NHS England has formally transferred its commissioning responsibilities for the medium and low secure mental health, learning disability and autism care to Reach Out Provider Collaborative. The new arrangements came into effect on 1 October 2021. As the Lead Provider for the Collaborative, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust holds the new contract with NHS England.
Reach Out is a collaboration between four NHS and one independent sector organisations working collectively to deliver secure care services, improve quality of care and patient experience and outcomes. The Collaborative comprises Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The Collaborative (formerly Partnership) was part of the ‘new care models’ selected by NHS England in 2017 to improve the experience of service users by providing care closer to home, in the least restrictive setting possible, and recently has been expanded by the integration of learning disability and autism patient cohorts and local service providers. Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) is the Lead Partner, working with the West Midlands Learning Disability and Autism Alliance and wider system partners to deliver the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan for people with learning disability and autistic people.
The new arrangements see the Collaborative taking on responsibility for the commissioning of care and treatment for around 550 adults with medium and low secure mental health, learning disability and autism needs. The geographical area covered by the Collaborative is extensive - from Hereford in the south west of the Region up to Staffordshire in the north, covering 13,000 square kilometres and a population of six million people.
The Collaborative brings together clinical expertise, experience, and innovation, aiming to improve quality and use of resources, and deliver best practice consistently to patients. As part of the New Care Models Pilot, the Collaborative has significantly reduced the number of patients in hospitals and delivered efficiencies that have enabled new investment into community forensic mental health services to support patients who are discharged from inpatient settings.
Over the next year the Collaborative aims to:
• Work closely with all ICS’ in West Midlands to deliver highly localised integrated pathways.
• Minimise unnecessary variation
• Improve quality and outcomes
• Address inequalities and improving patient experience and outcomes
o Reduced time to assessment & waiting times for admission
o Increased person-centred care and peer support
o Improved recovery and life opportunities
o More responsive and inclusive services
o Improved pathway cohesion and reduced transitions
• Create flow through:
o Clinically appropriate admissions, provide alternative to admissions
o Reduction in length of stay
• Reduce out of area placements
• Improve efficiency to innovate and further improve
Chief Executive of BSMHFT, Roisin Fallon-Williams said,
“This collaboration is great news for the people of the West Midlands as greater collaboration will bring care closer to home. We have been working in this way for over two years, but it is great for Reach Out to have its official recognition. I look forward to working with our partners to further improve outcomes for the communities which we all serve.”
Chief Executive of CWPT, Mel Coombes MBE said,
“I am delighted that Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust is hosting the Learning Disability and Autism partners in the West Midlands, ensuring that we work together for the people we serve. This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that the care of people in secure settings is both closer to home and of excellent quality.”