4. May 2012 16:31
It’s that time of year again when final accounts are submitted and plans for the next twelve months agreed. Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust has had a very successful 2012/3, not only in terms of our financial performance, but also as regards the significant strides we’ve made towards key strategic goals. So, now we are focusing all our energies on the next stage in the journey: 2012/3.
In the year ahead, we will move into the implementation phase of our review of clinical services, moving towards a streamlined delivery model which will be easier for service users, carers and staff to navigate and which puts recovery and re-integration into the community at the heart of all that we do.
As one of only six national demonstrator sites for recovery, we understand the pivotal role that joined-up, end-to-end care pathways have to play in the delivery of care. With our breadth of social care, health & wellbeing, specialist mental health, community-based, inpatient and urgent care services, we are uniquely placed to demonstrate how our blend of services and expertise delivers benefits to the people we serve.
Our clinical strategy in the coming year will therefore focus on our three main areas: urgent care, inpatient services and our community teams. Working with our clinicians and partners, we have developed clear pathways for each, appointed strong leaders in key positions and informed all staff of not only where we need to be, but how we believe we are going to get there. The new arrangements dovetail with our Stepped Care delivery model, allowing us to ‘flex’ levels and types of care in direct response to need and individual journeys towards recovery.
In 2012/3 we will also be focusing on the national dementia challenge, building on our pre-eminent work in the field. The Trust is fortunate to have the national Dementia Tsar, Professor Alistair Burns leading this work and piloting innovative ways of ensuring early assessment working with local GP surgeries. At the moment, some 25 per cent of acute NHS beds and around 75 per cent of nursing home places are occupied by sufferers of dementia. In the year ahead, we expect to work with Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) and other partners to develop new strategies for dealing with various forms of dementia right across the City.
Other key objectives for the Trust will be further investigation into the links between physical and mental health, working with the Schizophrenia Commission to improve the care of people with schizophrenia and the ongoing drive to de-stigmatise all forms of mental illness.
Finally, we very much hope that this will be the year when we become a Foundation Trust. Recent elections have provided us with a vibrant and representative Council of Governors who will help the Board to set strategy once we have the necessary authorisation. I am proud to report that almost all seats were contested and that the final composition of the Council includes a good number of service users and carers, as well as members of the local communities we serve.
This year has been a good year all round and that’s down to the people who actually make up the Trust, particularly those staff who have once again gone ‘above and beyond’ in terms of their personal and professional commitment to our services. Sincere thanks are due to them - and to our service users and carers who continue to work tirelessly with us to review, refine and where appropriate reshape services so that they remain relevant and appropriate. We could not hope to do what we do without their support and active involvement.