HEALTH bosses have described the chance to transform community mental health services as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ after being awarded £11.9million of Government funding.
Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership has been handed the cash by NHS England / NHS Improvement to provide, over the next three years, an enhanced, easily accessible and integrated care and support service for those experiencing mental distress.
The areas of work specifically highlighted are to support services for adults with severe and continuing mental illness including people with a diagnosis of personality disorder, eating disorders or needing community rehabilitation.
The principles and details of the transformed service have been co-designed by an alliance of local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSE) and people who have with lived experience of mental health challenges.
People with severe and continuing mental illness will be provided with easier and faster access to services delivered at neighbourhood level by a range of partners across health, social care and VCSE.
The partners will work together to best meet the local population’s needs and be ‘trauma informed’ moving the focus from ‘what is wrong with me’ towards ‘what has happened to me’.
The community-based service will include talking therapies, improved physical healthcare, employment support, personalised care tackling the root cause of the problem, medicines management and support for self-harm and co-existing substance use.
Claire Handy is a critical part of the transformation team, as a person with lived experience of mental health difficulties.
She said she was delighted with the news.
“I am passionate that we must place people at the heart of everything we do and work with all organisations available, not only the NHS or social care.”
Dr Richard Onyon, consultant psychiatrist and associate medical director at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said they aimed to develop a sustainable community mental health care system and work had already started to establish stronger links with GPs which will see new mental health workers based in surgeries.
“Our plans for this new system-wide provision of support for people’s mental health is an ambitious but exciting one.
“Our aim is to better use all health, social care and community resources available and to reduce health inequalities which exist in some areas and for some more vulnerable groups.”
Anyone who wants to be involved in future engagement opportunities to help deliver the new community mental health care system should email firstname.lastname@example.org .