Government and BHB Sign Statement of Intent with UK Mental Health Trust

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing, and Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces the signing of a Statement of Intent with the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) to provide services for people serving prison sentences who require access to mental health services at a specialist, secure setting.

Both organisations have committed to explore teaching and training opportunities for staff, clinical support and supervision for staff in Bermuda, and options to treat service users in specialist facilities.

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Walter Roban JP MP; Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing, Senator the Hon. Lt Col. David A. Burch OBE, ED, JP; and representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, including Chief Operating Officer Patrice Dill and Chief of Psychiatry, Dr Michael Radford, visited Reaside this week to see the facility and sign the agreement in principle.

Minister Roban comments: “I am very pleased to be signing this Statement of Intent, which takes us one step closer to providing services for Bermudians in prison who have severe mental health needs. This was a key deliverable of the Mental Health Plan launched in June this year. It is good news that we have taken such a decisive step towards a permanent solution and I look forward to this agreement being formalized in the near future.”

Minister Burch comments: “On behalf of the Department of Corrections, it gives me great satisfaction to see an agreement in principle signed with BSMHFT. A solution was needed for inmates with specialist mental health needs to ensure they receive appropriate services in an appropriate setting. I am sure the Bermuda community will welcome this development.”

Patrice Dill, Chief Operating Officer for the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, comments: “Very few people in prison in Bermuda have severe enough mental health issues that they require a specialist facility, which makes it very difficult to maintain an on-island solution. For those few, however, this planned association with BSMHFT is critical. It will enable us to transfer people serving prison sentences with severe mental health issues to a more appropriate setting. While we appreciate it will mean some travel for families, they will have greater comfort that their loved one is receiving the care they need in a secure facility.”

BSMHFT Chief Executive Sue Turner comments: “Mental health services in Birmingham have a proud track record of innovation and research, most recently with developments in young people’s services, acute health care settings and prisons, as well as forensic service. We sign this statement of intent as our commitment to an international partnership with Bermuda Hospitals Board. We have much to learn from each other and much to celebrate.”

As part of a two-day visit, the delegates have been shown around the Reaside unit in Rubery, and also seen staff at work in HMP Birmingham, in Winson Green.

Both organisations will work together to provide reciprocal services as part of a partnership agreement.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) provides a comprehensive mental healthcare service for residents of Birmingham and Solihull, and to communities in the West Midlands and beyond. BSMHFT was created on April 1, 2003 by the merger of the former Northern and South Birmingham Mental Health NHS Trusts (which included mental health services for Solihull), and it achieved Foundation Trust status in July 2008. BSMHFT has an income of £215 million and a 4,000-strong workforce, making it one of the largest and most complex mental health NHS trusts in the UK


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