#StopSIM Coalition Update – 17th June 2021

More than 50,000 of you have signed this petition in less than 8 weeks since launching! We’ve been blown away by the support, which also includes statements from numerous professional bodies, including the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and others.

This incredible momentum has enabled us to have a powerful impact already;

  • On 11th May, Claire Murdoch, NHS England National Mental Health Director, and Tim Kendall responded to our statements, announcing that all NHS England Mental Health Trusts were being asked to review SIM’s implementation where adopted locally. 
  • On 27th May, A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Hampshire Constabulary on the Isle of Wight, where the SIM pilot was first conducted, confirmed and deepened our concerns about the lack of evidence for SIM. This information revealed not only that data from the SIM pilot was presented in a way that is “misrepresentative” and “not ethical”, but that people who were supporting the implementation of SIM were aware of this inaccurate data as early as March 2018, before SIM was rolled out across NHS Trusts in England.
  • On the 2nd of June, the High Intensity Network (HIN), the private company that developed and oversaw SIM, closed permanently. However, the SIM model continues in local Trusts where it was already active and we have received no information about what handover or support is being provided to service users.  

We’re pleased that NHS England has agreed there is a need to review SIM, and to action this at a local level. However, there is a lack of clarity on the timescale of this and doubts about the standard, consistency and transparency of local reviews, particularly given the multiple agencies involved in delivering the SIM model. 

In light of our concerns, outlined in this petition, our statements, as well as new information brought to light from the recent FOI, we are updating our campaign to call for a public inquiry. We believe this is necessary because of the severity of the concerns raised, their national breadth across multiple organisations, as well as  the success of our campaign, which indicates a significant public interest in calling one. This call is in addition to an independent, centrally coordinated review, which is necessary to ensure the immediate safety and wellbeing of people currently under SIM.

With the closure of the High Intensity Network, we also reiterate our call to NHS England to halt all SIM and SIM like models immediately. Money which was being spent on implementing the SIM model should be ring fenced to provide specialised, evidence-based care for the service users under the model as a matter of urgency.

A HUGE thank you for all your support and for helping us to achieve such significant progress already, including those who have been making and sharing #StopSIM protest art, we’re in awe of your talents! Please keep using the #StopSIM and continue to circulate this petition with your communities. You can get in contact with us, including sending pictures, via our email: stopsimmh@gmail.com You can find further information on our website: www.stopsim.co.uk 

In solidarity, 

The StopSIM coalition