Mental Health Programme

About the programme

The aim of the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme is to improve the safety and outcomes of mental health care by reducing unwarranted variation and providing a high-quality healthcare experience for all people across the system by March 2024.

The programme will initially focus on improving patient safety for those who use inpatient mental health and learning disability services, including staff who work in health care settings. Priorities will include:

  • Reducing suicide and deliberate self-harm – Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 49 and women under the age of 34. In mental health inpatient areas there are between 20-30 deaths per year by suicide. The impact of the pandemic on health and social care staff is, sadly, also expected to lead to an increase in the suicide rate.
  • Reducing restrictive practice – high numbers of people using mental health and learning disability services are subject to restrictive practice and our aim is to reduce this number.
  • Improving sexual safety – The CQC have highlighted the alarming number of sexual safety incidents that occur and the disturbing accounts of people who experienced sexual harm whilst using inpatient services. Many patients with complex mental health needs have vulnerabilities associated with previous sexual trauma and are at their most vulnerable when using inpatient services.

Who we are working with

This programme of work will link into an ongoing improvement programme that has been delivered by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) who have been working with mental health Trusts to design and test interventions in practice. The learning from this work will inform the MH SIP as we move forward.

Future Plans

We will be setting up and establishing a Mental Health Patient Safety Network for Yorkshire and the Humber as the key vehicle to drive specific patient safety improvement work. The network will:

  • Employ a co-design approach, representative of the diversity of the population
    served, at a local programme level
  • Undertake a brief scoping exercise to better understand the ethnicity, demography and social deprivation factors that are present across the networks.

We will be building on the work from the NCCMH and supporting the adoption and spread of interventions with our mental health providers around the three priorities: suicide, restrictive practice and sexual safety.

How to get involved

If you would like to become part of our patient safety network for mental health, to help shape and spread our work or would like more information, please contact:

Mel Johnson, Patient Safety Collaborative Programme Manager.