South West Yorkshire mental health trust has withdrawn from the ‘Serenity Integrated Monitoring’ scheme – but questions remain

The South West Yorkshire Foundation Partnership Trust medical director Dr Subha Thiyagesh has told the Board that the Trust withdrew from the Serenity Integrated Monitoring scheme on 10 June 2021.

Her statement was in response to questions from Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS Chair to the Board meeting on 29th June 2021, about the Trust’s participation in the scheme that criminalises mental illness.

Social media alerted Trust to “concerns” about Serenity Integrated Monitoring

Rob Webster, the outgoing Trust Chief Executive who is being seconded for some time to become the full-time leader of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System, told the meeting that the Trust first became aware of concerns on social media.

Which begs the question of why the Trust hadn’t carried out its own due diligence before joining the ‘Serenity Integrated Monitoring’ scheme.

This is a summary of what Dr Subha Thiyagesh told the Board:

  • After national consultation with medical directors the Trust withdrew from the SIM scheme on 10 June 2021
  • The Wakefield model did not comply directly to the national model
  • Consent was always sought from service users
  • The focus was on service user voice being heard
  • Since leaving the scheme, the Trust is looking to develop training for our staff in line with NICE guidance

Rob Webster, after noting that the Trust initially became aware of concerns on social media, said that the Trust then looked at the issues “openly, honestly and transparently.” He added that the Wakefield model was more patient- and service user – based than the national model, and the service users who were to be part of the scheme are still receiving appropriate support while the Trust are reviewing their service offer.

An action was raised at the Board meeting for a full response to all of the Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS Chair’s questions to be provided. The Trust Company Secretary has emailed that this will follow in due course.

Thanks to everyone who signed and shared the STOPSIM petition.

And thanks to StopSIM itself, which alerted Tim Kendall, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Mental Health to the issues with “Serenity Integrated Monitoring”.

On May 11th 2021, he thanked StopSim in this tweet:

Given there is no evidence base for the Serenity Integrated Monitoring model, how the hell did 23 of the 57 NHS mental health trusts in England set up Serenity Integrated Monitoring Teams?

Do they not follow NICE guidelines when caring for people who self-harm and have BPD? (Which I think means Borderline Personality Disorder – see this simple guide on how not to get a diagnosis of personality disorder.)

A highly satirical answer can be found in Recovery in the Bin’s RITB-Warwick-Edinburgh Neoliberal Mental Wellbeing Scale (RITBWENMWBS), a 25 point scale that has not been validated on any population:

“We expect the scale to be used widely nationally and internationally in all recovery orientated mental health services.

“It draws on the total lack of evidence base for the items it measures, to rate Recovery™ Dependency and Conformity. It is the individual’s responsibility to measure their Recovery outcomes so a score sheet will not be made available. This will empower individuals and ensure the scale forms a meaningful addition to their recovery journey. Or else…”

Recovery in the Bin is part of the StopSIM coalition

And if there is no evidence for Serenity Integrated Monitoring, is there any for Police Community Protection Notices?

Another means of criminalising people with poor mental health.

Here is a patient’s account of how they are now unable to talk freely about their mental health as they fear arrest , after their local mental health team and police force made a ‘crisis plan’ detailing how to ‘deal’ with them in a crisis and avoid ‘reinforcing’ what they believe to be attention seeking behaviours.

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