Piloting the new framework to integrate Mind & Body care – a SLaM case study

KHP Comms Officer Henry Lockyer spoke to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s early intervention service (COAST ) about their experience pioneering the world-first King’s Health Partners (KHP) Mind & Body Quality Improvement Network.

Mind and Body Quality Improvement Network V1The QIN was established, as part of KHP’s Mind & Body programme, to define what ‘best practice’ mind and body care looks like. In doing so, it aims to create impactful quality improvements at both local and national levels, and ultimately enhance patient care and outcomes, promote wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities for all.

SLaM’s COAST team helped pioneer the adoption of this new framework at the Trust during the project’s pilot. The COAST service provides support to people when they first begin to develop the symptoms of mental illness, including prompt assessment, treatment and advice to help people  maintain their health and prevent them reaching a crisis point. Find out about their experiences below:

What are the challenges faced by your staff and patients in the current system, and how does the Quality Improvement Network help address these?

The main challenges are related to the high demand on the service. The Quality Improvement Network helps consider ways to address current demands with the existing resources.

How has the quality improvement process improved your understanding of mind and body care for both patients and colleagues?

The quality improvement process has made us think collectively about how to evidence the mind and body care we already provide to patients as well as identifying ways in which we can improve the offer. Likewise, it has helped us reflect on how we support our colleagues and what further actions we can take. Discussing this during the quality improvement process has enabled us to hear about resources that are available through partner trusts.

What are the benefits of the QIN for services, patients, and staff? What have you improved or what are you going to change as a result of the process?

It’s an opportunity to evaluate how holistic a service is. Services benefit from a framework through which this can be assessed/evaluated. Patients benefit from a service that doesn’t only address one aspect of their needs (i.e. mental health) but is integrated to also address physical health, to better understand the holistic needs of the population we care for. Wellbeing of colleagues can sometimes seem like an afterthought so having a framework that addresses the needs of staff is important. It’s difficult to provide excellent care if people do not feel that they are cared for themselves.  

What aspect of your service are you most proud of in terms of delivering mind and body care?

The COAST physical health clinic, walking group, dietician service, as well as sharing information with patients and carers about medication and side effects, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

What aspect of the Quality Improvement Network excites you the most?

Having a direct and practical focus on improvement of service delivery and receiving feedback from external professionals.

Why should others consider joining the Quality Improvement Network?

It is an opportunity to join a group committed to supporting services to provide improved holistic care. It provides a good resource in terms of information, latest research/evidence base, and sharing good practice between services and provides training. The network supports and encourages services to introduce new approaches to improve mind and body care and to enhance what they already have.

Liked this blog? Hear from Simon Arday, Mental Health Network Manager, KCH, about his experience as part of the Mind & Body Quality Improvement Network.