft.mhtransformation@nhs.net

  • The April/May newsletter has now been released

  • We have created a short video to help you understand changes to teams in our four localities. This video is available to watch on YouTube

  • Our Psychological Therapy Hub (PT Hub), which includes the Recovery Intervention Service (RIS), has been disbanded and is now integrated within our integrated community mental health teams in Dudley and Walsall. Patients will still be able to receive psychological support but they will now be able to access it directly from community teams. More details can be found in the February newsletter.
  • We've launched our new Rehab model. Read more about this in our February newsletter
  • Changes have been made to urgent and non-urgent referrals in our four localities. More information about these changes can be found in the February newsletter

Be part of the future of community mental healthcare in the Black Country. 

We are actively recruiting new roles to support our newly transformed services. If you're passionate about making a difference in the Black Country we want to hear from you. 

Vacancies will be added to this section when they are available.

 

Please find below a list of frequently asked questions relating to the community mental health transformation.

Project developments:

Why are the objectives that are set for the transformation programme so open?

We are working to set more defined objectives during our workstream meetings. Updates relating to this will be featured in upcoming newsletters.

How will we measure the impact of transformation?

Outcome measures are something that we will agree within the systems working group and through other systems networks as we agree on the models. The reason for this is that we recognise that not all outcomes will be able to be measured through quantitative data. We also want to ensure that we have qualitative measures that provide insight into people’s experiences and ensure we are providing a person-centred approach.

We will ensure that as the models are shared widely, and that we are open and honest about the way we will measure how successful they are.

 

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations:

Will there be funding available for Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations?

Money has already been allocated to fund further support from VCSE organisations, this has been sent out to the system and expressions of interest are being considered following the process agreed with the Black Country VCSE forum.

We are also currently working on confirming our Core Community Model for the transformation within our systems working groups. The model will require a systems approach to ensure we can meet the objective of being able to provide person-centred care — getting people the right support, at the right time, by the right person. This will provide further opportunities for funding for the system including VCSEs within the Black Country.

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations often don't feel equal partners in decision-making and planning- how will that change?

VCSE organisations are being invited to join our three workstreams: Access, Support and Intervention and Core Offer. Organisations from this sector will be treated as equal partners in decision-making and planning. If you would like to join any of these workstreams, please contact our dedicated inbox.

 

Engaging and supporting the communities that we serve:

When will the people who use our services and carers see the benefits?

We plan to implement the Primary Care and Community model throughout the summer, as a result, we hope that people trying to get support will start to see an improvement.

The offer will then grow progressively, being fully implemented by the end of 2023. At this point, people using our services and their carers will have full access to our new-look services.

This will include:

  • More support at Primary Care level
  • Person-centred approach through the community offer, with support in navigating services
  • New referral pathways to ensure that people can get the right support at the right time, without having to repeat their story
  • Specialised support to enable in-reach to inpatient units to support people who are ready to go back into the community
  • Have a system that recognises that social factors are an important part of recovery and staying well

How will you be addressing waiting times and issues around accessing support?

The Trust recognises that waiting times aren’t currently acceptable, and we are working to change this. We have funded outside support to be able to look at this, along with utilising different services to signpost to things that can support people whilst they’re waiting for therapeutic intervention. We are reviewing where people best sit to ensure that wait times are reduced and that we can provide support tailored to someone’s individual needs.

Is there a mapping exercise taking place to find out what support is available?

Work is taking place to map out the support available within each locality of the Black Country — these projects are ongoing. We are ensuring that we are not duplicating any of the work taking place in each locality. We have made some fantastic strides to achieving a clear picture of the offer and being innovative about ensuring the information is accessible to the people of the Black Country.

What pathways exist and how can we access them?

We are aware that we haven’t got anywhere that states what our current offer is across the Black Country from either the Trust or the system. To combat this, there is work going on in each locality to map the current offer from the system for mental health and wellbeing. Although this work isn’t part of the community transformation, we are feeding into this work and will share updates using our communication channels. Following the transformation we will utilise the community model and new care pathways to ensure that people are supported to access the support or intervention they need.

There isn't currently any advocacy support in Sandwell, will there be advocacy support to help stop barriers?

We are aware of various advocacy services and groups in and around Sandwell, including for mental health – information can be found on Sandwell Council’s website.

Will people with lived experience, and their carers be recognised and involved in the transformation?

We are keen to work with people with lived experience and their carers as equal partners throughout this transformation. If you would like to be involved, please contact our dedicated inbox – alternatively, you can fill in an online form on our website.

Do we have a central workstream for people who struggle to engage?

