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Psychosis & Schizophrenia: Early interventions & successful pathways: Speaker News and Updates

Through national update sessions, presentations from people with lived experience, practical case studies and extended expert sessions the conference will update delegates on best practice and evidence with regard to the management of psychosis and schizophrenia. The conference will look at monitoring progress both locally and nationally against the National Quality Standard for Psychosis and Schizophrenia. Sessions will include a focus on key priorities such as prevention, access and early intervention, the use of antipsychotic medication, ensuring a recovery focused approach and supporting families, CBT for psychosis, improving care and support for people in crisis, learning from the National Audit of Schizophrenia and the important issue, highlighted by the Mental Health Taskforce of improving physical health.

Speaker Presentations and updates

Psychosis and Schizophrenia in Adults: Mental Health Taskforce recommendations and implementation

Brian Dow Director of External Affairs Rethink​

  • the Mental Health Taskforce findings and recommendations for psychosis and schizophrenia in adults
  • moving forward

In his presentation Brian Dow Stated: 

"There's so much evidence to support the importance of stable housing for recovery"

"There's a bit more momentum in the system now which is a really positive thing"

"Something like 53% of all cigarettes smoked are smoked by people with a mental health condition"

"The Mental Health Act is still being over used and we are pushing for a proper review of the act"

"The single thing that makes me optimistic is that there is a very good plan in place"

Brian Dow Abstract:

The new Mental Health Taskforce was a very welcome opportunity to focus on the challenges around mental health and to really bring to life the Government’s parity of esteem agenda.

The final report tries to strike the balance of ambition and realism given the current situation and the wider financial context.  The Taskforce recommended that £1bn new money was required to achieve the 5 year agenda, including a 7 day NHS.

The report is not comprehensive – indeed it is very health/NHS focussed.  Nonetheless, it sets out an ambitious agenda for change.  And the government has accepted the recommendations in full. The implementation plan puts more meat on the bones and is a good start.

There are 12 areas which are especially relevant to schizophrenia and psychosis.

  • From April 2016 the first access and waiting time standards have been in place for mental health services.
  • Crisis care standards will also be developed in 2016/17 with community services for people severely affected by mental illness planned for 2017/18.  
  • Funding will be made available to increase the number of people who have access to physical health assessments.  There is also a CQUIN focusing on improving the physical health.
  • Particularly welcome is the Taskforce’s recommendation to address the current fragmented approach to secure mental health services, including discharge delays.
  • The Government piloted increased access to talking therapies to people living with severe mental illness and will publish their evaluation results soon.
  • The most recent National Audit of Schizophrenia found that only 41% people with schizophrenia said that they were definitely involved in decisions about their medication.

We welcome the focus on developing professional standards to drive improvements in prescribing practice. 

  • Care in the least restrictive setting is crucial. Alternatives to admissions can also be cost-effective. Out of area placements are very distressing for everyone involved and work to eliminate these is starting this year.
  • Annual monitoring from CQC show a steady increase in the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act in recent years. Rethink Mental Illness was recently commissioned by the Mental Health Alliance to run a national survey asking for views around principles for reform.  This will be launched in mid-October – do let us know if you or your organisation would like to be involved in this.
  • Liaison pilots delivered in certain areas and currently 50% of the country is covered by a liaison and diversion service, this will increase until there is 100% coverage by 2020/21.
  • In order to achieve a 10% reduction in suicide, it is essential that local agencies work together to develop a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention.
  • 1 in 5 people affected by severe mental illness live in supported housing. The Government announced an intention to cap the amount of Housing Benefit that people with mental illness can claim.
  • The Taskforce implementation plan sets out how access to IPS will double by 2020/21. The following year, local areas will be selected for targeted funding.

The Taskforce urged an implementation plan within 6 months. 

NHS England is the first to publish its plan.  Its July 2016 plan set out the timeframes for activity and funding up until 2020/21.  The plan makes clear that the additional funding outlined within it should not be used to replace or balance existing spending. It also highlights the savings that can be made from investment in high-quality services.

It is still early days – this year, was always going to be a planning year as new funding does not kick in until April 2017.

