Experts come together for health conference

Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director for NHS England.
Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director for NHS England.

National and local experts came together to address some key issues around mental health.

The 2018 Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria’s (AHSN NENC) Mental Health Summit attracted nearly 150 healthcare professionals from across the North East and Cumbria.

Claire Murdoch (pictured), National Mental Health Director at NHS England, discussed the five-year plan for mental health, underlining the key priorities for the NHS.

She said: “We are particularly worried about certain sections of society, for example young men, where rates of suicide are higher. By introducing more Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programmes we hope to reduce suicide rates by ten per cent by 2021.”

The summit is the result of a collaboration between the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) North East and North Cumbria Mental Health Programme, NHS England Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network and Public Health England North East.

Seamus O’Neill, Chief Executive of the AHSN NENC, said: “We were delighted to host this ground-breaking event that explored the ways we can continue working together to make change happen in mental health.

“We know that the number of people with a serious mental illness who are dying earlier than the rest of the population is too high. It’s vitally important that we work with our healthcare partners and the wider community to support better health outcomes for people with a mental illness.”

The AHSN NENC’s Mental Health programme was established in 2015 and has been identified as a priority by the AHSN NENC to improve healthcare by sharing spreading and adapting innovations in care services.

For more information, visit www.ahsn-nenc.org.uk/programmes/mental-health/