7 June 2018

People at risk of a mental health crisis in Sheffield will be able to access new support services thanks to a £429,000 funding boost for the city.

The money will be used to develop a new Psychiatric Decision Unit, which Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust will lead on and for Sheffield Flourish to further develop and enhance the Sheffield Mental Health Guide self-help website.

The Psychiatric Decision Unit (PDU) will be a first point of call for any adult experiencing a mental health crisis. Based at the Longley Centre at the Northern General Hospital it will give people in a mental health crisis a safe place to receive emergency support.

The unit will direct people away from Accident and Emergency departments which can be a distressing place to be in a crisis, and into a purpose built space which is a safer, more appropriate environment. With facilities to support up to eight people, the unit will be open 24 hours a day and host a range of mental health experts who can assess needs and provide appropriate support.

The aim of the unit is to give people the most appropriate care and support in the best environment, as quickly as possible. As a result most people will no longer need to be seen in the A&E department for a mental health crisis.

The ‘My Support’ Platform, to be developed by Flourish, will help people plan and manage their mental health care online, 24/7 through the existing Sheffield Mental Health Guide www.sheffieldmentalhealth.co.uk. People will be able to easily build plans, including selecting and gathering appropriate support services, inputting personal support plans, as well as getting further help. This will be available to anyone, whether they are in contact with services or not.

The ‘My Support’ platform will link in with existing services in Sheffield – allowing people to use the information to create tailored plans by adding favourite support organisations and bookmarking events.

Kevan Taylor, Chief Executive of Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of Mental Health Partnership Board said:

I am very proud that Sheffield is receiving these additional investments to improve mental health care in the city. This builds on recent funding secured which has increased our adult Place of Safety provision, supported the development of the mental health Liaison Service to provide round-the-clock care and guaranteed the forthcoming expansion of the peri-natal mental health service.

The PDU will make a real difference to people experiencing a mental health crisis by offering a safe and calming environment.  Bringing all of our adult mental health crisis services under the safe roof, makes sure that service users will get the support they need straight away. The Sheffield Mental Health Guide is an excellent resource and the additional investment is an exciting development to help people manage their mental wellbeing.

Dr Steve Thomas, Clinical Director for mental health at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said:

In Sheffield all of the health and social care organisations have committed to working in partnership to improve care and support for people in crisis because of a mental health condition. A number of positive developments have already been made in the city to support people at various stages of mental health crisis, including working on the prevention of crisis and we are already starting to see the impact this is having on people’s lives. The new Psychiatric Decision Unit and the new Flourish platform are key parts of the city’s plans to transform mental health services so this is a fantastic step forward for Sheffield and one that will benefit many people.

Councillor Chris Peace, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said:

This is excellent news for the city.  Using this money we will be able to invest in a psychiatric decision unit so that people can access the right care at the right time, as well as investing in the technology to help people build their own support plans via the mental health website run by Flourish. We are committed to being a mentally healthy city and this opportunity will help some of the most vulnerable adults in our city.

Jo Eckersley from Flourish said:

It’s fantastic news that the Psychiatric Decision Unit and the My Support Platform will be going ahead, and we found it really rewarding working to secure the funding with other excellent partners in the city. We look forward to working with Sheffield people to develop the new My Support Platform, and to seeing what happens next.

The funding is part of the national £15 million Beyond Places of Safety Scheme run by the Department of Health and Social Care which aims to improve support for people who are vulnerable to, experiencing or recovering from a mental health crisis.