What we really want to see is the vision turned into reality.  The Taskforce report shouldn’t limit our ambition.  It says very little about gender inequalities and housing, for example.  The Taskforce is very health-oriented.  We understand that government is interested in publishing a wider mental health strategic response which is welcome.

We all have a role in ensuring the Taskforce agenda is realised. 

It’s not just about the clinical and health agenda.  It’s about wider quality of life and prevention too.  That’s why we’re pleased to learn that the Government intends to publish a more wide ranging strategic response to the challenge of mental health.

Together we need to make sure that, as this conference title suggests, we “maintain the momentum.”

Brian Dow Biography:

Brian Dow joined Rethink Mental Illness as Director of External Affairs in November 2014.

Having started his career with the commercial radio sector in Scotland he went on to join the BBC before moving into the voluntary sector where he has more than twenty years’ experience working in media, communications and campaigns.

He is co-author of Measuring Up: The Medical Profession’s Prescription for the National Obesity Crisis, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2013) and is co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance along with the CEO of Samaritans, Ruth Sutherland. He also represents Rethink Mental Illness on the Richmond Group coalition of major health charities in England. 

Monitoring progress against the NICE Quality Standard for Psychosis & Schizophrenia

Alison Brabban Specialist Committee Member Schizophrenia in Adults Quality Standard, NICE Consultant Clinical Psychologist Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer Durham University National Advisor for Severe Mental Illness (IAPT) NHS England

  • monitoring national and local progress against the NICE quality standard for psychosis and schizophrenia
  • a reminder of the 10 quality statements
  • key priorities and national imperatives
  • moving forward

Alison Brabban Full Presentation Click Here

In her presentation Alison stated: 

"So despite the fact that we have had some of these guidelines for some time implementation still seems to be an issue"

"This is what the first line of treatment should be, we shouldn't be offering medication, we should be offering talking therapies"

"Psychological therapies has had some real bad press in the past especially CBT and I think that's such a shame, if given good CBT you really notice the difference in service user experience"

"Moving forward it is not just going to be about waiting times, it is going to be about the quality of care"

Alison Brabban Biography:

Alison qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 1990 and since then has specialised in the application and implementation of psychological therapies for Psychosis, particularly CBT. She feels passionately that everyone experiencing psychosis should have access to high quality evidence & values based care and aims to achieve this ambition in her role as the Advisor to the Adult Mental Health Team within NHS England.   Alison also works as the lead for Recovery and as a clinician in the Early Intervention in Psychosis service in Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust in the North East of England. She was part of the Schizophrenia Commission and was also involved in the development of the recent update of the NICE Guideline for Schizophrenia and Psychosis and the related Quality Standards.

Future events of interest:

Electronic Prescribing in Mental Health
Friday 10 March 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Psychological Therapies in the NHS
Wednesday 15 March 2017 — Thursday 16 March 
Millenium Conference Centre

Improving the Physical Health of Adults with Severe Mental Illness
Friday 24 March 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Mental Health Services
Tuesday 25 April 2017 
De Vere West One

Achieving Better Access for Mental Health Crisis Care
Friday 28 April 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

DIGITAL IAPT 2017 Disrupting IAPT: can digital pathways 'change the game'?
Monday 8 May 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Medically Unexplained Symptoms /Somatic Symptom Disorder National Summit 2017
Wednesday 10 May 2017 
The Studio Conference Centre

Service User Experience in Mental Health
Friday 12 May 2017 
De Vere West One

Legal Masterclass: Information Sharing for Mental Health Professionals
Friday 19 May 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees Providing Emotional First Aid for Refugees, Second Annual Conference
Monday 22 May 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Dual Diagnosis: Implementing the NICE Guidance
Monday 5 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Safeguarding Children: Level 3 Mandatory Safeguarding Training in Accordance with the Intercollegiate Guidelines
Monday 12 June 2017 
De Vere, West One

Masterclass: Individual Management Reviews for Domestic Homicide Reviews & the use of Root Cause Analysis
Wednesday 14 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Masterclass: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Monday 19 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

IAPT: Improving Psychological Therapies for Older People
Monday 19 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Implementing the NICE guidance for improving Mental Health Services For People with Learning Disabilities
Monday 26 June 2017 
De Vere West Once Conference Centre

The Mental Capacity Act Masterclass
Monday 10 July 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre


24 February 2017


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