Mental Health Awareness Week – City and Hackney CCG

For our next customer recognition for Mental Health Awareness Week, Patients Know Best (PKB) will highlight the journey City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has had to date. This region has focused on collaborative working with their service users to support their mental health awareness and management, through the establishment of The Digital Recovery Platform for Severe Mental Illness.

The Digital Recovery Platform is a great example of vision and project that are possible through true collaboration with service users and across care sectors. The service user voice calling for, better recovery planning is at the heart of this project. Through a collaborative working group, they fed back that a solution needed to be identified that would remove the expectation on the user to have to repeat their story more than once as they moved through mental health and recovery services, by having all this information in a single place that can be shared as needed. In order to do this, service users of City and Hackney needed ongoing access to and involvement in their care plans, and better access to their health information. 

Around this, a project structure has been built spanning all the organisations in the severe mental illness pathway: secondary care, primary care, the voluntary sector with technical input from Silver Cloud and PKB.

Once the users have access to this information, they can also make sure others who help them with their mental health recovery journey can access this information and work collaboratively to achieve their recovery goals. Users can also update information as they continue on their recovery journey, and ask for help or support when needed along the way. This has been made possible by the creation of a shared recovery plan called ‘Me and My Goals’ which has been designed by service users, setting out what matters to them, and what can help them to get well and stay well.

This plan can be written and updated by the service user as they are on their recovery journey, and also added to by anyone else invited to contribute to this across mental health recovery and wellbeing services. Unlike standard Mental Health care plans, which remain static, the digital platform allows the service user to share regular updates on their progress in achieving their goals using a simple colour coded system: green for what’s working, orange for making changes and red for requesting support. 

By putting service users at the centre and understanding their need for more choice, control and flexibility there has been a shift in the way services are delivered. Static plans have become interactive plans, service users are no longer recipients but proactive agents in their own recovery, and stand alone treatments have become blended personalised packages.

The potential and possibilities of how this digital platform might be able to support people to
self-manage their mental health and wellbeing is limitless, and exciting stories are already
being shared by those using it, like Sally and her psychotherapist, Dr. Miriam Grover :

“Sally is a psychotherapy patient of mine, who has had multiple psychiatric admissions. Having a care plan literally helps to hold herself together. She asked for it to be laminated so she could carry it with her everywhere in her bag.

Transferring to the digital platform means that Sally can now access her plan on her phone at any time and she can also instantly access a whole range of other resources including:

– Her crisis plan which she can share with paramedics

– Her physical health information which helps her plan healthy eating and exercise

– A personal health budget for cinema club membership giving her a social network

– Her CBT app supported by access to me as her therapist and she can change, update and share these resources with others at any time”

Psychotherapist, Dr. Miriam Grove

Sally says

“The platform is fantastic, clear and easy to use… it has given me the ability to be self caring but I feel I am not alone (as I have) the back up of professionals”

Within its first year of going live, this collaborative project has already won the accolade ‘Highly Commended’ for their work in the ‘Digitising Patient Services Initiative’ category for the HSJ Awards 2020. These prestigious awards are not easy to come by, with over 1000 applications and 186 finalist projects, the Highly Commended status is high praise. An aim of the awards programme is to share best practice and give people ideas of projects they can adapt, and City and Hackney are leading in exploring the art of the possible, by highlighting the scope and potential for the role of digital technologies within mental health awareness and mental health recovery programmes.

City and Hackney CCG is the first organisation to empower service users across North East London STP with access and control of their health records for mental health support. It is also set to become the first NHS locality, truly leading integrated care, as data is exchanged across primary, secondary/mental health services (East London NHS Foundation Trust), as well as local voluntary care organisations (The Advocacy Project and The Core Arts and Sports Programme). 

City and Hackney are also beginning to work with PKB to implement a physical health check care plan, which pulls the relevant health check information into a plan that also contains advice and guidance for a service user, and allows them to more easily log and track their progress against goals agreed with their health and care providers. 

To begin, all the measurement data points will be manually entered by service users or their care teams however City and Hackney are also supporting PKB in the expansion of data received and processed directly from EMIS, to allow health checks conducted by GPs to automatically flow into the service users record and update their care plan.

This automatic data transfer from the service users GP will help support individuals in having better access to and understanding of how their physical health checks can aim to improve their mental health. This also and offers more opportunity for service users to share this data, and collaborate with other members of their care team to set goals and help them track progress against these. 

City and Hackney continue to be at the forefront of leading mental health service enhancements, and subsequently supporting their service users in mental and physical health awareness, and empowerment opportunities to help individuals manage their conditions. We can’t wait to see how their project evolves, expands and sets national standards for mental health service delivery. 

Tomorrow we are thrilled to talk about our newest mental health partnership, with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) supporting the engagement, co-production of care and access of information through their patient portal.

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