Community Mental Health Transformation (CMHT) is underway in Gloucestershire, with the Forest of Dean the first area to be the focus of a new care and treatment model to support people with complex mental health needs.
CMHT is a large-scale, national programme to transform mental health services for adults and older adults. This includes a £2.3 billion investment programme, aimed at enabling at least 370,000 adults and older adults per year with serious mental illness nationally to have greater choice and control over their care, and to live well in their communities. Watch the video below to find out more.
It comes off the back of the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24, which set out that the NHS will develop new and integrated models of primary and community mental health care.
In Gloucestershire, we are developing new community models, built on our existing services, around localities and Primary Care Networks.
The approach includes:
- A focus on inequalities and the challenges faced by people with mental illness in many aspects of their lives.
- Personalising care so that people have more choice and control over the way care is planned and delivered.
- Breaking down barriers to accessing support and services. There will be a single ‘right door’ to access support. Wherever anyone seeks mental health support there will be an easy process to get it.
- A focus on physical health checks, housing and employment.
- The introduction of an alternative assessment/care management framework (replacement of the Care Programme Approach). This will be based on what matters to an individual and their individual strengths and needs.
- The introduction of a 4 week waiting time target and increased activity targets.
- A specific focus on specialist areas within new models including Eating Disorders, Personality Disorders, and care pathways.
Importantly, the project goes beyond the NHS and local authorities, and involves a wide range of partners including the Voluntary and Community Sector. It is also heavily focussed on co-production with Experts by Experience – both people who have used services and those who support them.
The project is being led by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of One Gloucestershire, with involvement from a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies, including Inclusion Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire VCS Alliance, Forest Voluntary Action Forum, Independence Trust and others.
Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS FT, said: “Community mental health services provide great treatment and support but there is no doubt the existing model is well overdue investment. CMHT is about ensuring that people with serious mental illnesses and enduring mental health conditions can stay healthy and well within their communities, and that people who are experiencing new mental health conditions can access quick and efficient help and support. We hope this will be a great step forward and ensure equality of access, care and support for more people in our local communities.”
- This national video explains more about what CMHT is about.
What has already happened?
CMHT is already underway and there have been some early projects which are already having an impact. For example:
- A new service called the Complex Emotional Needs service for people with personality disorders and related conditions. This service involves voluntary and statutory organisations working more closely and creating increased knowledge and confidence in supporting those with more complex needs.
- Additional mental health staff to work in GP surgeries, giving quicker access to support for those who need it.
- Work on reducing waiting times for eating disorders treatment and additional support for people while they are waiting.
- Regular health checks for people with serious mental illness, due to partnership working between Independence Trust, Gloucestershire Health and Care and GPs.
What is next?
The Forest of Dean is the first area of focus for a new model of care delivery. This model is still being developed and we are seeking feedback from people who use services, clinicians and partners. The new model of care delivery will be developed in other areas of Gloucestershire throughout 23-24. More information about this will be shared in the coming months.
If you have any questions about the programme, have any suggestions or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are holding an event in the Forest of Dean on 31 January 2023, where we will be updating on progress so far and talking about the next steps in developing the care model.