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, the sites will ensure 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 by sharing a local budget to effectively reorganise services in their area to provide the best care for patients.
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.”
Association of Mental Health Providers’ Chief Executive, Kathy Roberts, said:
“The Association are disappointed by the poor inclusion of voluntary and community sector providers in the recent NHS England announcement introducing new sites to redesign mental health services and cut out-of-area placements. The voluntary and community sector are a vital part of the health and social care system and have a long established history of innovating provision as well as properly understanding the needs of local communities.
“NHS England needs to utilise the valuable contribution of the sector as a planning and delivery partner in order to ensure that people suffering from mental ill health receive the best care possible where they live.”