Cygnet Health Care

Cygnet Health Care is one of the largest independent mental health providers in the United Kingdom. Cygnet has developed a wide range of services for individuals with mental health needs, autism and learning disabilities within the UK and has built a reputation for delivering pioneering services and outstanding outcomes for the people in its care.
They have a dedicated care team of 10,000 employees who empower 2,864 individuals across 150 services to consistently make a positive difference to their lives, through service-user focused care and rehabilitation. It also operates an internal system of quality care assurance, quality improvement, effective treatment and positive outcomes. Cygnet is proud of genuinely leading in service user involvement and being focused on proven clinical outcomes driven by the extensive therapeutic programmes in all of its hospitals.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Cygnet is in the process of unveiling its comprehensive Suicide Prevention Strategy, due to launch by the end of 2021. Cygnet has heavily invested in staff development, particularly in areas of upskilling staff in early identification of high risk individuals and implementing appropriate management plans. Cygnet closely engages with national organisations such as Royal College of Psychiatrists in partnership working and adopting best practices and has a strong expert by experience liaison section which co-produces programmes to identify high risk individuals within services and support them. As part of its overall Suicide Prevention Strategy, Cygnet strives to share information with families affected by a suicide of a service user cared for within a Cygnet facility, be open in sharing information and support families and carers in the journey.

What are your current priorities?

Based on evidence, Cygnet has adopted five priority areas as the key drivers for quality improvement across the organisation:

1. Care will be evidence based, timely, safe and effective
2. Partnership working – including safe discharge processes
3. To support carers and staff when they have been bereaved or affected by suicide
4. To be a learning organisation and to base its suicide prevention strategy on latest scientific evidence
5. To have a competent workforce – to support and upskill its workforce

Progress on our quality improvement plan will be reviewed through the work of the Cygnet Suicide Prevention Strategy steering group and Cygnet corporate governance committee.

What challenges are you currently facing?

The impact of patients who die by suicide on clinicians and teams has been a neglected subject. Cygnet is actively working with other agencies, including the Effect of Patients Suicide on Psychiatrists working group from the Royal College to develop national guidance on how to standardise best practice for all who work in the mental health sector.