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Mental Health Rehabilitation: Changing Landscape and Collaborative Approach – Conference Report

On 5th November 2019 we hosted a free CPD-accredited educational event for health professionals titled “Mental Health Rehabilitation: Changing Landscape and Collaborative Approach”. The conference was held at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds.

The aim of the event was to reflect on the current and the changing landscape of mental health services within the UK. It particularly focused on how commissioners, public and private services can work together in order to support people with mental health illness.

The conference was chaired by Dr Srinivas Lanka, Cygnet’s Regional Medical Director for the Midlands Region. The conference programme included guest speakers from NHS Midlands, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, communications agency GK Strategy, as well as Cygnet staff and experts by experience.

The first presentation of the day was from Debbie Jackson, Head of Commissioning for NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. Debbie gave an overview of the commissioning process, the principles of good commissioning and highlighted that “integrated commissioning is key”. In the next presentation Dr Lanka looked at ‘Treatment Outcomes in Mental Health Rehabilitation’. Dr Lanka discussed the outcome measures that are currently being used and how these could be improved by using more holistic methods.

Phil Hope, an associate of GK Strategy and former Care Minister, then gave a ‘very interesting’ and ‘really engaging’ presentation on NHS data obtained from Freedom of Information requests. The data looked at numbers of admissions, out of area placements and lengths of stay. Phil stressed the fact that the data didn’t give answers but is a stepping stone to asking more questions.

The following presentation was from Dawn Fearn of LCSFT and Leigh Wilkinson from Cygnet Fountains. Dawn and Leigh talked about how their respective services have collaborated on a successful Discharge to Assess model, an intensive 12 week programmes to support individuals to be ‘rehab ready’.

After a break for lunch keynote speaker Dave Lampert, Senior Dual Diagnosis Practitioner for North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, looked at the challenges around dual diagnosis. Described by one delegate as a ‘brilliant speaker’, Dave stressed that “you can’t do dual diagnosis without collaboration”.

There then followed two very engaging presentations from two of Cygnet’s experts by experience. First up was Raf Hamaizia, Cygnet’s Expert by Experience Lead, who presented two videos, one detailing his own personal journey and the second one promoting Cygnet’s new Music 2 Empower initiative. Raf was followed by DuVonne Solomon who shared his own inspiring story. DuVonne is a fine singer and by special request treated delegates to a song, a performance which got the loudest round of applause of the event.

The conference concluded with a presentation on ‘Digital Innovation’ by Cygnet’s Carla Bartlett, Head of SLT and Clinical Systems Manager, and Pavan Dhariwal, Head of Applications Development. Carla and Pavan gave a talk on myPath, Cygnet’s innovative and bespoke end-to-end patient management system. The presentation concluded with news of some exciting future plans for the system that included virtual reality!

The conference was a great success and early feedback has been very positive with almost three quarters of delegates who provided feedback saying that the event exceeded or greatly exceeded expectations.

Thank you to all the delegates who attended and especially to all of our speakers for their knowledge and insight.

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