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NHS mental health providers in West Yorkshire have developed new arrangements to further build on the partnership work already underway across the area.
Known as the West Yorkshire Mental Health Services Collaborative, the organisations have been working together for the past 12 months to improve mental health services for local communities as part of the wider West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP).
WY&H HCP covers Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield and has nine priorities including mental health, stroke, cancer, urgent and emergency care.
The mental health collaborative involves:
Each organisation’s Board has approved the establishment of a ‘Committees in Common’, with each maintaining its statutory responsibilities to its own Board and responsibility for delivering its own services.
The new committee will help ensure that decisions are made together and in a streamlined way around a shared programme of work. It will also see that collective ambitions are achieved, for e.g. eliminating out of area placements for young people, and delivering the region’s five-year suicide prevention strategy, launched in November 2017.
The first quarterly meeting took place on 30 April. The chair of the committee will rotate every twelve months - beginning with Prof Sue Proctor, Chair of LYPFT.
The four organisations’ chairs and chief executives sit on the new committee supported by an overarching set of principles, which will see the organisations:
Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive of LYPFT and lead CEO for the collaborative and West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s mental health programme said: “We want to make sure that mental health and learning disability services across West Yorkshire provide consistent, high quality care for the whole person which is firmly connected to local communities and where people live. To do this, we need to work together on some of the biggest challenges we face, strengthening our joint working and working in partnership with commissioners, emergency services, and voluntary and community sector partners.
“We already have plans in place to improve specialist mental health services, for example through the new care models programmes which commenced on 1 April. We’re also working to reduce deaths by suicide, reduce out of area placements and improve urgent and emergency care.”
Rob Webster, leader of the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and chief executive of SWYPFT, said: “We’re proud that mental health is a strong focus of our work across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. People with mental health issues face significant health inequalities and suicide remains the biggest killer of young men. “The creation of a ‘Committee in Common’ will ensure the collective leadership of the partnership working that has been taking place in mental health. It follows similar arrangements to those that NHS commissioning and acute providers have taken in establishing joint committees. The committee will oversee the innovations we are driving and it will help to make sure our work is having the biggest impact.”