Award for mental health nurses

The Mount View primary mental health nursing team celebrate.
The Mount View primary mental health nursing team celebrate.

A MENTAL health nursing team based in Fleetwood have received a prestigious national award.

The Mount View primary mental health nursing team won a Highly Commended accolade at the Nursing Times Awards in London last week.

This award, effectively a runners-up prize, recognises the concerted efforts that have been made to provide improved mental health services in the town.

More than 800 nursing professionals attended the awards ceremony at the capital’s Hilton Hotel.

With parts of Fleetwood being listed as among the most deprived in the country, the town has suffered its fair share of mental health problems.

But these issues have not been ignored in the town and the Fleetwood Clinical Commissioning Group, comprising GP practices in the town, has made a concerted effort to target these problems.

As a result, the Mount View team of mental health nurses, who are based throughout Fleetwood and not confined to the Mount View GP practice on London Street, have been able to offer a bespoke service to help patients deal with their specific issues.

And that approach seems to have paid off handsomely.

There has been a 50 per cent reduction in symptoms, and a significant reduction in referrals to other services.

The Nursing Times Awards have recognised this, and also taken into account factors such as the speed with which patients are seen, assessed and treated, with no waiting lists building up.

The team were among the eight finalists in the Community Nursing category.

Team leader of the team is Alison Halliwell, whose colleagues are Angela Watkins, June King, Irene Ellison, Christine Hutton, Angela Birch, Michelle Naylor and Joanne Saunders.

Alison told the Weekly News: “All of us feel privileged to provide this kind of bespoke mental health service which is tailored to the individual needs of the patients.

“Our main reward is to see for ourselves how we have been to help them. In many cases the service has been literally life-changing.

“Fleetwood has had, and still has many serious mental health issues, many of which are linked to deprivation and the various problems caused by that. Unemployment and poverty are always big factors in terms of mental health problems, and they lead to other issues.

“But in Fleetwood GPs have been proactive in investing in mental health services, and it is wonderful to see that the work of the mental health nursing team has been so effective.”

The team work with Fleetwood’s main GP practices - Mount View, Broadway and Dr Remesh’s Belle Vue practice, which in total covers thousands of residents across the town.

Their service provides screening, assessment, therapeutic interventions relevant to people with mild to moderate mental health problems, and also offers health screening for those with severe mental health problems and screening for those with memory deficit.

Patient satisfaction, appropriate prescribing, proven cost savings and increased productivity have also been recognised.