Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust – Personality Disorder Hub Team

The ward-based deaths of four patients with complex and co-morbid emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) naturally left clinicians at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear FT striving to find ways to improve patient safety for this vulnerable group. Risk aversion meant that, in many instances, patients were being sent to out of area placements.

Enter The Personality Disorder Hub Team. Initially commissioned by the six clinical commissioning groups in the area, it provides direct care coordination, case management and treatment to people who have EUPD in combination with high degrees of complexity, co-morbidity and risk to self.

The team is made up of specialist staff from a range of disciplines, including consultant clinical psychologists; psychological therapists; pharmacists; and peer support workers. As well as offering direct care, members support staff in other teams who are caring for people with a personality disorder.

In the four years for which the service has operated, there have been no suicides among the people for which it cares. Substantial reductions in bed usage have also occurred – over 98 per cent of patients have brief hospital admissions for crises, and 25 patients have been repatriated from out of area placements. This has saved the trust around £2m a year.

Said one service user: “I have always been listened to. I have felt safe. I have been kept as calm as possible. I have a better understanding of my mental health problems; thank you so much for all the care and support you’ve given me. You’ve changed my life; I wouldn’t still be alive without the help you’ve provided.”

Read a detailed case study about this project at HSJ Solutions


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