Experts from Finland take a leaf out of Sheffield’s book

23rd May 2019

A delegation of academics and healthcare professionals from Finland have visited Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) to learn more about the care offered through mental health services in Sheffield.

On 21 May 2019 the delegation visited the Trust’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) which is based in the Longley Centre at the Northern General Hospital. The aim of the delegation’s visit was to learn more about psychiatric care services in the UK as part of a project to develop new facilities in Finland. As well as visiting Sheffield, the delegation has spent time in countries around Europe.

The visit included talks from staff on topics such as creating a therapeutic environment for service users, as well as a tour of the Trust’s PICU, Decisions Unit, Crisis Hub and an acute ward.

Opened in 2015 the PICU (also known as the Endcliffe Ward) is a purpose built ward that provides 24 hour care for people who are in a mental health crisis. Service users are cared for by a multi-disciplinary team made up of nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, and occupational therapists.

Michelle Fearon, Director of Operations at SHSC NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sharing knowledge and best practice is one of the best things we can do to ensure we offer high quality care for service users. I was delighted to welcome our colleagues from five different districts across Finland on their visit to see our facilities and the ways we work.”

Professor Heikki Elliä from Turku University of Applied Sciences led the delegation, he said: “It has been extremely useful to visit the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at SHSC. In Finland there is a need to build new psychiatric hospitals to modernize facilities and increase capacity. The purpose of this visit was to find out more about mental services in other European countries in order to create a benchmark to guide us as we plan our improvements, and we are now in a better position to do that.

“Also, our delegation has enjoyed meeting our colleagues here in the UK. Making connections with them has been a positive by-product of our visit and we hope to work together again in the future.”