We do not currently have a specific workstream for this, however, we want to ensure that not only is the programme transparent, but we are constantly inviting engagement in the workstreams. As a result, we will be feeding updates through multiple avenues for system partners, existing staff and the Trust’s Co-production Network. We will be making engagement in the working groups flexible, to ensure that people have the opportunity to share their views and be part of the planning in the areas they are interested in without having to commit to ongoing planning.

We will continue to send communications through as many forums as possible, as a result, if you wish to be involved but have some concerns please contact the team by emailing our dedicated inbox.

How will people with health conditions or impairments be considered when transforming community mental health services?

We want to make our community mental health services as accessible as possible. We will be working with people with health conditions or impairments to help shape services to suit the needs of our Black Country communities.

Will there be any meetings based in the community so people can attend and give their ideas?

We will be holding engagement events throughout the transformation programme. Information about when these events will be taking place will be promoted on our website and in our newsletters.

How will we ensure that mental health services work for the deaf community?

We recognise that the deaf community face barriers when accessing our services. We work closely with Re-Think to provide a 24/7 helpline. This route does have a text chat function, and we will be introducing email referrals. We are looking at options to co-produce the transformation of community mental health services in the Black Country, and we would like to invite members of the deaf community, along with others, to work with us so that we can remove barriers. If you would like to be part of this work, please email us via Bchft.mhtransformation@nhs.net.

How have we considered people who are non-English speakers?

Getting support from interpreter services can be a barrier for people trying to access support. Voluntary organisations across the Black Country already provide this type of support on a level that our organisation couldn’t offer internally. By working in partnership with these o

 

Workforce:

How will you ensure that secondary care professionals are willing to adapt and take on board a more holistic approach?

We are engaging with staff and the people who will be affected by the transformation of community mental health services in the Black Country. We are working to get people on board and involved whilst we are at this early stage of transformation.

How will the Mental Health Practitioner roles work?

Mental Health Practitioners are an essential part of community mental health transformation. They are trained mental health professionals who work in primary care settings such as clinics and GP surgeries, providing low-level mental health support and interventions to patients with common mental health problems. This integration of mental health support in primary care improves access, reduces stigma and helps people get the support they need earlier. PCMHPs work alongside GPs, providing timely interventions and reducing the need for referrals to specialist mental health services.

How will you tackle recruitment?

The Community Transformation programme will be supported by a workforce plan to allow us to take a more centralised approach to recruitment, utilise the programme as an attraction tool and utilise the support we have available to take some more innovative approaches to recruitment.

We are currently in the process of confirming the models that will be implemented or rolled out as part of the transformation, this will include conversations within our systems working groups to confirm what workforce will be needed and where these roles would be best placed.

Once we have this confirmed we will set the recruitment approach, along with things that are currently being considered and take learning from previous experience:

  • Advertising outside of traditional methods, including promoting roles through current networks across systems partners, utilising our working group members to get the communications out
  • Highlighting the whole transformation, utilising the change that these roles will be part of to attract the right candidates and confirming the difference you could make to people's experience
  • Recruitment Events, that will allow us to promote the programme, bring systems partners together and allow us to utilise more innovative selection methods

 

Children and young people:

How can we look at early intervention in school and other education services?

Although this isn’t something that is specifically being picked up through the Community Transformation, we are already implementing work through new roles to provide such support. The Black Country has Mental Health Support Teams that focus on providing early intervention and mental health wellbeing interventions in schools and other education settings. We also have Educational Mental Health Practitioners in schools providing support for children and young people, school staff, parents and carers. Following the success, we are putting further investment into this financial year to expand these teams into more education settings to support children and young people in the Black Country.

Are children's services also included in this work?

Currently, the majority of the transformation is focusing on services for 18+, however, within the transformation we are creating a pathway that supports young people from children and young people to adult services and providing an all-age eating disorder service.

Although the Community Transformation has an 18+ focus, we are still including the young person’s voice in the planning and working with colleagues from children’s and young people services to seek where we can mirror some of what we are doing for children and young people in the future, this includes exploring primary care roles.

Upcoming public events

  • There are fortnightly meetings (Zoom) on Tuesday afternoons, 5-6pm for young people who would like to contribute to making postive change in mental health services - view the invitation and contact Louise Glover if you would like to join louise.glover2@nhs.net 

Previous public events

  • We held two events for anyone interested in learning more about community mental health transformation and how to get involved on 28 February and 21 March - details of these events are in our March newsletter

Previous stakeholder events

  • Older Adult Therapeutic Services launch 25 May 2022 - recording
  • In-Reach to Care Homes launch 20 July 2022 - recording
  • Admiral Nurses launch - 17 November 2022 - recording
  • Stakeholder engagement event - 21 March 2023 - recording and presentation

If you are a member of staff working for Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust you can also access information and resources on the staff intranet.