The purpose of this report is to provide the Scrutiny Board with details of the Solihull Mental Health Delivery Plan for comment.
Theplan has been developed from a number of existing strategies and plans that are in place for BSOL, but outlines priorities and actions that are specific to Solihull, enabling a focus on the needs of people in the borough.
The Executive Director of Operations, BSOL Mental Health Foundation Trust, took Members through a presentation, outlining the proposals for the Solihull Mental Health Delivery Plan.
Members raised a number of queries and observations regarding the Delivery Plan, which in summary included the following:
· A Member made the following points:
- Whether there could be further reference to supporting young people and adults to access and remain in employment.
- Queried whether definitions of a crisis could be provided, to support early intervention and prevention.
- They emphasised the importance of continuity of support, to help build understanding and ensure that people didn’t have to repeat their stories.
- They also stressed the importance of the transition from youth to adult services and welcomed the identification of specific actions on this in the Delivery Plan.
· A Member highlighted the existing high levels of demand and emphasised this was likely to increase – they queried the plans in place for this.
· The Executive Director of Operations explained how additional funding had been provided for the existing waiting lists and demand. Going forward, it was recognised this would be a challenge and emphasised the focus in the Delivery Plan on early help and prevention, including via schools, GPS and the voluntary and community sector.
· A Member noted the Delivery Plan detailed reviewing the Mental Health offer for Housing Tenants – they queried whether this could be expanded for parents and carers who were going through the EHCP process. They also requested for this to include parents and carers who had had a child placed with them through Social Services.
· A Member highlighted the Council’s offer for residents requiring financial advice and support and requested for this to include signposting to the Mental Health services available.
· A Member flagged up how the Delivery Plan referenced support available via GP services – they emphasised the challenges people could face when attempting to access GP services.
· The Executive Director of Operation detailed the additional investment in ARRS roles, where specialists worked alongside GPs in Primary Care, to support the mental health offer.
· A Member flagged up how the plan referenced the provision of Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in Solihull – they emphasised the importance of the support in place for non-MHST schools.
· A Member raised the following points:
- The importance of the Plan reflecting how poverty was a major risk factor for Mental Health. They requested for the Plan to link with existing health inequalities work.
- The need to ensure the MHST support in School was not provided in silo and that the whole school environment was taken into account.
- The emphasis on early years and maternal mental health was welcomed. They requested for further focus on Autism, ADHD and other forms of neurodiversity, as part of the maternal mental health offer.
· A Member made the following observations:
- They requested for a wider range of people and families to be engaged in the development of Plans and Strategies, from the outset.
- They queried whether the Plan could take into account the impact of trauma, especially children who had experienced school trauma.
- They questioned how therapies and support were being reviewed and changed to ensure residents were receiving the correct help, including children and adults with additional needs.
· The Head of Children and Young People Commissioning detailed how trauma informed practice was being offered to schools and this could be reflected in the Delivery Plan.
· A Member queried whether there could be further reference in the Delivery Plan to supporting people to build resilience and emotional strength.
· A Member highlighted Priority 5 – increase and improve crisis support. The resources detailed were largely Birmingham based and it was recognised this created travel and access issues for Solihull residents. They stressed the importance of local, accessible crisis support.
· The Executive Director of Operations explained there were crisis support services available in Solihull, including Home Treatment Teams. It was confirmed the Urgent Care Centre and a Psychiatric decision unit were based in Birmingham. Psychiatric liaison services were provided at sites in Birmingham and Solihull.
· A Member flagged up how the report made reference to suicide rates – they queried what new pieces of work and research were being undertaken to improve understanding of the triggers for people going into crisis and attempting to end their lives. It was agreed for an update on this to be shared with Members.
· A Member welcomed that, as part of the Family Hub offer, there was focus upon support for parents who were feeling isolated – they queried how this would be delivered. They also requested for the Hubs to provide baby classes, to offer further support for parents. The Member also emphasised how the timing of provision and appointments was critical, when providing Maternity Mental Health support.
· The Head of Children and Young People Commissioning confirmed mental health support, as well as maternity and parenting support, would be key elements of the Family Hub offer. The delivery details of the Family Hubs were currently being developed and there would be opportunities to influence this. In regards to timing and access to provision, it was noted out-of-hours and virtual appointments could be explored.
· A Member raised how a high volume of people in the criminal justice system had mental health issues. They queried what proposals were in the Delivery Plan to support these people at point of contact. The Councillor raised previous proposals for the Council, Police and partner agencies to provide a triage service for people with mental health issues and requested an update on this – it was confirmed this would be provided.
· A Member detailed research that found how investment in Mental Health services led to a significant net gain overall – they queried how this could be demonstrated as part of the Delivery Plan.
· A Member highlighted children and adults with neuro-diverse conditions or SEND – they queried how the needs of these people could be reflected in each of the Strategic Priorities in the Delivery Plan.
· A Member queried whether further detail on support for staff could be included, to help strengthen the recruitment and retention of staff, as well as continuity of service.
· A Member explained that in certain areas of the Borough, such as Meriden, residents may struggle to access services in Birmingham. They queried whether it could be possible to access provision in Coventry.
· Members queried how service user satisfaction levels could be taken into account as part of the Delivery of the Plan, especially in regards to access to services. They also emphasised how some communities may be reluctant to discuss mental health or access support and requested for this to be taken into consideration.
· A Member welcomed the ‘Think Family’ approach set out in the Delivery Plan and stressed the importance of Mental Health providers taking into account the impact on wider family members, including parent carers and siblings. They emphasised the volume of work currently being undertaken by the Voluntary and Community Sector on this.
The Joint Children and Adults Scrutiny Board:
(i) Endorsed the proposed Solihull Mental Health Delivery Plan
(ii) Requested for the key points raised by Members to be taken into account as part of the development and delivery of the Plan; and
(iii) Agreed to receive future reporting on the Mental Health Delivery Plan in twelve months, including updates on the measures of success, as outlined in paragraph 1.1.6.