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West Midlands Health Innovation Network
August 2016

Welcome to the bi-monthly newsletter of the West Midlands Mental Health Innovation Network. For further details on the Network, contact Lily Singh or Blair Davis, Network Co-ordinators, on 0121 301 4343. 



Welcome back to this months Network newsletter! In this edition we will update you on the successful launch event held in July which also had a Crisis Care component, as well as the upcoming event on Dementia and other network news, innovation inspiration and useful news and resources on mental health and funding post Brexit.
This newsletter aims to enhance the work of the network and respond to the needs of its members, and we encourage you to get in touch with your feedback to ensure the network is shaped by its members.


Network news and events
Network Update
Innovation inspiration
Focus on...
Funding bulletin
Opinion poll


Network news and events

Network Launch and Crisis Care event

After the success of the inaugural West Midlands Mental Health Innovation Network (WMMHIN) event held on 11th May on Individual Placement and Support (IPS) the network held their official launch on the 5th July which also had an added element of Crisis Care.

There were a wide range of delegates present including service users and carers, commissioners, Public Health England, NHS England, Clinicians, third sector organisations, as well as the Chief Executives of two mental health trusts in the region, along with their Director of Nursing.

The speakers delivered engaging presentations on Meridian innovation exchange platform, RAIDPlus, the RAID model ‘Up the M6’ in Salford, and Street Triage.

During the latter part of the afternoon delegates were asked to discuss in groups the challenges they are facing in their areas and any innovations that they felt may be of benefit to colleagues.

Feedback received was extremely positive from those who attended and we look forward to working with leading individuals in the field of crisis care across the West Midlands to further support our Service Users and Carers.

Coming up....Dementia

The next network event will be on the topic of Dementia and will be run in collaboration with Birmingham Science City.
With an aging population and people living longer Dementia has become a growing challenge, one which is an important health issue for all. There are an estimated 676,000 people in England who have Dementia, this rises to around 850,000 people in the whole of the UK.
Dementia mainly affects older people; however there are many people that are diagnosed each year with early onset dementia.
Dementia is a key priority for the Government and NHS England. This can be seen in the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia 2020 document which sets to build on the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia 2012-2015.

If you are interested in attending the event to hear some engaging presentations and take part in workshops lead by innovators and experts in the field with the opportunity to network please click here!

Network member receives media recognition for innovative approach to suicide prevention 

WMMHIN member Joy Hibbins runs a Suicide Crisis Centre which serves the whole of Gloucestershire, one of the first to be set up by a person with lived experience of suicidal crisis and who has mental health diagnoses. Joy first accessed mental health services in 2012 following a traumatic experience in March of that year and was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a posttraumatic syndrome. When she couldn’t find the kind of help that she needed when she was in crisis, she decided to set up what would have helped her. Since then the centre has evolved to provide what clients say they want and need, a high proportion of men now access the services.  Suicide Crisis has now been open for three years and has never had a suicide of a client under their care. Joy said “We think this is the result of a combination of factors which include the way that our services are set up and our approach and ethos.”  
The Suicide Crisis Centre has also attracted some national attention. Helen Garnham, the national lead on suicide prevention at Public Health England, visited the Crisis Centre and, as a result, asked them to give a presentation about their work at a suicide conference in London earlier this year. She described their work as “inspiring”. Luciana Berger, the former Shadow Minister for Mental Health, asked to visit earlier this year and she met staff and clients. She said in a local radio interview “I’ve been very struck by the important work that’s being done here”.
The work of the Suicide Crisis centre has recently been profiled in The Independent and you can find out more information about the charity at
And finally....

Would you like to be featured in our newsletter? Or perhaps you want support to implement an innovation in your practice area?
Whatever your innovation needs or news. please get in touch and tell us about it. We want to hear about your innovative practice, the challenges you are facing or the issues you want solutions to.

Network Update

Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Following the inaugural network event held in May on the topic of IPS one of the outputs was the agreement for an IPS network to be formed in order to raise the profile of IPS, attract investment, develop regional standards and share learning.
Terms of Reference (ToR) were created and circulated to all those that were in attendance at the event to ensure all aspects discussed on the day were reflected in the ToR.
A date has now been set for interested parties to attend the IPS Advisory group on the 27th September. If you would be interested in attending please contact Blair Davis.


Coming soon...

The West Midlands MHIN website will soon be up and running and will provide information and resources on mental health innovations regionally and nationally, as well as news, funding information and upcoming events.
We are excited to launch the website and use it to facilitate the spread of innovation and we hope that you are this space!




The future of treatment options:

As the rates of drug research and development slow down what is the future for mental health treatments?

Research suggests Alzheimer's test:

Simple sight and smell tests could help predict cognitive decline and identify people at risk of Alzheimer’s, says research

Teenage brains can reveal emerging mental health problems, research finds:

Adolescence can be a difficult transitional period and is when we typically see the first signs of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. This study gives us a clue as to why this is the case

What service users want to change in mental health policy:

Policymakers have failed, with thinking on mental health 50 years behind physical health. So we asked those with lived experience how to fix the problem

Adapting care to meet the needs of an ageing population using the Enhanced Care Worker role:
The social care sector is facing unprecedented pressure from demographic change, high turnover and vacancy rates in the workforce and chronic under-funding. The report ‘Innovate to Alleviate: Exploring how the role of an enhanced care worker could address skills shortages in the social care sector’, by the ILC-UK, looks at the Enhanced Care Worker (ECW) role as it is an example of a recent and promising innovation in the sector which can help to meet these challenges.

