The Trust has officially launched an ambitious new High Intensity Service (HIS) for all ex-British Armed Forces personnel in need of urgent mental health care and treatment living in London.
The guest speaker at our launch webinar was Nicky Murdoch, who is a veteran, a Member of the Government’s Veteran’s Advisory Board, and Chair of the Armed Forces Public Patient Voice Group in the NHS, who spoke about her personal experience of mental health services while she was in the armed forces.
Malcolm McFrederick, Transformation Programme Director at the Trust and also a veteran, spoke about the life-changing impact the High Intensity Service will have.
Other speakers included partners from Stoll, Ripple Pond and Walking With The Wounded, as well as service leaders and a veteran who had experience mental health problems and used the C&I veterans' service.
The HIS service is integrated within, and builds on, the success of the established London and South East NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS).
The service works intensively alongside existing NHS crisis and in-patient services, providing immediate wrap-around care which addresses the psychological and social issues that contribute to pushing people into crisis.
The HIS co-ordinates care across providers, securing relevant longer-term support and treatment, and preventing people ‘falling through the gaps’ of multiple services. The HIS works intensively with veterans for between three and six months until they are back on their feet.
The HIS, commissioned by NHS England, responds quickly to referral via the TILS (within six working hours), assessing the veteran within 72 working hours, and tailoring support to their needs, including providing a personalised crisis plan for them and their supporters.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: "This service complements the existing Transition and Liaison Service and Complex Treatment Service to ensure a fully capable and professional mental healthcare provision, provided by the state alongside third sector colleagues.
"It underlines our commitment to stepping up veterans' support across the country and I'm delighted that ex-service personnel in London will benefit from this."
Initial veteran-sensitive interventions include support around coping with strong emotions, tackling unwanted alcohol and substance use, and using techniques to manage symptoms of various mental health conditions.
The HIS is a collaboration with Walking With The Wounded, STOLL and The Ripple Pond, three veteran and Forces family-focused charities.