St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital
Acutely aware that any delays to cancer treatment could have severe adverse effects on outcomes for current and future patients, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Cancer Services Team established the Surgical Cancer Hub at St Helens Hospital, providing a rapid, co-ordinated response to the delivery of essential and urgent cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between May 2020 and July 2021, the Surgical Cancer Hub received close to 300 referrals for urgent cancer treatment throughout the first three waves of the pandemic, for patients from right across the northwest. These were patients where it was critical that they received timely intervention. Had the Hub not been in place, due the suspension of services across the country, there would have been catastrophic delays to their treatment. The Surgical Cancer Hub was then to develop into one of the first reporting Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) in the country, and since July 2021, St Helens CDC’s activity has reached over 12,500 across a range of diagnostic modalities.
Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service
When COVID-19 hit the capital in early 2020, our staff identified the need for emergency mental health services for those suffering an acute crisis. The existing model of care was not working because people suffering an acute mental health episode were often reluctant to attend emergency departments (EDs) for fear of contracting COVID-19.
The 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service (MHCAS) based at St Pancras Hospital has transformed emergency care for people in mental health crisis, by offering them a specialist emergency service away from EDs, where their needs are more quickly and effectively met by dedicated teams. On 23 March 2020 and as the UK went into lockdown, our brand-new MHCAS opened its doors to help treat the first patients – just seven days after getting approval for the service to go ahead
Overall, we have seen an 11.8% reduction in the last year of people requiring inpatient mental health admissions as a result of the service, with nearly 70% of people rating it as either Very Good or Good. There have been nearly 10,000 referrals to the service since it first opened – many of whom would otherwise have attended a hospital ED.
Nominated by: Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC MP