The NHS and Europe: Five must reads:
What is the future of the NHS in the post-brexit era?

New dementia app helps memory loss patients find memories:

People suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of age-related dementia sometimes have trouble recognising friends and family or knowing what to talk about when they visit. A new app offers to help patients stay connected to their memories – and thus to their friends and family – and perhaps will even help them keep a conversation going.

NHS trust pioneers new home care service:
A trust in Devon has become the first NHS provider to enter the home care market, potentially allowing it greater control of standards for patients and staff.

TedTalks - ideas worth spreading
The complexity of memory


Innovation inspiration

Meridian health innovation exchange

Meridian is an online health innovation exchange that supports the spread of good practice to deliver improved health and wealth across the West Midlands. 

Meridian is a pioneering interactive platform for anyone to share their innovations and ideas, build groups and networks and make contact with people whose innovations could change healthcare in the West Midlands. The website will support the adoption of good practice in health and social care and share lessons learned from across the sector.

Users – including people from the NHS, academia, industry and the third sector – are able to submit their ideas so that others can comment, suggest ways in which it may be improved and vote for innovations that are good for the region to support and worthy of further development. Alternatively, users can respond to campaigns, where there has been a specific healthcare need identified in the West Midlands which may be solved through an existing or new innovation. 

Meridian moderators, who are active in the innovation community in the West Midlands, will review the submissions to assess the innovation effectively and provide practical support for the development of the idea.

When an idea is submitted, Meridian will notify the user if similar innovations have been submitted, allowing people to partner with others in the community who have had similar insights. Once an innovation has been submitted, the user becomes the Innovation Champion for that idea and they can put the power of the community to work.

Innovator points are awarded for activity such as submitting innovations, commenting on others’ innovations, voting, receiving votes and submitting stories into the Innovation Warehouse. As users accrue points, they attain a higher innovator status as an indicator of their activity in the community and their entrepreneurial insights.

Organisations that are part of the WMAHSN’s enhanced membership scheme will get access to even more features and benefits of Meridian. For more information, read the guide to getting started with Meridian, or take a look at the handy Meridian flyer.

Register now and get involved!


Eating, Design and Dementia: Improving dining in care homes 
Royal College of Art research associate, Gregor Timlin, in partnership with BUPA has designed a range of eating and dining products for people at varying stages of Dementia.  At first glance they appear stylish and adult appropriate, far removed from traditional assistive table-wear.  On closer inspection it is the functionality and benefits to the end users eating experience that are the stand out features of the products. The ability to eat and drink with dignity and independence is often taken for granted, yet is a key indicator of quality of life for care home residents, and these products demonstrate the need for innovative design in this sector.

Memory-aid app for people in the early stages of dementia
Prompt is a service that helps anyone with memory problems make the most of each day. An app provides a visual diary, with images and background information included in reminders. It aims to maintain confidence and independence by putting help in your hands. Users create notes about things they want to remember, the system adds images, maps and contact details and automatically compiles reminders. It also makes links between stored content, to show personal context about people, places and events. A web dashboard is available for family and friends to add photos and information, send messages and reminders and see when they’ve been accessed. Prompt has been designed with people living with dementia, their carers and clinical experts and can be used by anyone concerned about memory problems.

Funding bulletin 

Securing funding to support your innovative practice is not always easy, and with numerous opportunities available, choosing the right funding source can be daunting.  To support our network members the WMMHIN will be offering funding advice, support and signposting within each newsletter and also, eventually, on the website.

#2 EU Funding post Brexit 

Still reeling from the EU referendum? Trying to find your way in post-brexit Britain? Take a look at our handy guide to EU R&I funding in this brave new world.

- 5 key facts about a post-brexit NHS

- The implications of brexit on research/innovation funding

- Horizon 2020 funding will remain in place..….for now

- Brexit: The collapse of a world-class research system for the UK?

- The future for medical science in a post-brexit NHS

- Brexit vs NHS FAQ

- A guide to accessing EU funding

- EU funding index

Event: Preparing for the Impact of Brexit on the NHS: Challenges in Funding, Recruitment and Research, London, Thursday 15 September


Focus on...

Seeking Safety

Earlier this year a bid was submitted to the Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) innovation fund and was successfully won by Dr Sarah Shanahan and Dr Kay Garvey at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The successful pilot aimed at delivering an evidence based psychological intervention (“Seeking Safety”) to address trauma and substance misuse difficulties with women who have been diverted from the Criminal Justice System by West Midlands Police to receive ‘early intervention’ support instead of a criminal conviction, within a holistic wraparound service at Anawim Women’s Centre.
The team have had a successful first quarter and we are looking forward to regular updates on how the pilot is doing!


Opinion poll

We'd like to hear from you, our network members on which challenges you would like to see us address. Please follow the link below and have your say!
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