New ‘step-down’ service for recovering mental health patients

A new pilot service run by an NHS trust and a leading charity means recovering mental health patients no longer have to stay in hospital longer than necessary.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Mind have opened four beds for patients who lack suitable accommodation or support to be discharged.

The ‘step-down’ beds, which have been funded by NHS England’s winter cash injection, will be available to Hull and East Riding patients for up to 28 days to assist with daily living, mental health and tenancy support.

Trust and Mind managers hope the new beds and one-to-one support will reduce the need for ‘out-of-area’ placements by easing the flow of patients aged 18 and over through the acute inpatient system.

The also hope it will improve discharged patients’ health and recovery, help them settle in their community in secure, long-term accommodation, and prevent any need for them to be re-admitted to acute inpatient beds.

Teresa Cope, chief operating officer, said: “We know there is a need for step-down provision as people experience delays on mental health inpatient wards largely due to problems accessing suitable housing.

“I am delighted about the opportunity to develop this service in conjunction with Mind, and the fact we have managed to set it up so quickly - taking into account the Christmas period - is fantastic.”

Sam Bell, operations manager at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, said: “Hull and East Yorkshire Mind are passionate about ensuring people have a smooth transition from hospital, so we are delighted to be a part of this brand new pilot offering patients transitional supported accommodation and ensuring that they can secure longer-term sustainable homes within the community.

“Housing services are a huge part of what we do at Mind, alongside delivering services that specialise in mental health support. Bringing these two areas together is imperative to supporting people to recover from a mental health crisis and for maintaining longer-term health and well-being in the community.”

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