A training project was commissioned by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on behalf of the four CCGs and local authorities in South London. The aim of the training project was to deliver on the ambition for early identification of mental health problems across all health and care settings as set out in the national mental health policy, No Health Without Mental Health. Health Education South London (HESL) funded the training project.
Training was offered to staff from statutory, independent and private organisations within the health and care economy. The target audience were staff from non-mental health specialist settings.
Three types of training were offered.
1. Mental Health Awareness (MHA) Training: The content included the relationship between mental and physical health, how to identify potential mental health needs of individuals, how to raise issues with patients and where to signpost patients and identify local resources for further help.
2. Motivational Interviewing (MI) training: This provided training on motivational interview techniques and skills.
3. “Train the Trainer” (TtT) training: The training aimed to educate staff in how to run peer led training on the impact of Long Term Conditions (LTCs) on mental health in their own organization and tailor the information to the requirements of their organizations and colleagues.
What was the problem?
The commissioners wanted an evaluation to report the outcomes to the funding body. The funders were interested in finding out if the training had made any difference to practice.
How did PHAST help?
PHAST undertook a survey to evaluate the quality of the training programme and to assess the application of learning to practice.This was supplemented by a semi-structured telephone interviews with a small number of participants.
The survey was sent out to over 1000 participants. A response rate of about 20-24% was achieved. The completion rate was over 70% for those who opened the email and entered the survey.
The learning and practice were assessed using the national occupational standards (NOS) on mental health appropriate for the target audience. To identify further training needs a number of mental health NOS related to long term conditions were used in the survey.
The findings of the survey were used to gain further insights on factors that facilitated or hindered the translation of the learning to practice and their views on how service users/patients responded to this practice.
The evaluation found that the training project upskilled more than 1400 staff across 125 organisations to national occupational standards in mental health. About 80% of participants had embedded mental health awareness to their work and 85% of participants had integrated a motivational interview approach in their practice.
What was the Impact?
The commissioners were able to provide assurance to the funders that the training had upskilled the workforce and changed practice.