Call to action for mental health in the Peninsula

26th February 2014, St Mellion, Cornwall

When someone has a mental health crisis, it is distressing and frightening for them as well as the people around them. Urgent and compassionate care in a safe place is essential – a police cell should never need to be used because mental health services are not available. For me, crisis care is the most stark example of the lack of equality between mental and physical health.

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister

The conference saw organisations from across Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly win the backing of Health Minister Norman Lamb as they pledged to improve mental health services. Together, they agreed to create a local version of the Government’s new ‘Crisis Care Concordat’.

The aims of the new agreement are to:

  • help cut the numbers of people detained inappropriately in police cells and end the practice of children in mental health crisis being assessed in police cells,
  • drive out the variation in standards of mental health care across the country,
  • ensure a 24-hour helpline is available for people with mental health problems and a single point of access for crisis care services available 24/7,
  • Ensure that patients always receive suitable care as soon as possible, with clear timescales for treatment after a problem has been identified.

Our local version of the Crisis Care Concordat will ensure we continue to be trailblazers in this field, funding innovative pioneer projects and putting the wellbeing of local residents at the top of our list of priorities.

Adrian James, Clinical Director, South West Strategic Clinical Mental Health Network

Conference report click here

Call to action for mental health in the peninsula

Adrian James, Clinical Director, South West Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health – Introduction 

Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support
Keynote speech: “When I became Care Minister, I made it my mission to put mental health and physical health on an equal footing.”

Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England
Making parity and making action a reality: key priorities for 2014/15: “In the South West, you are seen as the part of the country that we are looking to, to absolutely lead the charge on crisis.”

Louise Hardy, Director of Organisation Development for Pioneer, South Devon and Torbay CCG
The vision for Pioneer South Devon and Torbay:“Our aim is to make mental health mainstream, not separate.”

Vanessa Ford, Interim Director of Nursing at Devon Partnership NHS Trust
What we have done so far at Pioneer South Devon and Torbay: “We need to stop believing that mental health professionals are the experts.”

Tracey Roose, Chief Executive, Age UK Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and Integration Director for Kernow CCG
Living well – Pioneer for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: “We realised, it’s not about hitting targets, it’s about people.”

Iola Davies, Co-chair South West Mental Health Alliance
My experience:“Professionals are facilitators not fixers. I need to be empowered so I can help myself. Be honest, be human.”

Mary Ryan, person with lived experience of mental health problems
My experience: “The more we are just people working together, the better the services will be.”

Rob Gough, service user consultant
My experience:“I want to see more collaborative working, with service users and carers helping to train mental health professionals and give them a personal insight.”

Sarah Wollaston, Health Select Committee member and MP for Totnes
No esteem without parity: “We all know what the problems are, why there isn’t parity of esteem. Now what we need to do is to be very clear about what we are going to hold national politicians to account for.”