1 October - non-executive directors webinar

01 October 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with Sarah Betteley, Chair, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Overheard during the webinar:

“The volume of demand on mental health is extreme and this is the same across the country. We all expect the numbers to continue to increase.”

“We have a pilot going with some of our local GPs where we place a mental health practitioner in the practices to help GPs manage the triaging with mental health cases. If we have this support to manage more severe mental health cases in the GP practices it will make a difference so GPs have an expert resource to use.”

“Our staff are our most important resource. We’re desperately trying to look after the staff we have and protect their wellbeing. We’re also putting a lot into recruitment and retention. We’re grabbing mental health nurses as they finish University to make sure we’re growing our team. The ICS does need to help us do more.”

“As a mental health Trust we entirely depend on collaborative working with colleagues in social care, councils and local government to start working on the triggers and the causes of health inequalities that are leading to people becoming unwell. We can work on the prevention much sooner which will help tackle the demand growth.”

“The correlation between Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs), and social determinants of health for example poverty and discrimination is high. What is our role for advocating for those without voice, who often wait the longest?”

"Children services and eating disorders in particular are experiencing a huge increase in demand. A review showed that the mental health system was 80+ beds short of the need pre-Covid and creating beds takes time so there is no short-term solution. Implementing new models of care require huge boosts to pre-bed/community services and support and pulling together the resources in health, social care and the community/voluntary sector."

“How good do we think our services are at supporting the available resources at home for people with mental health issues. I have a case study where the objective is clear for a young person with anorexia to follow a meal plan, but at home that's failing and they are in a loop of being in and out of inpatients because weight recordings result in admission due to the risk of heart attack. There seems to be a lack of coordination in community support with these cases.”

“We are looking very much in how better to involve wider community services and voluntary and third sector colleagues in stemming the tide, and taking pressure off the front door, notably at place. The role of social prescribers and community-based interventions is very high on our agenda.”

“I keep hearing the dramatic warning words of ‘the mental health pandemic or Tsunami’ to come. Is this scaremongering or if genuine, will the services/resources be sufficient to bear the brunt of the burden of disease? Are we doing enough to be prepared? Are patients going to fall between the acute and community models? Is this a divide and distract phenomenon without addressing the real needs?”

"The role that counsellors and psychotherapists play is critical and they could do more. A lot of us spend a significant proportion of our working hours volunteering in the third sector, saving a huge cost pressure on the NHS."

“How do we share the mental health data with other colleagues so that we can tackle this properly?”

These meetings are by invitation and are open to all NHS non-executives directors, chairs and associate non-executive directors of NHS providers. Others may attend by special invitation. For further details, visit our events page.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about these webinars, please contact: events@good-governance.org.uk