STEPS taken by a health trust to reduce the number of mental health patients being sent out of the area has been praised in a national report.
Southern Health’s development of ‘care navigators, and involvement of patients with mental health needs and carers in decisions about their care have been highlighted by Lord Nigel Crisp, former chief executive of the NHS.
The trust runs community hospitals, health centres, inpatient units and social care services, including Elmleigh Hospital in Havant and Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Lord Crisp features the care navigator role at Southern Health as an example of good practice in his report.
The report calls for urgent action to improve acute psychiatric care for severely ill mental health patients in England. It found that nationally access to acute care for adults with severe mental illness was inadequate and potentially dangerous.
Dr Lesley Stevens, medical director at Southern Health, said: ‘In October 2014 the Trust was using more than 50 out-of-area beds which was unacceptable to us. However it is now eight months since any one experiencing a mental health crisis has had to travel outside of Hampshire for a bed.’