Local Health and Care Heroes Chosen to Represent the Midlands in the NHS Parliamentary Awards

I am delighted that Crisis Pathway has been named regional champion in a prestigious competition to celebrate excellence in mental health and care in England.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards, supported by FUJIFILM, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.

Launched in March, it asked MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories.

Crisis Pathway was nominated for the Excellence in Mental Healthcare Award By myself, for a number of reasons. In 2017, working with MIND, service users, and carers the pathway developed out of hours provision for people experiencing a mental health crisis; the Crisis Cafe. The aim was to provide a safe space to seek help without having to rely on A&E departments, or other emergency services. The Crisis Cafe service model was designed by individuals and carers who have lived experience of mental health services when in crisis.

The shared vision of responsive and outstanding mental health care has allowed NHFT and MIND to develop and collaborate to provide support staff from both organisations into the cafes, between 5pm and 10pm, seven days a week. This combined approach ensures that individuals are directed appropriately on first contact to a service that best meets their needs, effectively providing a new ‘front door’ to mental health services out of hours.

The provision of safe community spaces for those in crisis has resulted in significant financial system savings due to providing an alternative to A&E or emergency services. Likewise, it has received resoundingly positive feedback from service users, for example, “It helps me… I haven’t made one visit to A&E this month, and that for me is progress, it reduces the feeling of isolation, I know I can come in and be welcomed”.

Due to success and positive feedback from service users, the Crisis Cafes were rolled out further throughout 2017 and 2018, now providing Crisis Café coverage all week across Northamptonshire.

Having been named champions by senior regional NHS experts, they were with other regional winners from across England for the national award, presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster last week.

I know that everyone in area will share my delight and pride that Crisis Pathway has been named regional champion. They are representing the thousands of staff and volunteers who work day in, day out across our area to shape, deliver and support health and care services. Although they did not win the national award I am amazed by there efforts, and hope they can continue to make a difference across Northamptonshire.

From more than 500 entries, senior experts in each region have chosen ten outstanding nominations, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.

The ceremony was hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors, with a special performance from the NHS Choir.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards 2019 were supported by, PVC MedAlliance and Bioncon, Award Partners, the Premier League, supporting the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award Category, and FUJIFILM, headline sponsor and supporter of the Future NHS Award Category. Thanks to their generous support, the Awards have been put on at no cost to the NHS.