Building on the progress made in collaborative working during the pandemic, Central & North West London NHS Trust and West London NHS Trust now have integrated governance structures, with an informal joint Collaborative Board and Operational Delivery Group, overseeing a range of workstreams to deliver improvements in the care we provide for residents of North West London.
This Mental Health Collaborative is responsible for implementing the North West London Mental Health, Learning Disability & Autism (NWL MHLDA) strategy, working alongside the North West London Integrated Care Board (ICB). Collaborative members also hold the budget for specialist services in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Eating Disorders on behalf of NHS England and also participate in the North London Forensic Collaborative.
Our day-to-day operational and improvement work is about identifying opportunities to better support patients, together, particularly where thinking once across both Trusts means we will have a greater impact. This has been supported by monthly meetings of our operational and strategic leaders, and quarterly meetings of our CEOs, alongside an ICB-led Executive Board where we meet with other partners in North West London.
At these meetings health leaders are focused on using best practice to make improvements to existing mental health services for the benefit of the people and communities of North West London.
A key priority has been to minimise hospital admissions by providing more care options in the local community.
Over the last two years, Clinical Leads for Talking Therapies services from each of the 8 North West London boroughs have been meeting regularly to share information about operational successes and challenges in a variety of areas including recruitment and referrals. The services are provided by West London NHS Trust and Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust. By working together in this way, clinicians have been able to learn from each other and as a result make service improvements, reduce variations, share resources and avoid duplication of effort.
Having agreed to align the way they gather data they are now embarking on a year-long project which looks at patient journeys and compares the access, experience and outcomes of different demographic groups. The aim is to understand the data, see what can be learnt from any variations in performance across the boroughs and implement further improvements by replicating best practice.
Patients can find out more about our Talking Therapy services and self-refer by visiting www.nhstalk2us.org
Since 2019, the Mental Health Collaborative's partnership programme has been focused on improving patient rehabilitation rates by making changes to our system that result in better outcomes for our most complex patients. The team uses a mix of skills – social work, mental health nursing and occupational therapy – to review and support patients in their recovery, and support others to care for them as well.
In the past 4 years, average stays in expensive acute settings have halved (from 3.4 years to 1.5), and our use of independent hospital placements reduced by 20% – meaning patients a now cared for closer to home, at a better cost to the NHS.
The Mental Health Collaborative offers various support options for individuals with mental health challenges looking for help with obtaining or retaining employment.
To help with this we have created a dedicated website: www.getmeworking.org focused on helping anyone in North West London with work related challenges.
We have recruited a number of Expert by Experience (EbEs) who are providing support for adults with eating disorders across North West London. More information about our Eating Disorders Services can be found via the following links:
The Mental Health Collaborative jointly delivers a Maternity Trauma and Loss Care Service (M-TLC) for people who have been affected by birth trauma and baby loss across our eight North West London boroughs.
Contact details for the individual boroughs can be found via the following links: