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Mental health consultation to start

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A 12-week public consultation on proposals to redesign specialist mental health services for adults and older people experiencing severe or long term mental ill-health has started today (Tuesday 6th March 2018).

The consultation relates to services available to a population of 480,000 people across Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal.

Specialist mental health support is provided for approximately 7,000 adults and older people each year in these areas. 95 per cent of that care is provided in the community.

Dr Ian Hulme, clinical lead for mental health at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, said: “We are proposing a redesign of these services to significantly improve mental health support, with a focus on early prevention and more choice.

“User and carer feedback, along with recent clinical audit recommendations and inspections, told us that some things in these services work well but that other things need to change for the better.

“One service user told us that they ‘deserve to thrive, not just survive’ and I, together with clinical colleagues across Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal, are united in our view that this proposed model of care will support people with specialist mental health needs to do just that.”

Dr Teresa Strefford, clinical director for commissioning at NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “Most people can be supported very effectively in the community with the right range of services.

“95 per cent of the 7,000 people we currently support with specialist mental health needs receive that care in the community and we want to improve it.

“The new model of care we are proposing would provide new services so that there is better access for people to help keep them well and active in the community.

“It would also provide much greater choice of services for those in, or at risk of, crisis, and support people with dementia and those who care for them to stay in their own surroundings.”

Dr Anushta Sivananthan, consultant psychiatrist with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “People have told us they want more personalised care, more support in the local community, and one point of contact for crisis care.

“They also want a choice of support in different places – for example, at home, in a drop-in centre or in a crisis bed and that they don’t want to be in hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“We value the feedback we have already received and we now ask service users, carers and the general public to get involved with this public consultation and help us shape better services for the future.”

The consultation runs from 6th March 2018 to 29th May 2018 and no decision will be made until after the consultation findings have been fully considered.

Any new service arrangements would be introduced gradually into 2019.

For more information, visit www.easterncheshireccg.nhs.uk where the online survey and details of the public events are published.

The options being considered are as follows:

Option 1 – do not introduce the proposed new model of care.

In this option there would be no prospect of improvement or development of the following services: community care, crisis care/choice of service, or dementia outreach unless funding was taken/diverted from other current local NHS services.

Option 2 – (preferred option) improve community and home treatment (crisis) teams, provide local crisis beds within the community, older people’s inpatient care at Lime Walk House, Macclesfield and adult inpatient care at Bowmere, Chester.

Option 2 is the preferred option as it provides all the improved community services described in the proposed model of care.

These include community and crisis teams providing a wider range of services and improved access to care.

Option 2 also offers an on-site PICU for adults, and doesn’t require additional travel time for older people.

There is clinical evidence that adults are far more likely than older people to require a PICU. Option 2 scored more highly than Option 3 against the eight criteria used to assess proposals.

Option 3 – improve community and home treatment (crisis) teams, provide local crisis beds within the community, provide adult inpatient care at Lime Walk House, Macclesfield and older people’s inpatient care at Bowmere, Chester.

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