In 2019, NHS England published the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out the priorities for health care provision across the country. As part of this plan, local NHS commissioners and providers are committed to transforming how community-based mental health support is delivered for both working age and older adults, particularly those who live with moderate to severe mental illness or complex needs.
Successful delivery of these goals requires closer partnership working between patients, families and carers, the voluntary and community sector, the broader public, and other providers. It is important to these groups work together in helping to create better mental health provisions in the local area.
We will be developing and testing new ways of offering mental health services and looking at how services work better together.
As part of the Community Mental Health Transformation Programme in Gateshead, the CCG has listened to feedback from partners on the importance of community-based activities in helping people maintain good mental health. The CCG are now launching a new fund which will be focused on supporting voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations across Gateshead. Priority will be given to smaller organisations with an income below £0.5m, and grants of up to £10,000 are available.
You can find out more about the NHS Community Mental Health Transformation Project by watching this video:
What are we doing in Gateshead?
The initial three year project will run until 2024. We are committed to collaborate with all interested groups, as we move through the various stages of the work. The project also builds on the large amount of feedback we received from patients, the public, carers, community and voluntary groups in “Deciding Together Delivering Together”. Our overall aim is to ensure that every working age and older adult who needs support with their moderate or severe mental health needs has access to the support they require.
In order to provide a strategic and operational oversight to the work, a Steering Group has been established. The group includes membership from: Gateshead Council; Cumbria, Northumbria, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust; Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust; Gateshead Talking Therapies; South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust; VCSE organisations are represented by Blue Stone Consortium, as well as representatives from Task and Finish Groups that meet on a monthly basis and ensure that key deliverables are identified and delivered in a co-productive way.
How we are developing the approach in Gateshead
Community Mental Health Workforce
The community mental health workforce will grow significantly over the next 12 months, with the introduction of new roles across Gateshead. Our priority is to support system partners to ensure this new workforce is connected and working collectively, so we all benefit from the increased capacity. The new personnel will include;
- Social Prescribers supporting individuals & families address non-clinical matters contributing to poor health.
- Community Mental Health Peer Support workers will be joining the workforce from the spring 2022. They will provide non-clinical peer support to navigate the health system and support individuals to access services.
- PCN Mental Health Practitioners based within each PCN area. These new roles provide specialist mental health expertise into each GP practice.
- Children & Young People Mental Health Practitioners (will be joining the workforce in 2022/23)– Provide early intervention & support to children & young people via a referral process.
- Specialist Counselling Services accessed by GP referral.
- Specialist and secondary care services accessed by GP referral.
As well as supporting the existing workforce to connect, we’re also keen to work with partners on initiatives to help us grow the workforce and make the mental health sector an attractive employment opportunity.
Work Achieved in 2021/22 –
Our priorities for Year 1 of the programme were to establish the core model and bring together partners from across the system to help us understand where our focus should be. We have achieved this by:
- Establishing a Mental Health Steering Group
- Establishing Task & Finish Groups
Recruited a Project Manager to lead the CMH transformation work
Our Priorities for 2022/23
Workforce – An expansion of the mental health workforce across Gateshead. A priority for 2022/23 is developing a connected system between partners to ensure everyone is aware of the different roles and we avoid any duplication in service. We will also look at how we continue to grow the mental health workforce.
Eating disorders – We will continue to work with the North East Eating Disorder service established by CNTW and with Eating distress North East who provide speicalist advice across Gateshead. A key priority for year 2 will be to ensure system partners are aware of the services available for Gateshead residents.
Personality Disorder/ Complex Needs – As we emrge from the pandemic we recognise there is an increase in complete referrals and individuals experiencing personality disorder traits. We will work with CNTW to expand early access to their personality disorder hub and work with providers to test opportunities for community based interventions.
Mental Health Rehabilitation – We will work with partners around discharge pathways and join up with social care to develop a joint approach to community based accomodatuin
Reducing Inequalities – We are keen to understand the inequalities contributing to poor mental health, particularly wider determinants. We will work with system partners to embed our work into the development of community hubs and other local approaches to address poverty. We will also explore inequalities facing specific cohorts and work with local partners to test opportunities to reducing these.
Interoperbility, Data Shairng & Joint Working – We will progress the Trusted Assessor model to embed the ‘no wrong door’ approach and explore options to facilitate data sharing between partners.
How You Can Get Involved
In 2022/23 we will continue to operate with our model of a Steering Group with cross-sector representation and Task & finish Groups to focus on specific themese. Task & Finish Groups include;
- Mental Health Hub Group – The group has emerged from 2 of Year 1 groups, Peer Support and Asset & Community Mapping. This group will have a focus on continuing to develop collaborative approaches across Health, Social Care and VCSE sectors to improve provision of services across Gateshead. It will also have a focus on continuing to support the development of the Community Mental Health Workforce and addressing interoperability issues which are preventing joined up approaches, including the introduction of a Trusted Assessor Model.
- Urgent & Emergency Crisis Care – This group will focus on the Crisis & emergency care pathways, exploring why individuals end up in this service and identifying where we need to improve support across the system to reach individuals at an earlier point.
- Older People’s Mental Health – This group is responsible for reviewing the Gateshead System pathways for older persons’ services. The purpose of the review is to ensure that people can stay safe and healthy within their own home for as long as possible. The group is looking at how we can improve and support the full range of specialist workforce and community teams that support people living with dementia at home. The group is also reviewing the Residential Care and Appropriate Accommodation pathways.
- Residential Care – This group is currently assessing the patient discharge experience into residential care and community settings. Once this review is complete, the group will make recommendations on how the process can be improved, to be actioned by care providers, in partnership with patients, families and carers.
Task & Finish Groups meet monthly, if you would like to get involved, please contact Gail Ballance, Community Mental Health Transformation Project Manager email@example.com
If you would like to find out more about the wider programme of work for transforming community mental health services, we have included some useful links below:
- NHS England: https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/adults/cmhs/
- Video from NHS England and NHS Improvement, outlining this work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x-WxYcSBo8
- Webinar from the charity Rethink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1e0jLPEIB0
- A guide from the charity Rethink: https://www.rethink.org/aboutus/what-we-do/mental-health-service-provider/rethink-mental-illness-stp-guide/