Mental health’s millions for community services

NW London receives funding as part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s new £70m fund to develop and test new ways of providing integrated community mental health services.

From this transformation funding, the NHS in NW London will receive more than £7m (over two years) to support and test two new ways of providing community mental health services to support people with moderate to severe mental health problems in their communities (as opposed to receiving care in specific facilities such as hospitals). In NW London we will have a specific focus on people with a diagnosis of personality disorder, an eating disorder and mental health rehabilitation.
In total 12 areas of the country will be testing new ways of providing services and in NW London, we are delighted to have received funding to support the development and testing of two different models.
In the boroughs of Harrow, Hillingdon and Central London, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) will continue work with primary care networks (PCNs) to develop new ‘Community Mental Health Hubs’. These hubs will be formed by redesigning and reorganising existing community staff and resources. Each hub will be aligned and supported by a local network of GP practices (or primary care network). Working in this new way allow each community mental health hub to have a consistent core structure and function that will also allow flexibility to tailor staffing and provision of services to meet the needs of the local population. Dr Jo Emmanuel, CNWL Medical Director, who has been leading the redesign work, said: “This is really great news. The idea is to make services easier to use because they are more local, grouped around local GPs. This announcement invests in improvement for patients.”
In Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing CCG and Hounslow, West London NHS Trust are looking to develop primary and community integrated mental health (PCIMH) model. The aim will be to better integrate services across primary care, secondary and community services. Sarah Rushton, Director of Local Services at West London NHS Trust said: “This is great news for our patients and service users. Making the patient experience a better one is a top priority and we are very pleased to be working with our partners across NW London to ensure mental health needs are met in a more joined up way.”
Across both programmes the aim is to provide better streamlined services so that patients receive care that is joined up, providing better on-going support, as well as testing a four week waiting time from initial contact to appropriate care. In total 36 of NW London’s 49 new primary care networks are involved in these initiatives.
Dr Annabel Crowe GP, Chair of Hounslow CCG and Clinical Lead for mental health in NW London said: “We are delighted to receive this funding. We have already been working to develop better ways of providing community mental health services for our patients and this funding will support GPs, primary care and specialist care to work more closely together through the newly emerging networks of GP practices. Hopefully this will enhance the relationship between primary and secondary care and provide a more responsive service for people with long-term mental health needs to help them get better and stay well in their communities”