Central & North West London Board Meeting on 16th September 2015
The report below provides only items of particular interest, not a summary of the meeting.
2. NW London Clinical Commissioning Groups expand adult mental health crisis teams: It was announced today that these CCGs are investing £1.9m a year to expand these teams. The Trust will use the investment for new Home Treatment Rapid Response Teams which will deliver a 24 hour, 7 day a week rapid response function in the NW London boroughs, including Harrow and Hillingdon, for urgent and emergency referrals into adult secondary care mental health services. The new teams are planned to start in November.
3. Northwick Park Hospital’s Mental Health Assessment Lounge: Brent and Harrow CCGs have confirmed continued investment in this lounge, which started as a pilot project. Both patients and local GPs rate it as successful in providing a secure environment for mental health patients to be assessed away from the main Accident & Emergency environment.
4. Medium and low security beds: Lack of such beds is problematic across London and the country. Last week there were no such vacant beds in either the NHS or private sector in England. Prisoners could not be moved out of prisons into more appropriate care.
5. Stopping patients smoking: There is no smoking in any CNWL wards but in some places patients have been able to smoke in the grounds. Making CNWL premises totally smoking free has proved very difficult and has led to problems in restraining patients, particularly prisoners. It was agreed at today’s meeting that more restraint training is required.
6. Finance: At the six month point in the NHS year a number of London NHS Trusts are reporting huge deficits. Stringent national guidance is expected to tackle this serious problem. However, this Trust expects to achieve its end of year financial target, aided by its planned disposal of property.
7. Forward planning in Harrow and Hillingdon: The possibility of a new sustainable strategy is being explored with the aim of providing a five year plan for mental health services, which would avoid the current postcode lottery. Such a plan must be affordable. It is envisaged as improving self help, richer community provision and demedicalisation of some conditions.
8. Foreign nationals in CNWL beds: There are usually around 22 such patients but the week before the Board Meeting there were 30, which was challenging.
9. Asylum seeking children in Hillingdon: Some of these children have been trafficked, suffering trauma of many kinds in addition to language problems. Their needs are complex. Staffing shortages have been experienced in all three of the Trust’s teams for Looked After Children (LAC). The teams are working to tackle child sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, substance use problems and lack of emotional well being. CNWL won the contract for LAC in Harrow at the end of 2014/15.
Published in London Issues on 06 October 2015.