Heavyweight line-up for May event

Delegates at this year’s Design in Mental Health conference at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham (taking place from 17-18 May, 2016) will be treated to keynotes from Tom Cahill, CEO of Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation NHS Trust, and former-service user, Ian Callaghan – now Recovery and Outcomes manager at Re-Think Mental Illness.

The conference will be complemented by an exhibition, while a gala awards* dinner on 17 May will see former WBC heavyweight champion, Frank Bruno (he will speak courtesy of Knightsbridge Furniture) describe both his successful professional sporting career, and his personal struggle with bipolar disorder. Alongside Tom Cahill and Ian Callaghan, other conference speakers/topics will include: • Professor Paula Reavey, London South Bank University – examining ‘Service- user experiences of space in a medium secure forensic psychiatry unit’.

• Damian Utton, director, Pozoni Architects,

• Bob Wills, Medical Architecture – ‘Upcycling existing estate for integrated care in the community’.

• Andrew Street, IBI Group – ‘Shaping environments for the future – A look at Guernsey’s mental health service’.

Frank Bruno.

considering ‘Dementia-friendly environments – theory and reality’.

• Derek Shepherd, associate director, P+HS Architects – ‘Dementia design; Why be different? Providing a flexible and humanised environment’.

£150 million in funding for dementia institute

Following David Cameron’s commitment to form a UK- based institute to undertake research into dementia, announced last February in the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020 document, the Department of Health says the UK’s first Dementia Research Institute is to receive ‘up to £150 million’ ‘to deliver a step change in research and development to tackle the disease’. Led by the Medical Research Council, it should be up and running by 2020, and will bring together ‘world-leading experts’, universities, and organisations, to drive forward research and innovation in fighting dementia – which affects an estimated 850,000 people in Britain, a figure expected to double in the next 20 years.

David Cameron.

The new institute will have a central UK hub, with links to universities countrywide, and will build on the centres of excellence already operating. The Medical Research Council will open a competitive process early this year asking universities to come forward to host the institute, and will also lead the search for a director. David Cameron said: “I have been clear I want Britain to lead the way in tackling this disease. We have already taken great strides –

since 2010 investment in research has doubled, hundreds of thousands of NHS and care staff have had specialist training, and over one million dementia friends have taken part in awareness sessions across the country. This institute is another great step, and will allow us to draw together cutting-edge research tools and expertise to defeat this disease once and for all.”

Initiative seeks to better protect against assault

Staff working in the mental healthcare sector should be better protected against assault in the future with the planned launch of a new partnership protocol by NHS Protect, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and the Crown Prosecution Service, which will help the NHS, police, and CPS, ‘work together to respond to incidents of crime, investigate, and take appropriate cases forward for prosecution’. The announcement came as 2014-15 figures for reported physical assaults against NHS staff in England were released.

8 THE NETWORK Richard Hampton. January 2016

These showed that in that year there were 67,864 reported physical assaults against NHS staff in England – ‘a small reduction’ of 819 from 68,683 in 2013-14. Criminal sanctions following reported assaults ‘increased slightly’ to 1,679, and have ‘increased noticeably’ since the pre-2004 period. Reported physical assaults in the mental healthcare sector fell from 47,184 in 2013-2014 to 45,220 in 2014-2015. Richard Hampton, head of External Engagement and Services at NHS Protect, said:

Further sessions will be delivered by the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care and Low Secure Units and Architects for Health. * This year’s DIMHN Award categories are: Service User Experience Award; Estates and Facilities Team of the Year; Mental Health Design Champion; Project of the Year; Product Innovation of

the Year; Outside Space of the Year; Refurbishment Project of the Year, and Services to Mental Health. For more information, visit:, tel: 01892 518877, or email: The Network’s April 2016 issue will include a full event preview.

West Midlands Trusts ‘forge alliance’

Four mental health Trusts in the West Midlands have come together in ‘a unique new healthcare alliance to transform the way acute mental health services are provided’. The Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training (MERIT), comprising Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, has been successful in a joint bid to be part of the latest wave of NHS England’s New Care Models Vanguard programme. Its purpose is ‘to develop radical new options for acute care collaboration to put the NHS Five Year Forward View into action’. The alliance will focus on three priority areas: seven-day working in acute services, crisis care and the reduction of risk, and promoting a recovery culture.

“No NHS staff should be physically assaulted, and we encourage staff who are victims of violence to report it, so that appropriate action can be taken. While it is encouraging to see the total figure going in the right direction, there is no room for complacency after this small reduction in reported assaults. We urge all health bodies to take advantage of the joint working agreement with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. They can build local arrangements on this national agreement to ensure criminal assaults are identified and do not go unpunished.”

Photo courtesy of NHS Protect.

Photo courtesy of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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