National mental health charity Richmond Fellowship and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust have celebrated the first three months of Box Tree Farm, a six-bedded house for local people who are experiencing distress in their mental health.
Box Tree Farm opened in Ratby in March following an investment by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust of £600,000. Since opening, the house has seen 49 people through its doors. On average people stay less than five days.
Dr Mohammed Al-Uzri, clinical director for adult mental health and learning disability at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Before Box Tree Farm, there was a risk that a person experiencing a mental health crisis would have to be admitted to hospital because there wasn’t a suitable alternative. Box Tree Farm now provides an alternative.
“Along with other initiatives, this house prevents unnecessary hospital admissions which, in turn, will help ensure that there is availability in a local hospital for someone who really needs the care that is offered in an inpatient setting and so, less people should be placed in hospitals outside of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
“The early numbers are really encouraging. The right people are getting a place in the house and are benefiting from the support they get while they are there.”
The crisis house has places for up to six individuals and provides a home from home environment in which individuals are helped to stabilise their situation and to develop coping strategies to handle future crises.
The team of support workers, who are all trained in crisis intervention, provide round the clock support tailored to individual needs through one to one sessions and group work. The team liaises closely with LPT’s crisis team to ensure there is appropriate clinical support as needed.
Christine Lawrence, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship, added: “The successful partnership working with the Trust has ensured that we have been able to support people at the right time, facilitating their recovery and ensuring they feel better equipped to manage their well-being on returning home. We’re looking forward to working further with our partners and helping make recovery reality for more people.”
All residents are asked to complete a survey at the end of their stay. 91% said that the environment helped them feel at ease. Everyone agreed that the house was warm and welcoming. 94% reported that they were able to maintain their own independence. 84% stated that they were treated with dignity and respect throughout their stay and felt their opinions were listened to.
In order to ensure people who would benefit most from the support offered at Box Tree Farm get the opportunity to stay there, referrals are managed by LPT’s crisis resolution team.
Alongside Box Tree Farm, Richmond Fellowship also provides a telephone helpline and drop-in service.
These improvements to mental health services are part of Better Care Together, the five year major change programme aiming to improve both the quality and sustainability of health and care delivery across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.