NHS England has announced a new tranche of sites to test new approaches to delivering mental health services – cutting the number of people travelling long distances for care.
Eleven new sites will be tasked with bringing down the number of people who receive in-patient hospital treatment and for those who do need more intensive care, that this is available closer to home.
The pilot sites, made up of NHS mental health trusts, independent sector and charitable organisations will work together, sharing a local budget, to effectively reorganise services in their area to provide the best care for patients.
Local managers and clinicians will take charge of managing budgets and providing inpatient and specialised mental health services, tailoring them to their area’s individual needs.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of young people and adults being sent for mental health care inpatient services many miles from their homes.
This can make visiting very difficult for the individual, their families and local clinicians, potentially affecting a person’s recovery, leading to increased lengths of stay.
As well as this, reducing inpatient hospital care also offers the opportunity to save money, which means savings can be made and will be reinvested in wider mental health services.
NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch, said: “By using savings to increase the availability of services in the community and ensuring the right beds are in the right place, we aim to ensure that those who need it will be able to receive the best care and treatment at home or as close to home as possible.
“These sites have a fantastic opportunity to really tailor their mental health care around local people – helping to drive down the numbers travelling long distances and improving local services for patients.
The first phase of wave two will go live on 1 October 2017, with nine sites covering inpatient services for children and young people (CAMHs tier 4), adult secure care, and adult eating disorder services.
The total budget of the programme across both waves is around £640 million, representing approximately 35 per cent of the Specialised Commissioning mental health budget (£350 million for wave one).
Six sites were chosen to take part in the first wave of this project which went live on 1 April 2017. The six sites plan to use 283 fewer beds as a result of admission avoidance, shorter lengths of stay, and bringing back hundreds of patients from out of area placements. This will save more than £50 million over the next two years.
The savings will be reinvested in new local services including crisis and home treatment teams; supported housing; other community services; and additional beds.
- Surrey & Borders Partnerships FT: Sussex Partnership FT; Cygnet Health Care; Elysium Healthcare; Huntercombe Group; Priory Healthcare and Partnerships in Care
- Northumberland, Tyne & Wear FT
- Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust: Bradford District Care FT; Leeds and York Partnership FT and South West Yorkshire Partnership FT
- Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust
- South London Mental Health and Community Partnership: Oxleas FT, South London and Maudsley FT, and South London and St George’s Mental Health Trust
- Mersey Care FT: Cheshire and Wirral Partnership FT; NW Boroughs FT; Elysium Health Care and Cygnet Health Care
- Sussex Partnership FT: Kent & Medway Partnership Trust and Surrey & Borders Partnership FT
- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys FT: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear FT
- Leeds and York Partnership FT: Bradford District Care FT and South West Yorkshire Partnership FT
Phase two, covering adult secure and adult eating disorder care, will go live from April 2018 with an additional two sites:
- Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust: Central and North West London; NELFT; East London and West London Mental Health
- Oxford Health FT: Avon & Wiltshire FT; Berkshire Healthcare FT; Surrey & Borders Partnership FT; Southern Health FT and 2gether FT