After a major consultation programme, your CCG is working hard with partner organisations, patients and families to improve mental health services for adults.
Some of the recent improvements include:
Crisis and Urgent Response Team
A new Crisis and Urgent Response Team is now on hand to support anyone in mental health crisis in Newcastle or Gateshead.
During 2019, we invested additional funding, and as a result, now have the Crisis and Urgent Response Team and Psychiatric Liaison Team, based at the RVI and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, working together with other services and organisations to support people in crisis.
This arrangement is in line with the principles agreed through the major Deciding Together, Delivering Together consultation process.
The Crisis and Urgent Response Team meets the crisis mental health needs of all people aged 16 and over in Newcastle and Gateshead. The team also offers separate carer appointments, to ensure the needs of carers are supported
Urgent mental health needs of people under 16 continue to be met by the Children and Young People’s Intensive Community Treatment Service.
Recoco – The Recovery College Collective
The CCG is now providing extra support for ReCoCo (the Recovery College Collective), a peer-led education and support service for people suffering from mental distress, trauma-related life difficulties and multiple disadvantage.
ReCoCo’s educational model of recovery focuses on developing the individual’s strengths, and enables them to develop their own resources, rather than a traditional ‘expert led’ approach which tends to focus on problems.
ReCoCo empowers students to discover their own strengths and grow new ways of thinking about mental distress and how to actually achieve a life worth living. It does this by focusing on connection and transformation, reconnecting the community and addressing the isolating effects of mental distress.
ReCoCo has become a highly effective service used by primary and secondary health care organisations as well as third sector providers, and both enrolments and attendance have increased substantially over the past year.
Additional CCG funding during 2019 enabled ReCoCo to develop a peer support programme and make the service more accessible with a presence in Saltwell Park.
Another innovation has been the development of two ‘men’s sheds’. Used in Australia for many years, men’s sheds promote ‘health by stealth’ by providing a social space for those who may be particularly vulnerable to poor mental health.
Traditionally, sheds are a space where men can engage in practical ‘DIY’ activities like woodwork and metalwork. For older men, especially those who are no longer in full-time employment, sheds can offer a communal space to work on meaningful projects, with the primary aim of reducing risk factors associated with suicide, such as social isolation and unemployment. Sheds are staffed by a coordinator trained in suicide prevention.
Diagnostic services for adults with autism
2019 saw an increase in demand for autism services, so the CCG reviewed adult autism diagnostic services and worked with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) to support a more streamlined approach to delivery and support.
The service is now reducing waiting times and a number of improvements are being made to the service. Further work is underway, working with people with autism and their families to develop post-diagnostic support throughout life.
Specialist perinatal mental health
Perinatal mental health problems – during the period from conception to one year postpartum – are common and distressing for many women.
The CCG has now invested in a specialist perinatal mental health service. This provides support, advice and planning of care and treatment following delivery, reducing the risk of significant illness and the potential inpatient care.
In line with national recommendations, the service is multidisciplinary and includes consultant perinatal psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists and psychological therapists, alongside allied health professionals (such as occupational therapists) and nursery nurses.
Access to the service has a positive impact on the mother’s wellbeing, the development of the child, and the family’s life, while robust care plans help to minimise risk to both mother and child.
Early intervention in psychosis (EIP)
In 2019, the CCG allocated additional funding to improve the early intervention in psychosis service. This made it possible to improve services in a number of ways, including extending EIP services to the age of 65, creating a new At Risk Mental State (ARMS) service for young people who are experiencing the early symptoms of psychosis, and individual support to help people return to work when this is appropriate. Many people accessing mental health services say that getting a job is an important aspect of their recovery.
Improving mental health support for young people
Our work to improve services and support young people’s mental health and wellbeing includes the RISE team, which works to support young people’s wellbeing in schools, and Kooth, a free and confidential online support service for young people.