Hello, my name is Sara @munro_sara

Hello, my name is Sara

I’m a mental health nurse and the Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I’m starting a monthly blog to help people understand a bit more about the work of our Trust and our brilliant staff and some of the challenges we face.

I’d love to hear what you think about these blogs. You can follow me on Twitter or let me know via email (see below).

CQC – national report and our local action plans

On 20 July the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published The State of Care in Mental Health Services 2014 to 2017 which highlights the findings of its comprehensive inspection programme of all specialist mental health services. They found many examples of excellent care but too much variation in both quality and access across different services.

When the CQC published their last report about us in November 2016, it showed 77% of our services were either good or outstanding. However, we remained at “requires improvement” overall.

Since then I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and said I want to see us rated “good” when our next report is published (which should be before November 2017) and our five year vision, as set out in our new emerging strategy, is to be “outstanding”.

We’ve made some fantastic progress with our action plans to put the required improvements in place, but we are not where we wanted to be at this point in the year as you’ll see in our July Board papers. It is important that we can demonstrate clear evidence where actions have been implemented and challenge ourselves with the “so what?” question of: “has it made any difference?”


Leeds – the best city for health and wellbeing

Leeds Town Hall

The long term plan for health and social care in Leeds is moving in the right direction, following a meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board in June.

On 17 July Leeds City Council’s Executive Board considered the Leeds Health and Care Plan: A Conversation with Citizens – where the draft Leeds Health and Care Plan on a Page and accompanying narrative document were discussed.

These documents will form the basis of a proposed engagement and consultation exercise with citizens regarding the future development and delivery of related services, and I would encourage everyone to take part in this.

The Leeds Plan is built from four key strands of work, from prevention through to effective use of secondary care. There is also an intention to map the whole of the population into ‘segments’ and to then commission services for outcomes for each of the population segments. This would mean a significant shift from current contracting and commissioning approaches if rolled out fully. There would be a segment for mental health and a segment for learning disabilities. Discussions are underway to determine a segment to test this approach with – which is most likely to be frailty.  The next update of the Leeds Plan will go to the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board in September.


Supporting the development of NHS and social care services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate

We are now working closer than ever with our fellow mental health NHS trusts across West Yorkshire. The chief executives and directors of finance met in June and agreed to review the core work streams that we will work on collectively. So far this includes:

  • Urgent/crisis care
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Out of area treatments
  • Autism and ADHD
  • Suicide prevention
  • Transforming care, and
  • Support services.

We have agreed on the need to establish a committee in common and this will be the focus of joint chairs and chief executives meeting planned for September.

Good news: Our Eating Disorders service will lead new care model

We were successful in our bid to lead the development of Eating Disorders services for adults across West Yorkshire and Harrogate as part of NHS England’s new care models funding announcement in June.

We are one of 11 pilot sites, made up of NHS mental health trusts, independent sector and charitable organisations, who will be working together to effectively reorganise services in our area to provide the best care for patients.

We’ll publish more detail on this once it’s been worked up.


Reasons to be proud

With all the doom and gloom you might read about the NHS I think it’s right to shine a light on the great work of our staff and teams and I’ll always try to end my blogs with a few highlights that have come across my desk or that I’ve witnessed first-hand.

Well done to our Personality Disorder and Eating Disorders services who have been shortlisted in the national Positive Practice in Mental Health awards.  This is great recognition for their excellent work. The awards ceremony takes place on 12 October 2017.

I always make time to get out and visit our services, and in June and July I’ve met some great people doing some great work.

I am currently hosting a number of conversations with staff across the Trust about our new values and behaviours, with the expectation this will continue in more depth within teams and services. This work is well underway in our carers’ team who are integrating with Carers Leeds. They did an impressive piece of work on what the values of the Trust and carers means to them, their purpose and how they will work together as a team to deliver the best possible service in line with both organisations values. This is an excellent example we will showcase to other teams.

I was impressed to hear from Dr Baskind within our Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Service about how he is looking to develop stronger partnerships with other organisations to improve the pathway of care for adults with ADHD.

I received a wonderful letter from a family about the great service they received from Joan Austin in our memory assessment and diagnosis team so it was good to meet her in the flesh along with the rest of the team who have a significant amount of experience and passion for the work they do.

I also visited Leeds’ brilliant Inkwell facility which works closely with our Arts and Minds network. It was impressive to see all the work they do to support people with mental health problems, creating stronger social cohesion and breaking down stigma. I hope to establish a greater connection between them and our services.

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Get in touch


You can follow Sara on Twitter @munro_sara

Or email Sara at saramunro@nhs.net