Mental health nurses in Norfolk are to swap roles with colleagues in acute hospitals and vice versa, as part of a new rotation programme.
The rotation scheme is expected to start in June and is intended to help both sets of clinicians improve their all-round skills. Rotations will last from a couple of days to up to three months.
The programme will be run jointly by Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust, James Paget University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
Michele Allott, Norfolk and Suffolk FT’s deputy director of nursing and governance, said: “[Our nurses] will be working in accident and emergency and minor injury units, learning about things like wound care, while acute services staff who come to us will work in mental health crisis and assessment.
“They will learn about our services, and about how to use pathways rather than referring patients directly to crisis teams. This will help them to work more effectively with people who have mental health problems.”
She added: “We hope the rotation will benefit staff and patients on both sides. By developing practitioners who are more holistic and rounded in their approach we hope the nurses will become even more confident in their work with patients.
“And the scheme will prevent us sending people off to accident and emergency unnecessarily if the problem is something we are now able to deal with.”