NELFT NHS Foundation Trust was recognised by The Independent Commission on Improving Acute Psychiatric Care For Adults in England in a report published on the 9 February 2016.
The report findings, backed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), recommend changes to how services are commissioned, and cited member Trust NELFT’s mental health inpatient and community services as leading the field.
As an organisation that has not relocated patients for many years, NELFT was held up as an example of best practice in recognition of its excellent track record of outlawing sending patients experiencing acute mental ill-health out of area for treatment.
Stephanie Dawe, NELFT’s chief nurse, said: “It is very important that people can get the help they need within their own communities. When you are in crisis, feeling scared and vulnerable, your family and friends form a vital support network that is really important to recovery. The last thing we want is for patients to have to travel hundreds of miles to get the help they need.
“Although we ensure all patients who need an inpatient mental health bed receive one close to home, we realised the answers lie not just in providing more beds, but accessing the whole system.
“We have extensively re-designed our services to ensure all patients receive the care they need, and rightly deserve, in the place that is best for them - and which is close to home.
“NELFT now provides the highest ratio of acute home treatment to inpatient care and the lowest acute bed base across the whole of London, so it shows that with reducing bed numbers due to improved community care, we can still provide high quality mental health services for people in crisis.”