Mental health director leads drive for improved psychosis care

Dr Geraldine StrathdeeNHS England’s national clinical director for mental health, Dr Geraldine Strathdee, is to head up a drive aimed at improving care for psychosis patients across the country.

Dr Strathdee will call on 150 delegates at the National Psychosis Summit to share best practice and help put together an action plan for making improvements to care across the country.

She is due to address the summit – together with health minister Norman Lamb – being staged in London tomorrow (Thursday April 10) and chaired by Lord Victor Adebowale.

The summit, organised by Rethink Mental Illness in partnership with NHS England and the Department of Health, will bring together providers, commissioners, experts and regulators to focus on ways of improving psychosis care at both national and local level.

Delegates will be able to pose questions to Dr Strathdee and the minister, as well as taking part in a series of workshops aimed at coming up with an agreed plan of action.

Dr Strathdee said: “I am absolutely delighted that so many leaders are coming together to drive forward improvement of the care we provide to people affected by psychosis.

“We are at a critical point. We know the problems. We have data in spades. We know where things work. We want to learn from the best approaches, and support others to follow. So the major challenge we face is entirely about implementation.”

Dr Strathdee explained: “We are finding incredible practice, created and produced in partnership, which is changing lives and improving outcomes. We have so much knowledge and insight about what works. We know what needs to improve. We also know which interventions work and have a positive, measurable impact on people’s lives.”

But she admitted:  “This excellent work is only happening in pockets. What we need – what people affected by psychosis need – is movement to generate improvement across the whole system.

“We want every encounter an individual has, no matter where they are, to be compassionate, recovery-focused, efficient and high-quality. Lives literally depend on it.

“The summit is the next step in a wave of work to improve care for people with severe mental illness.  We can achieve great things if we pull together.”

You can follow Geraldine Strathdee on Twitter: @DrG_NHS

NHS England will be tweeting from the Summit tomorrow


  1. fiona cassells says:

    A comprehensive service is needed, as Dr Strathdee suggests.

    There is a real need to educate all community teams to apply psychosocial interventions practically.
    For example, practical ways to improve sleep quality, improve nutritional status, teaching stress management techniques as part of the overall management patient and carer education of psychosis is essential.
    Education to service users and carers about brain development in adolescence, and how to maximise it (research by Jay Giedd, see you tube and a publication written by him on Adolescent brain development)Also see changing diets changing minds by the mental health foundation. New research on the relationship between sleep depravation and psychosis is an important new development

  2. Pearl Baker says:

    If we are to achieve a uniform quality of care for all, we must first understand who are the ‘key’ players responsible for achieving an Integrated system of care.

    The Care Manager Co-Ordinator is ultimately responsible for his client, he is responsible for ‘pulling’ together all other individuals involved in his clients care and treatment.

    The Care Manager Co-Ordinator needs to be highly qualified, knowledgeable of all
    the other agencies involved in an Integrated System of Care.

    Agencies involved, the Psychiatrist, if they have one, the GP, the DWP, the Pharmacist. Mental Health Advocates, the DLA, carers, or significant others, Support Workers, Deputy if in the COP.

    The Care Manager Co-Ordinator is first appointed when a patient is admitted to hospital, he is responsible for arranging the first CPA meeting. This meeting is a gathering of information, the carer, nearest relative or significant is crucial at this point. The date and venue for the second meeting is arranged at this meeting and thereafter.

    The appointment of a Mental Health Advocate is essential if the patient is to progress, they will infirm them of their right, choices, and personal budgets,

    The Care Manager Co-Ordinator will be responsible for ensuring their Mental and Physical needs will be met, including day care, day services.

    Individuals suffering from a severe and enduring mental illness lose confidence, they need the services of Support Workers to take them out into the community, otherwise they can become isolated in their own ‘space’ !

    Emergency and crisis contact details should be given to the Carer, nearest relative or significant other.

    The above is based on my years of personal experience.

    Monitoring of the above is essential. The Care Manager Co-Ordinator is the ‘key’ player, they must be highly qualified, should they come from the LA or Primary Care ie CPN.

  3. John Kapp says:

    Please see papers 9.72 Brochure for commissioners and 9.71 ending the Prozac nation, to see how to solve the crisis in primary care.