Grave concerns about the rapid, widespread rollout of the High Intensity Network’s ‘Serenity Integrated Mentoring’ (SIM) intervention across NHS England

SIM is a “coercive” approach using police officers as interventionists and is being rolled out across England.SIM is designed for people who have not committed a crime, but are in contact with mental health services, are frequently at high risk of suicide and self harm and are deemed “high intensity users” of emergency services.

StopSIM Coalition Consensus Statement relating to The High Intensity Network (HIN) and Serenity Integrating Mentoring (SIM)

“We are a coalition of mental health service users and allies who have grave concerns about the rapid, widespread rollout of the High Intensity Network’s ‘Serenity Integrated Mentoring’ (SIM) intervention across NHS England. The intervention is designed for people who have not committed a crime, but are in contact with mental health services, are frequently at high risk of suicide and self harm and are deemed “high intensity users” of emergency services.  Key intervention components include a co-ordinated withholding of potentially life saving treatment by multiple agencies (A&E, mental health, ambulance and police services) and, using SIM’s own words, the “coercive” approach of a police officer as an interventionist. 

We call on NHS England to:

  1. Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM with immediate effect, as well as interventions operating under a different name, which are associated with the High Intensity Network (HIN).
  2. Conduct an independent review and evaluation of SIM in regards to its evidence base, safety, legality, ethics, governance and acceptability to service users.
  3. Respond to this statement within 7 days to communicate the actions taken by NHS England. Communications should be directed to contact@stopsim.co.uk

Our concerns about SIM relate to its evidence, legality (including GDPR, Human Rights and Safeguarding), aims, governance and ethics. Interventions or service models operating using SIM principles may be known by alternative names, however, for brevity, this statement equally applies to those services, interventions and models.

This is a preliminary consensus statement. We have been researching SIM and the HIN for a number of weeks in preparation for the release of a detailed and referenced statement.  However, we are releasing this brief statement since becoming aware that, due to the hard and concerted effort of service users, survivors and allies over many weeks – and in some instances, years – that high level conversations have been prompted.  We felt it was critical to make our position public as soon as possible. A longer version of this statement, with citations, is shortly forthcoming.

We expect to be involved in any high level conversations concerning the High Intensity Network and SIM as a coalition of service users and allies.  We can be contacted by email at contact@stopsim.co.uk or via Twitter DM: @StopSIMMH. We will be publishing further updates on our Twitter account.  

In solidarity with survivors, service users and allies who have worked tirelessly to shine a light on injustice,

The #StopSim Coalition”

Copied to: Sir Simon Stevens, CEO – NHS England Lord David Prior, Chair – NHS EnglandClaire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director  NHS EnglandMartin Hewitt,Chair – National Police Chiefs’ CouncilSir Tom WinsorHer Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service.

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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