3 September 2021
Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) is a model of care intended to support people with mental health issues who were already in regular contact with police and health services and was designed to help better plan and coordinate their care. The aim of the programme was to focus support on the small number of people who are frequently detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, and offer a more appropriate response to this group of service users.
SIM was established to facilitate a collaborative approach between the police and community mental health teams – with the aim of supporting a very small group of people with complex mental health needs, where the police are often already involved. The model was aimed at supporting some of the most vulnerable in society, who, when in crisis, have many touch points with services across a system, but often experience fragmented and siloed care.
The AHSN Network became involved when SIM was already being rolled out by the NHS in parts of the country. SIM started as a pilot on the Isle of Wight and began to attract interest from around the country, as positive outcomes were emerging.
The national AHSN Network was subsequently commissioned by NHS England to support the High Intensity Network (HIN Ltd) with the spread and adoption of Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) between April 2018 and March 2020. AHSN Network involvement involved providing funding for training in trusts and police forces interested in adopting the model. The AHSN Network national programme ended in March 2020.
We are aware of concerns expressed regarding the model, which have emerged in recent months, and we have responded to a Freedom of Information request regarding the Network’s involvement in the programme. We take all concerns from service users seriously; as a result, we have committed to undertake an independent review to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the AHSN Network role in supporting providers to adopt the model.
We welcome NHS England’s ask of trust medical directors and directors of nursing to review services for high intensity users so a full-picture can be obtained. We will feed information from our own review into this process, to enable NHS England to establish the full facts.
Please note that Professor Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, has asked Mental Health Trusts to review their models of care for service users experiencing cyclical and regular crises including, where adopted, SIM. The outcome of these reviews will be considered by NHS England in the Autumn. A link to the AHSN Network’s responses (submitted in July 2021 and September 2021) to a Freedom of Information request on SIM is here: https://www.ahsnnetwork.com/freedom-of-information-foi-requests