Stockport Mental Health Service prevents almost 200 hospital admissions

holding hands imageThe Trust's Stockport Team for Early Management (STEM) is a service that offers extra support to people arriving at A&E overnight with mental health problems in Stockport.

The service operates from 9pm-9am, supporting those who go to Stepping Hill Hospital for help due to self-harm, thoughts of suicide, or other mental health issues.

It provides an alternative route to prevent people waiting in A&E or being admitted to hospital, providing patients with a thorough assessment of their mental health needs and short-term psychological support.

The service involves triaging patients in A&E. Patients are then referred to the Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge (RAID) Team for assessment. This streamlined approach has reduced pressure in the A&E department.

During the first 10 months of operation a total of 196 service users have accessed STEM, this is an average of 19.6 service users per month.

Once patients have been referred to STEM, they have the opportunity to relax in a dedicated room which is a comfortable environment and space for people to have the opportunity to spend time with both qualified staff and support staff.

The service is delivered in partnership with Self Help, and is funded by NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group.

The STEM service was recently awarded the ‘Image and Pride in Nursing’ which was presented at the Chief Nurse Conference in October 2017

Karen Maneely, Adult Service Line Manager - South Division said:

“The STEM service has been an exciting opportunity for us to manage people who present in Mental Health crisis, and to offer them a safe and therapeutic environment which has avoided hospital admission. 

I and Nick Towell, In Patient Service manager are very proud of the team and what the team have achieved.”

A former user of the service said: "I came in after an overdose and I wasn't finished in A&E until late that same night. I couldn't face going home to my empty flat in the middle of the night, I couldn't trust myself and I didn't feel safe.

“The nurses took me to STEM and it gave me somewhere to go and people to be with. I had chance to talk and work out what to do for the best.

“In the morning I had a plan, I could phone my friend and I knew that someone from mental health would be in touch. I felt safe going home."

Laura Clegg, Staff Nurse said:

“I used to be a bed manager so I understand the importance of maintaining patient flow. Prior to STEM opening we knew that if a patient was admitted waiting on post overdose bloods, then they were here until the next morning if not later.

STEM are able to take those patients overnight which allows us to free up our beds for patients awaiting medical outcomes.”