If you were to ask me what it is that makes Sussex Partnership different, I would say it all comes down to our people. You get a strong sense that everyone here believes they have the potential to do something good, to change things for the better. Their enthusiasm, their willingness to stand up, to push for what’s in the best interest of the patient, is inspiring.
Our service in NW Sussex has a relatively new management team who are committed to new ways of working. Rather than having the burden of a long-established reputation to live up to, we have a reputation to build, a chance to demonstrate how to do things differently. Most importantly, becoming an accredited Care Delivery Service (CDS) means we have the freedom to be pragmatic and the power to innovate. We’re now masters of our own destiny and encourage ideas from across the service.
I’m immensely proud of our local innovations. We have started a Street Triage Service in North West Sussex, because many people picked up by the police experiencing mental health problems were ending up in custody. We place a nurse or social worker with a police officer to help people in crisis. The service has been rolled out across the region and there has been a huge reduction in detentions in custody for people with mental health problems.
We are currently working with voluntary organisations in planning a new scheme to plug the gap between the services we offer and what’s available via a GP and we have also created a Reference Group for patients and carers. It’s all driven by a dedication to get the right care for our service users.
I am passionate about involving people in their own care and involving staff in deciding on how care is delivered. We’re proactive about addressing our problems, asking what we can change to improve experiences, what will help us through the challenges and looking for the research that will improve outcomes for our service users. The modern environment at Langley Green is everything you would want a modern mental health hospital to be and we strive to provide services that live up to the fantastic building we have. That’s helped by staff and service users having more of a say in how the services are run.
There are exciting opportunities ahead for people joining us in NW Sussex. They will have the chance to shape our services to better meet the needs of our diverse population. We’re not here to provide simply what’s expected. We’re here to provide a service that is well respected and to pioneer new approaches.