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Leak shows NHSE ‘sorry’ for endorsing service which ‘hurt patients’

NHS England is ‘sorry’ for backing a mental healthcare model which it now admits has caused hurt to patients, according to a leaked draft policy document.

The serenity integrated mentoring model was launched in 2013 in the Isle of Wight and Hampshire. It quickly became viewed by mental health trusts as an “innovative approach” to helping support frequent users of the emergency services.

A core element of the scheme involves placing a local community police officer within the healthcare team charged with supporting those patients. 

In 2021, the pressure group StopSIM raised concerns about the model, which included a belief that police involvement was potentially coercive, criminalised mental health crises, and could result in withholding healthcare from people, which would breach human rights legislation. The group also argued the SIM programme had not been robustly and clinically evaluated.

As a result, NHSE committed to co-producing policy guidance on SIM with StopSIM. 

The draft document states: “NHS England did not apply sufficient scrutiny to the decision [to endorse SIM] and involve the voice of lived experience sufficiently. This compromised the safety and quality of care for service users and has caused hurt to patients. For this, NHS England is sorry.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 19 May 2023

Further reading on the hub:

The High Intensity Network (HIN) approach and SIM model for mental health care and 'high intensity users' – what are your views?



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