2012 Mental Health Winner and Finalists

The winner in the Mental Health category supported by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber was Annette Purves, a Specialist Occupational Therapist at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who has developed a Visual Memory Assessment Tool for people who are hearing-impaired or with expressive dysphasia


The Visual Memory Assessment Tool (V-MAT) transforms the diagnostic experience for people with conditions ranging from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

People with expressive dysphasia and hearing impairment are currently discriminated against in the traditional assessment process, receiving a service that is ineffective, time-consuming and anxiety-provoking.

Assessment using the V-MAT leads to more accurate Patient Reported Outcome Measure, facilitating appropriate prescribing within NICE guidelines and care pathways. It has the potential to be applied to a wider audience, particularly with app development for the iPad.

The V-MAT is pictorial and visual - the client points to the appropriate answers - producing a more accurate representation of the person’s cognitive functioning. This lends itself well to the national agenda for respect, privacy and dignity as the traditional verbal procedure can cause anxiety.

Using the V-MAT on an iPad means paperless assessment and more accurate patient audit. The impact of the V-MAT is:

  • Improved patient assessment score when measured against results using the traditional verbal tool.
  • More appropriate prescribing of medication.
  • Significant improvement in patient privacy, dignity, confidence and participation.
  • Reduction in time taken for assessment.
  • Use of iPad translation tool removes the need for translators, reducing cost.

The other finalists in the Mental Health category were Dr. Richard Grunewald of Sheffield Teaching Hosptials NHS Foundation Trust, Jason Rathbone of the Joint Forces Alliance and Patrick Scott of Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Richard Grunewald is a Consultant Neurologist and Lead Clinician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and together with colleageus has developed and implemented a Neurology Psychotherapy Service.


About 20% of patients in general neurology clinics have medically-unexplained symptoms and about 30% of patients attending epilepsy clinics have non-epileptic seizures (NES).  Often initially misdiagnosed, these patients were referred to community mental health services, but a lack of appropriate therapy resulted in frequent emergency admissions.

Their specialist psychotherapy service is a comprehensive treatment package, developed through review of the literature available, on-going service evaluation and work with service users and self-help groups.

Diagnosis is backed up by an information booklet for patients. The specially designed website for patients with NES attracts over 1,000 new users per month from around the world and a self-help booklet has been written. More intensive interventions are provided for patients, if required.

Self-report questionnaires are completed at baseline, at the end of treatment and after six months of follow-up. Neurologists also assess the patients' health status before and after psychotherapy, allowing us to calculate service effectiveness.

The impact of the service has been:

  • Patient questionnaires show significant improvements on all measures.
  • 66 patients with NES were contacted after the end of their psychotherapy. At follow-up, 25.5% of patients were seizure-free and a further 40.4% had seizure reduction of over 50%. The number of healthcare contacts also dropped, resulting in outpatient cost savings.

For more information, see www.non-epilepticattacks.info.

Jason Rathbone is the Chairman of Joint Forces Alliance and together with Nottinghamshire Veterans and Families Partnership (VFP) they have initiated a Specialist mental health pathway for veterans and their families.


All GP surgeries in Mansfield and Ashfield have been provided with information about their services, including a bespoke referral form for GPs to access the mental health services at VFP.

Identification of veterans when registering at a GP surgery will become standard practice and assist in identifying individuals pre-disposed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Veterans would be able to access assessments, therapy and counselling offered by an experienced NHS mental health nurse based at JFA, facilitated by the Nottinghamshire Health Care NHS Trust.

This pathway provides holistic support for veterans who present with multiple issues such as drug and alcohol dependency, housing problems and mental illness. The assessment and referral process will reduce demands on the NHS as other statutory and third sector organisations will be able to support individual needs. The impact of the service will be:

  • Support of individuals experiencing extreme distress as a result of war trauma.
  • Improved family relationships, increased employability and community contributions through volunteering.
  • Reduction in the number of GP appointments and hospital admissions.
  • Patrick Scott is a General Manager at Humber NHS Foundation Trust has implemented a programme called Humber Centre FC ‘Living the Dream!’.


This project is a robust, progressive and recovery-focused intervention that benefits patients socially, psychologically and physically, involving the establishing of a football programme within a forensic medium secure unit.

The indoor training sessions introduce the programme, improving physical fitness and developing positive relationships. Outdoor training sessions lead to competitive matches across other community programmes. The ‘Imagine Your Goals’ project brings individuals with mental health and learning disabilities together.

The Club Code of Conduct was drawn up by patients and staff - a shared leadership and ownership. The project has fundamentally changed their approach to engaging service users in the planning and delivery of care. It will help shape our implementation of the national shared forensic pathway work, reducing the length of patient stay and recovery time.

The impact of the programme has been:

  • Development of relationships between patients at different stages of their recovery and from different diagnostic groupings
  • The impact for individuals has been tremendous and a sense of collaboration, achievement and pride is tangible
  • Possible establishment of an inclusion league to help with the positive promotion of mental health
  • The project has created an energy and enthusiasm across the organisation and within the local football community