Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) provides mental health and disability services across the North East England, will be working as a ‘Knowledge Partner’ with Cadabam’s Group based in Bangalore to develop above programs through sharing of expertise, mutual support and training.The partnership offers both organisations an opportunity to share their expertise in the delivery of mental healthcare to different regions.
John Lawlor, Chief Executive of NTW, and Sandesh R Cadabam, Director of Cadabams Group, signed a memorandum of understanding at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle to formally launch the collaboration.
Sandesh R Cadabam, Director of Cadabam’s Group, said, “This collaboration will support us in progressing towards standardising our current services and developing new ones along the model of comprehensive care pathways which NTW excels in. I am excited that an association with such an outstanding NHS organisation will bring a quantum leap in the quality and accessibility to mental health and learning disability services across India, as well as providing a huge opportunity for us to mutually learn from each other.”
John Lawlor, NTW Chief Executive, said, “Our Trust is excited to be working with the Cadabams Group. Our partnership is based on shared values, including the importance of compassionate care as well as embracing innovation, and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops and how we can learn from each other. I am particularly pleased that this collaboration will support the delivery of mental health and disability services to some of the most-vulnerable individuals in the regions of India that Cadabams serves.”
WHO's Mental Health Atlas 2017 reveals, although some countries have made progress in mental health policy-making and planning, there is a global shortage of health workers trained in mental health and a lack of investment in community-based mental health facilities.
Moreover, there is an extreme shortage of mental health workers like psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors. In the latest available data, in 2014 it was as low as ''one in 100,000 people''
Talking of the pilot project, disease burden of mental illness in India and optimisation of the efforts being taken, Dr B R Madhukar, Medical Director of Cadabams Group, said, “This partnership as a pilot in Bangalore where about 40 mental health professionals, including counsellors, nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers and other professional staff will be trained by us to handle the basic-to-complex cases of mental illnesses. Post this, we aim to spread the knowledge to other parts of the country, including a few hundreds to thousands of healthcare professionals. In most parts of India, mental health is still considered a stigma and therefore, nearly 70% of the patients are not able to seek or get the right help. Out bigger objective is to reach people in the community where the patients did not have a chance to receive mental health support, ultimately covering districts and states. In this process, we will develop healthcare services and systems, including care pathways and clinical protocols to manage the delivery of healthcare in India.”
Talking on this new partnership Mr Dominic Mc Allister the British Deputy High Commissioner of Bangalore said “Mental health is a growing area of concern globally, and this collaboration lays the foundation for better, responsive and accessible treatment options for local patients. This partnership is a great example of UK-India collaboration in improving access to quality healthcare services. The Department for International Trade (DIT) and British Deputy High Commission Bengaluru are proud to support this collaboration, which brings together specialist knowledge and services from the NHS with Cadabam’s experience in healthcare delivery to provide enhanced local services in mental health.”
As part of the partnership, NTW will provide support for Cadabams to develop new ways of working within areas including addictions, smart prescribing, school mental health, community and home-based care. The organisations were introduced to each other by the British Deputy High Commission-Mr.Dominic McAllister, who supported the collaboration process throughout its development. Considering the benefits this would bring mental healthcare services in India, he was keen for this collaboration to happen so that collectively they could work together and bring about a resourceful outcome benefiting all.