A project known as ‘Serenity’ (Serenity Integrated Mentoring or SIM) has been revealed as the winner of the HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care at this year’s Nursing Times awards, which took place on Wednesday (26th October) at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The accolade celebrates the collaboration between Hampshire Constabulary, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, and Wessex Academic Health Science Network towards improving the lives and prospects of patients in complex mental health situations.
One of the judges for this award is Carol Kefford, a chief nurse with Nuffield Health. She said:
“This is a truly original project with tremendous impact. Lives have been changed; not only for the service users but for their loved ones, their communities and for those who had previously managed their care. Their work is not only sustainable but scalable, so that many more people can be reached both in this country and overseas. The winners have challenged established perspectives and brought two very different, very traditional cultures together, healing minds and changing mindsets along the way. Both nursing and policing will evolve as a result.”
Hampshire Constabulary Sergeant Paul Jennings, who leads the initiative, said:
“All of us are delighted and humbled at this recognition for the difference we’re making in supporting mental health patients and their families to change lives and prospects for the better.
“This is a brand new model of care, which combines the clinical approach of a mental health nurse and the boundary setting role of a police officer. Together this joint team brings a new approach and a new perspective to service users struggling to cope with challenging and complex behaviours.”
Vicki Haworth, from Isle of Wight NHS Trust and the Mental Health Innovations Lead and Clinical Lead for SIM said:
“This is really fantastic news. We are so proud to have jointly developed this new model of care with Hampshire Constabulary, which provides a jointly commissioned police officer to work in and alongside our mental health practitioners and teams. This is a really good example of the My Life a Full Life approach to services.
“Our SIM officer helps us to support and manage some of our most complex and high risk service users. The results are amazing. We have seen dramatic reductions in admissions to our acute psychiatric wards and Emergency Department, in police call outs and ambulance deployments. Most importantly we have had really good feedback from our service users involved in the SIM programme and from their families.”
Over the course of 18 months from June 2013, the project’s focus on 6 repeat patients struggling with their own behaviour produced progress and results that included:
- Reductions in crisis calls to police and ambulance;
- Reductions in false, malicious or unnecessary reasons for people in mental health situations attending emergency departments;
- Exhausted family members feeling more reassured and involved in the recovery of their relatives;
- Mental health nurses reporting improved working relationships and less abusive behaviour;
- Patients feeling more motivated and willing to improve with healthier choices.
Sergeant Jennings added:
“The success of this integrated approach is now showing the way towards the development of a professional network and online course for other police forces and public health teams.
“We’re striving to continue transforming perceptions of people with mental health needs to build a better understanding of someone’s behaviour, and the most effective treatment provided by the whole public sector.
“There are good foundations in place to explore how organisations working more closely together can make this vision a reality, giving greater hope to patients from more professionals who have a compassionate and assertive attitude to improving people’s lives in our local communities.”
Karen Baker, Chief Executive Officer at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“Vital to the future of our own and other services is working together and in partnership. A great motivator for driving forward this approach is to see success in areas that have already found common ground, and you cannot find a better acknowledgement than a Royal award that celebrates a pioneering partnership between the police and NHS in mental health care.
“This has been such an innovative and successful programme right from the start, this award is well deserved and a credit to the team, led here at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust by Vicki Haworth, Mental Health Innovations Lead and Clinical Lead for SIM, and Sergeant Paul Jennings at Hampshire Constabulary, who leads the initiative. Congratulations to everyone involved, and I hope that many more successful collaborations will follow.”