Shelley had a pattern of hospital admissions, and was receiving section 117 aftercare. A different conversation with her helped her to identify a personalised package of care, including a personal health budget. This enabled her to choose her own support team and to address the issues she identified as her own challenging behaviour. As a result of this, she has stopped being an inpatient and has started living in her new accommodation. 

At just 24, Shelley had experienced five out of area Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) admissions, and in between had spent many months in trust adult inpatient wards. She was exhibiting challenging behaviour and complex mental health needs. This caused real concern to the local mental health commissioning team, and they began to work with Shelley, her care coordinator, her multidisciplinary team and her accommodation provider to understand why this was happening.

Through these conversations, they identified what was important to her:

  • Returning to her supported flat in North London was her primary objective
  • Receiving more intensive support for her anger management issues
  • Joining a local gym to manage her anxieties and frustration by channelling them through exercise, using Zumba classes and swimming.
  • Support from staff who could relate to her to work with her on her complex mental health needs, of a similar age and background.

The CCG offered Shelley an innovative personal health budget to achieve these goals. Shelley identified the team to work with her both on her anger management and on supporting her to attend the community facilities she felt would help reduce her stress.

After the plan was explained to the provider, Shelley was able to return to her home The CCG also employed additional staff she identified with for the transitional period. The total cost of this notional personal health budget was £6,000.

‘I am now happy and chilled’ – Shelley, 24, North London

Living at home enabled Shelley to make sustained progress. At her most recent review, her progress was so exceptional that the additional activities covered by the personal health budget were no longer needed. She told her care team that she is now “happy and chilled”, there have been no more admissions and no further incidents were reported by herself, her health team or her housing provider.

Shelley is now actively planning for her future with support from her new care team, is starting to successfully rebuild relationships with her family and has completed a university course. She now has a part-time job, and is pursuing an acting career.

Shelley has not had any further admissions or incidents, and this has already saved the CCG £71,000 in PICU admissions alone. They are now looking at using this personalised care approach for other people frequently requiring admission to wards or PICU.