Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

CEO Neil Thwaite
GMMH is one of the few NHS trusts in the
northwest with a normal operating surplus
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
is one of the largest specialist mental health trusts in
the UK. It serves the needs of 53,000 service users,
employing more than 5,000 staff to work across over 150
sites. In 2018, GMMH was graded as overall “good” by CQC,
with substance misuse services and leadership outlined as
“outstanding”. CEO Neil Thwaite, who has worked with the
trust for 12 years, tells
The Parliamentary Review
Over the last financial year, our annual income was £293.3 million, and we stand as
one of a few NHS trusts in the northwest with a normal operating surplus. Funding
pressures are nonetheless affecting every single organisation across the healthcare
sector, and we are no different.
A forward-thinking, research-driven organisation
Since acquiring services across the city of Manchester in 2017, we have delivered
on an ambitious, large-scale plan to transform mental health services across Greater
Manchester. This has led to significant improvements to the quality of care and increased
capital investment, including the development of a Section 136 suite – a designated
place of safety – at North Manchester General Hospital. This is the first time that such a
facility has been available for those in the midst of a mental health crisis in Manchester.
We are also one of the most research-active trusts in the UK, as proven by our service
user participation rate – the highest of any specialist mental health trust outside
of London. Over the last financial year, we received £4.6 million in funding and
launched five specialist research units with a view to further enhancing this portfolio.
»Director: Neil Thwaite
»Established in 2017
»Based in Greater Manchester
»Services: Acute, community
and specialist mental health
»No. of employees: 5,000
»GMMH is one of only three
NHS providers offering
community and inpatient
mental health treatment for
deaf adults in the UK
Greater Manchester Mental
Health NHS Foundation Trust
Highlighting best practice
GMMH’S home-based
treatment teams
Our Acute Care Pathway covers
three major disciplines of healthcare:
accident and emergency, inpatient
services and home-based treatment.
Our home-based treatment teams sit
between the other disciplines to ensure
seamless transition and discharge from
the hospital.
The team in Trafford is run by Service
Manager Ashton Ntuli, and they
undertake up to three visits a day to
people’s homes. The primary purpose
of this is to act as something of a
gatekeeper; wherever possible, they try
to prevent admissions and keep people
in their own homes – an environment
which is ultimately safe and familiar.
Beyond that, teams like Ashton’s also
try to reduce the length of stay for
patients residing in the hospital.
For both of these situations,
risk assessment is of the utmost
importance; as soon as a patient’s
needs are considered to be
manageable, home-based treatment
teams want to facilitate their discharge
back into the community and then
organise the appropriate provision of
care. Not only is this the best and most
stable thing for the patient in question,
it also frees up beds, which could be
provided for patients who may require
them more.
Remaining as responsive as
With home-based treatment, the
satisfaction of both patients and
relatives tends to be high. People
don’t want to be in hospital – their
only concern, naturally, is that they
have adequate care when they’ve
transitioned back home.
This is a completely understandable
issue, and one our teams do their
very best to accommodate – the work
of the home-based treatment teams
facilitates social adjustment by way
of dedicated interim care to ensure
we can be as responsive as possible.
If someone goes to A&E, for instance,
and their condition necessitates it, we
can have someone see them at home
within 24 hours to see what kind of
care would be best suited to their
Such an achievement has only been
made possible by the work of our
excellent multidisciplinary teams. To
compose them, we’ve pulled together
the best occupational therapists,
nurses, social workers, doctors and
non-medical prescribers, all working
together on an interprofessional level
to ensure that all needs are met.
A modern, advanced
Since January 2017, we have set
about deploying a variety of specialist
initiatives to best optimise our
workforce in home-based treatment
teams at GMMH. This has included:
»Developing the prescription ability of
non-medical members of staff
»Modernising our workforce
The Trafford Home
Based Treatment Team
work hard to help
service users at GMMH
transition from and stay
out of hospital
Our Acute
Care Pathway
covers three
disciplines of
accident and
services and
»Creating and upskilling advanced
»Forming new nursing roles
»Looking at alternative medicine,
such as acupuncture, to enhance our
current intervention offering
Developing our care provision across
these areas will allow us to increase
patient satisfaction and ensure
discharge processes remain as seamless
as ever.
Forming the right workforce
isn’t easy
More generally, our most significant
challenge is the development of a
talented and dedicated workforce,
particularly with regard to recruitment
and retention. We have a turnover
rate of around ten per cent – and
although many of our team members
are cross-trained to work across
different departments, this is not an
ideal position. Consequently, we have
worked on a number of initiatives
to attract and retain staff across
Two of these, in particular, have been
a focus for continued development:
firstly, we are a living wage employer,
which has helped us to increase the
range of opportunities for those
who want to experience and develop
a career in mental health services.
Secondly, we have tripled the number
of apprentices we employ over
the last two years and continue to
develop pathways into employment
for those who have direct experience
in addressing mental health issues
Homelessness across
Homelessness is a challenge and,
working with the public, private and
third sectors in Manchester, we are
taking a leading role in tackling the
underlying causes at the heart of this
issue. Our work with local housing
associations has been grounded in the
development of a shared vision for
mental health and housing schemes
across the region.
A key part of our approach has been
to create psychologically informed
environments across the city; this
means both creating services and
offering training, so staff can take into
account the thoughts and feelings of
their service users while breaking down
any barriers they have when it comes
to accessing care.
Continued development
for the people of Greater
Over the coming months, we plan to
develop our workforce, improve our
research capability and continue to
deliver exceptional care throughout the
Greater Manchester area.
The work we have done thus far is
focused on improving outcomes for
our patients, their relatives and the
Greater Manchester community.
To ensure our plans succeed we
must keep harnessing and retaining
outstanding local talent; our workforce
will be the key.
Our most
challenge is
of a talented
and dedicated
Like many NHS trusts
across the country,
GMMH’s biggest
challenge is recruiting,
training and maintaining
a workforce

This article was sponsored by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy