Our Community Transformation Programme on London Live TV

Date: 20 December 2021

London live

London Live, the local TV station set up as a sister company the Evening Standard, interviewed Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Ian Prenelle about the NCL Community Mental Health Transformation Programme.

You can watch the interview in full here.

The £25 million programme is creating hundreds of new jobs; as part of the changes, those with mental health difficulties are being given help to resolve issues related to their condition such as problems with benefits, physical health and accommodation.

The aim is to identify people with mental health conditions earlier, so that they can be treated sooner; this will help people lead fuller and happier lives, connected with their communities, and so reduce the chance that their condition becomes so acute they require hospital care.
 
The three-year, £25m transformation programme, across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, began in the summer and much of the early work has been on building strong foundations for services. So far, about 150 staff have been recruited, with more to follow in the next few years. There will be capacity to help thousands more people across the five boroughs.
 
Among those recruited are new community outreach specialists, occupational therapists, peer coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist nurses, as well as other new innovative roles. 


Some key highlights:  

  • People getting treatment for mental health problems will also be offered help to improve their physical health – including annual health checks, tests and follow-up care. 
  • A person’s social care needs will be considered from the outset and practical help will be given to resolve problems that can impact mental health, such as finding accommodation, accessing benefits, getting into work or managing finances.
  • Everyone who uses mental health services is being allocated a named key worker who will work with them to draw up a plan for their care and treatment, using a new system that explores a service-user’s perception of their quality of life.
  • Peer coaches, who have received mental health support in the past, and are experts-by-experience, have been recruited to help connect with seldom-heard groups, and some will be working with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to ease the difficult transition from being in the care of social services, to independent living.
  • The programme involves much closer working with GPs and with voluntary sector organisations and community groups, providing support to address the social factors that affect mental health and ensure that people are much better connected within their local community.
  • An online Mental Health Summit in November was attended by more than 200 people who put forward dozens of suggestions for care. The teams are working through these and they will inform how services are developed in future.

Deputy Chief Executive of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Darren Summers, who is the Programme Lead, said: “The new neighbourhood teams are reaching out to communities to develop new services which will be tailored to meet the unique needs of those living in that area. We expect to see big improvements in people’s mental health within a few years.
 
“This is an exciting time for mental health care; we are seeing major investment which is enabling us to offer expanded and enhanced services to really help people.”

Dr Thomas Spary, is a GP partner at Lawrence House Surgery, Haringey, where a mental health specialist is now working at the practice, helping those with mental health conditions. He said: “By having the Mental Health Practitioners working more closely with Primary Care in the community, we are hoping that this provides better referral pathways, shorter waiting times and faster assessments closer to home for our patients who are struggling from the effects of mental health problems, which we know have increased over the last 18 months with the pressures of lockdown.”
 
The Community Mental Health Transformation Programme is a partnership between North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, working with local councils, voluntary sector organisations and community groups.

  • Summary:

    Our major transformation of community mental health services is continuing across north London, enabling people to be treated more holistically in the community.

  • Category:
    Careers