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An update on the NW London health based places of safety programme

Published on: 25th January 2019

This update is in relation to a paper being discussed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 31 January.

The paper under discussion was not developed by the programme, while the detail is correct, there are a few areas of the paper we would like to clarify.

An options appraisal has recently been developed to look at proposed sites across NW London to deliver crisis support.

The options appraisal has not been approved, this process is expected to happen early in February. This means that, while a favoured option is listed in the paper, following a multi-agency panel scoring event in December, this is not the final outcome of our work to develop a new model for Health Based Places of Safety in NW London.

There is still work to be done to ensure that all our partners are on board with our proposals and following approval of the options appraisal a full business case will then need to be developed.

At this stage we do not know if this will include options for three, four or five sites for HBPOS in NW London.

Further engagement with our partners and service users will take place while we develop the final business case.

A further update on the programme and our engagement will be taken to the next Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) in March. If you would like to read the paper taken to December’s JHOSC you can read it here.

Following the review of the options appraisal in February an update letter will be sent to stakeholders in NW London and available on the Healthier NW London website.

More information on HBPOS in NW London

Health based places of safety are places where ambulance crews or the police can take people who are in mental health crisis, to be supported and a plan for their on-going care can be made, also called section 136 suites.

In NW London there are currently eight sites where HBPOS are available. The offer from each site is different and they are staffed differently across mental health providers and none of the current sites have a dedicated staffing team. This means that staff are asked to leave wards to assist in suites where they can, resulting in delays for those needing support. In addition the current offer in NW London does not have the right facilities for children and young people, address issues of increased demand, and the overall quality of service user experience needs improvement.

Service users have also told us their priorities include: ensuring health and care staff show compassion and respect, asking about and listening to their needs, providing clear information, a comfortable environment and reducing waiting times for assessment.

These priorities cannot be delivered for all across NW London within the current model and budget.

We have been working with staff, agencies and service users to develop an options appraisal and recommendations for how we deliver this service in future.

More information can be found here on the Healthier NW London website.