Mandip Kaur for the King’s Fund Blog | 16th March 2017
Traditionally, mental health services are delivered by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) up until the age of 16 or 18 – or when a young person leaves school or college – at which point they’re expected to transition to adult mental health services. It’s long been recognised that this is a poor boundary for service transition, often having a further detrimental effect on mental health.
Forward Thinking Birmingham delivers mental health services for children and young people aged up to 25, combining the expertise of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Worcester Health and Care Trust, Beacon UK, The Children’s Society and The Priory Group. The partnership’s vision is that Birmingham should be the first city where mental health problems are not a barrier to young people achieving their dreams. The transformational changes to the service were driven by the need to address disjointed and fragmented care provision, complicated service models, long waiting lists and rising demand. The service operates a ‘no wrong door’ policy and aims to provide joined-up care, focusing on individual needs, with improved access and choice for young people.
In a project funded by Bloodwise and the Scottish Cancer Foundation, we have created LEUKomics. This online data portal brings together a wealth of CML gene expression data from specialised laboratories across the globe | Lorna Jackson & Lisa Hopcroft for The Conversation
Our intention is to eliminate the bottleneck surrounding big data analysis in CML. Each dataset is subjected to manual quality checks, and all the necessary computational processing to extract information on gene expression. This enables immediate access to and interpretation of data that previously would not have been easily accessible to academics or clinicians without training in specialised computational approaches.
Consolidating these data into a single resource also allows large-scale, computationally-intensive research efforts by bioinformaticians (specialists in the analysis of big data in biology). From a computational perspective, the fact that CML is caused by a single mutation makes it an attractive disease model for cancer stem cells. However, existing datasets tend to have small sample numbers, which can limit their potential.
This report summarises the findings from a series of visits carried out by NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia
The visits were to a number of memory services which were experiencing longer waiting times from referral to assessment. The audit found that there had been significant successes in a number of clinics in improving access times over the past year, often in challenging circumstances.
Common features of the services which were reducing waiting times were:
Reviewing the assessment pathway and reconfiguring workforce to match demand. Some achieved this through upskilling existing staff, using vacancy funding creatively or investing in new staff.
Developing joint clinical protocols for referral and diagnosis, follow-up care, access to and reporting of scans and care home management
Supporting memory services in primary care 3,4.
Based on the findings the top ten tips to service improvement are:
Involve service users and carers at every step
Understand current and future demand and map against available capacity
Review referral protocols
Review brain scan (CT/MRI) protocols
Examine DNA rates
Ensure correspondence clearly states diagnosis and accompanying ‘Read Codes’
Identify education and training opportunities
Consider protocol for diagnosis in primary care including care homes
Review with commissioners the role of specialist nurses
Become MSNAP accredited and share best practice examples
The Social Care Institute for Excellence has published Creating the five year forward view for social care: how transformed and integrated health and care could improve outcomes and cost-effectiveness.
This updated paper explores the potential for scaling up the most promising examples of care, support and community health services, initially using data from Birmingham City Council, modelling their outcomes and costs. Originally published in November 2016, it has been updated to include additional models.