Double national award win for innovative mental health team
A Tameside mental health service has won an award for its innovative use of text messaging to support service users.
Healthy Minds Tameside and Glossop was awarded the Innovation in Mental Health prize at the Health Business Awards ceremony in London.
The award was presented by GP Dr Sarah Jarvis, a health and medical reporter for BBC’s The One Show.
The team, which is part of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, was recognised for its use of the interactive ‘Flo Telehealth’ scheme which allows staff to contact service users quickly and easily and give them personalised care information.
The most recent win comes just a month after the team scooped the prize for Most Innovative Use of Flo 2014 at the Implementing Effective Digital Health Awards last month.
Flo was implemented by the team earlier this year to improve attendance at stress and anxiety groups and provide individual text support for those who had already attended sessions.
Those joining the groups were sent welcome texts and reminder messages on the day of a session and, in less than six months, the number of missed appointments dropped by 16 per cent.
Texts are also sent to attendees in between sessions to support with homework tasks and help increase people’s confidence to complete the activities at home, aiding recovery.
Flo users also had a 22 per cent improvement in their mental wellbeing based on clinical measures compared with those not using the text service.
The project was led by Chris Pimlott, Service Manager for Healthy Minds Tameside and Glossop, and Project Manager Katie Kay.
Chris said feedback from service users had been overwhelmingly positive.
He said: “We know attending groups and completing activities between sessions can sometimes be difficult for our service users.
“By putting in place this extra layer of support, we can keep in contact between sessions, provide them with personalised support and tips and help them keep working towards improved mental wellbeing.”
Following the success of the Flo pilot, the Healthy Minds service is extending use of text messaging to other support groups from January 2015.
Flo is also being rolled out in Bury and the Rochdale borough to help staff keep in contact with service users.
Healthy Minds provides support to people experiencing common, mild to moderate mental health issues, including anxiety or stress.
The service operates across Tameside and Glossop, the Rochdale borough, Stockport, Bury and Oldham and is open to anyone over the age of 16.
People can contact the service or get more information at www.penninecare.nhs.uk/healthyminds