Tuesday 21 June 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board has published a five-year strategy for Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute services. The MWI Directorate Plan 2021-2026 was developed following the launch of the BHB Strategic Plan 2021-2026 last year. It provides a pathway for mental health, intellectual disability and substance use services.
R Scott Pearman, Deputy CEO, says: “I’m very proud to see the Plan published after an incredible amount of hard work by MWI staff and clients, through a very challenging period. It highlights work with international and local partners and supports the over-arching BHB vision ‘To pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.’”
Acting Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations (MWI) Preston Swan says: “The strength of the Plan is to provide us with a roadmap to truly transform services and experiences for our clients. While dovetailing to the BHB vision, MWI staff and clients defined the MWI purpose ‘To inspire strength, hope and wellness in our community by promoting independence, choice and person-centred support’.”
“The Plan also re-affirms the recovery model as the heart of all we do,” Preston adds. “This is a model that encourages client participation not just in decisions about their own care and treatment, but in service planning.”
There are four goals that give overall direction to the strategy:
1. Transition outpatient and long term care into the community and close the MWI site in the long term
2. Ensure active patient participation in our services using the recovery model
3. Use a needs-based approach to care that ensures people get care at the right time and place and from the right provider
4. Challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with MWI services
Acting Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Nielson comments: “Shifting outpatient services to community settings helps bring the care to the people who need them. It makes accessing services easier, and people don’t have to visit MWI which can have a stigma associated with it. We have already started the process: last year mental health services and support were offered from Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, Victoria Clinic, the courts and a nurse led pilot has run in a GP office. Lastly, a Community Intellectual Disability Team (CIDT) was launched last year to support clients in their homes.”
The Plan goes further, however, with a long term goal of co-locating acute inpatient mental health services on the KEMH campus, where inpatient acute medical services are delivered.
“People would be able to go to the same campus whether they have an acute mental illness or physical illness,” Dr Neilson-Williams explains. “They would be separate, purpose built units, but on the same campus allowing for better support and cooperation between the two services.”
Mr Swan also highlights a promotional campaign in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), MIND (UK) and local partners to help break down the stigma associated with mental illness. “We want to end the stigma that many people feel is associated with mental illness. It impacts how people are treated at work and home, and also can discourage people from seeking help when they need it. We truly want to see a transformation take place in Bermuda.”