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Posted on Oct 8 2021 by Fiona Bailey

Responsibility for the commissioning of adult medium and low secure care services across the West Midlands has been changed to help improve patient outcomes.

NHS England Specialised Commissioning had been responsible, but from Friday, October 1, 2021 it was transferred to the West Midlands Provider Collaborative – also known as Reach Out.

Reach Out is a collaboration of four NHS providers and also St Andrew’s Healthcare. Together they will work collectively to deliver secure care services, with the aim to improve outcomes, quality of care and patient experiences for people with complex mental health, learning disability and autism needs.

The Collaborative comprises Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) and Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The Provider Collaborative will focus on improving the experience of service users by investing in solutions that allow care closer to home, in the least restrictive setting possible.

It brings together clinical expertise, experience and innovation to reduce inappropriate hospital stays, deliver efficiencies and invest in community services pre and post hospital stay. During its pilot stage the Provider Collaborative achieved efficiencies which allowed it to invest in community forensic mental health service to support patients transitioning from hospital.

St Andrew’s Healthcare is an in-patient secure services, education and research charity committed to working with its NHS partners to deliver better outcomes and experiences for people needing specialist care.

The charity hospital is proud founding member of the Reach Out Provider Collaborative and is the only non-NHS provider to be a part of a Risk & Gain share arrangement.

The agreement has helped establish a deep and binding commitment to collaboration and also to achieve the shared purpose of the Provider Collaborative by ensuring that public resources are used in the best possible way to meet the needs of the West Midland’s population.

Over the next year the Reach Out aims to:

  • work closely with all Integrated Care Systems in West Midlands to deliver highly localised integrated pathways
  • minimise unnecessary variation of service
  • improve quality and outcomes for patients
  • address inequalities and improve patient experience and their outcomes by:
    • reducing time to assessment and the waiting times for admission
    • increasing person-centred care and peer support
    • improving recovery and life opportunities
    • deliver more responsive and inclusive services
    • improve pathway cohesion and reduced transitions
  • create flow through:
    • clinically appropriate admissions and alternatives to admissions
    • reduce hospital lengths of stay
  • reduce the number of West Midland’s patients within out of area placements
  • improve efficiencies across the partners to allow innovation.

Chief Executive of BSMHFT, Roisin Fallon-Williams said: "This collaboration is great news for the people of the West Midlands as greater collaboration will bring care closer to home. We have been working in this way for over two years, but it is great for Reach Out to have its official recognition. I look forward to working with our partners to further improve outcomes for the communities which we all serve."

Chief Executive of CWPT, Mel Coombes MBE said: "I am delighted that Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust is hosting the Learning Disability and Autism partners in the West Midlands, ensuring that we work together for the people we serve. This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that the care of people in secure settings is both closer to home and of excellent quality."

Deputy Chief Executive of St Andrew’s Healthcare, Jess Lievesley, said: "The benefits of providers working in partnership cannot be underestimated. Reach Out has already enabled people to return to their home region to receive specialist care and seen the development of community forensic mental health services. As a charity we look forward to continuing this work with our partners to deliver better patient outcomes and experiences."

 St Andrew’s is also part of the East Midland’s Adult Secure Provider Collaborative (IMPACT) and the East Midland’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Provider Collaborative, sharing our expertise and working with our NHS and independent partners to help improve the outcomes and experience of people needing specialist care across the Midlands.