Solar, the emotional wellbeing and mental health service for children and young people in Solihull, was recently highlighted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in its newsletter ‘Sharing Good Practice and Innovation in Mental Health Services’, following the rapid improvements made that led to the service receiving an across the board ‘Good’ rating in January 2018. The service is a partnership between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands and provides a variety of mental health services to young people in the Borough aged 0-19.
While in the previous inspection in March 2017 the service was rated ‘Good’ for being caring and responsive, overall it was rated as ‘Inadequate’. The service committed to making speedy and sustained improvements and achieved this in less than a year. BSMHFT redesigned its management structure for the service and spent time engaging and working with staff and partners to achieve change, starting with team building and action planning, developing a vision for the future with all staff.
Elaine Murray, Head of the service at BSMHFT, said:
There have been many improvements made over the past 12 months that have all been possible by the powerful working relationship between our Trust, Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands. It’s a working partnership that is quite unique and has been embraced by all.
Marian Webb, Assistant Director for Children’s Services at Barnardo’s, said:
We have created a completely integrated team that provides a seamless transition from primary care (low-level therapeutic support and self-help) to secondary care (specialist NHS services) through a one route system into all services…Our ‘one team’ approach creates a system that is safe, efficient and ensures that the right care is being delivered when it’s needed.
In a recent review of the service, the West Midlands Quality Review Service noted the clear efforts to engage with service users to develop the services and said that the Solar team “should be extremely proud of their achievements so far” and that reviewers were impressed “at the enthusiasm and ideas that staff would like to develop” and that the service was “well advanced in meeting its outcome targets, having already made significant progress towards implementing NHS England’s Five Year Forward View For Mental Health as well as the Social Care 2020 targets for access to mental health services”.