Recovery for People with Severe and Complex Mental Health Problems In Northern Ireland 2014

A guide for Trusts and commissioners compiled in partnership with Service Users and Carers, voluntary agencies and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Northern Ireland)
How effective are our rehabilitation services in treating serious and complex mental illness in Northern Ireland? 
Rehabilitation service users are usually people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bi-­‐polar disorder. Around 10% of service users presenting for the first time with a psychotic mental illness will go on to require rehabilitation services due to the severity of their illness and its debilitating impact on their lives. 
The need for vastly improved rehabilitation services is shared across mental health organisations and services from both the third sector and the public sector. This is a truly collaborative briefing paper developed over a number of months, shaped and informed by a rich and diverse range of perspectives: service users, carers, leading mental health charities and clinicians. With major change ahead for health and social care services heralded by Transforming Your Care, the shared aim of this briefing is to call for a review and improvements in our provision of rehabilitation services in Northern Ireland. 

The needs of service users with the most severe forms of mental ill health must be considered as part of mental health strategy in Northern Ireland. The role of rehabilitation must be acknowledged and incorporated into this strategy. This must be urgently reprioritised under on‐going Bamford review and TYC implementation. Only then   will Trusts be incentivised to value, retain and develop these services. Trusts must be held to account  for how they plan to develop a  pathway to recovery for  people  with severe  and complex mental  health problems beyond the  implementation of TYC. If this does  not happen we will not succeed in ending institutional care by 2015, but will only create a new generation of people at risk of poor outcomes and “virtual institutionalization”. The time‐scale of the TYC goals creates an urgency but also an opportunity.

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