E+, Getty Images
Open dialogue, a new approach for psychosis, fully involves the patient. It has a flattened hierarchy, a shared agenda and the aim of 'being with', rather than 'doing to'.
Thursday 12 March 2015 19.53 GMT
Last modified on Wednesday 20 September 2017 23.26 BST
Last week, a report by the all-party parliamentary group on mental health said people with mental health problems receive substandard care (Report, theguardian.com, 4 March). In response, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Simon Wessely, asked to see “good words translated into good deeds”. The good news is that some of these good deeds are already happening – but at the frontline. On NHS Change Day on Wednesday nearly 500 people attended the first national conference, in London, on peer-supported “open dialogue”. They heard firsthand reports of the profound changes this approach is bringing to patients and families.
In Finland, studies show that open dialogue has allowed over 70% of those presenting with acute psychosis to be discharged from services – almost symptom-free – within two years, yet with far less hospitalisation or high-dose medication. In the UK, far fewer achieve these outcomes.
Open dialogue fully involves the patient and their social network, from the very beginning; with a flattened hierarchy, a shared agenda and the aim of “being with”, rather than “doing to”.
A group of dedicated mental health professionals are now introducing open dialogue to the UK. Clinicians and local peer volunteers from four NHS mental health trusts have commenced training, and a trial to compare it to current practice starts in 2016.
Dr Lauren Gavaghan ST5 psychiatrist, London
Dr Tom Stockmann ST4 psychiatrist, London
Dr Russell Razzaque Consultant psychiatrist and associate medical director, London
Dr Lucy Kilmartin ST4 psychiatrist, London
Val Jackson Family therapist and peer-open dialogue trainer, Leeds
Katie Mottram Author and peer-open dialogue administratorLondon
Yasmin Ishaq Service manager, Kent and Medway early intervention in psychosis service
Annie Jeffrey Carer lead, Kent and Medway
Jane Hetherington Senior highly specialist psychological practitioner EIP, Kent and Medway
Dr Anna Cheetham Consultant psychiatrist, recovery and assertive outreach, Nottinghamshire
Catherine Thorley Family and systemic psychotherapist, London
Lauren Markham STR worker, London
Stuart D’Amiral Specialist care coordinator/occupational therapist, North Essex
Sara Betteridge Chartered psychologist and chaplain/spiritual care adviser, London
Mirabai Swingler Spiritual care lead/chaplaincy team lead, London
Dr Rosarii Harte Deputy medical director, Kent and Medway
Dr Beth Coleman Clinical psychologist, Kent and Medway
Yasmin Phillips Community mental health nurse, NELFT
Corrine Hendy Peer support worker, Nottinghamshire
Emma Dunton Specialist care coordinator/occupational therapist, Medway early intervention service, KMPT
Julie Lynn Community mental health nurse and non-medical prescriber, North Essex
Angela Duffy Community mental health nurse, early intervention team, Kent and Medway
Austin Somervell North-east Essex early intervention in psychosis team
Kevin Blakey Psychologist, Nottinghamshire healthcare NHS foundation trust